Joel Tsvakwi, Farming Correspondent
THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) through its social responsibility programme has partnered Umguza District Aids Co-ordinating Committee (DAAC) in resuscitating the Zunde RaMambo/Isiphala SeNkosi concept in Umguza District.
DAAC engaged ZPCS Matabeleland North Province to implement the programme as a lasting solution to ensure food security in the local community. The inaugural project involves three hectares of maize which have been put at Anju Prison Farm in Umguza where yields are expected to top nine tonnes. Officials said this was also a way of supporting Zim Asset under the food and nutrition cluster.
ZPCS acting officer commanding Matabeleland North Province Assistant Commissioner Moddie Nkomo praised the programme which is set to improve food availability to the community.
“We have a maize production project for orphans and vulnerable members of the community, the programme which uses conservation techniques is also a skills training which is in sync with our rehabilitation initiatives for inmates. We are also highly indebted to the support we always get from society,” she said.
Asst Comm Nkomo said the programme was not meant to remove the role of chiefs who have been the torchbearers of the concept.
“The arrangement is not to remove the role of chiefs, our function is to implement the project by providing the missing link which is mainly labour and technical expertise to ensure the success of the scheme. Chiefs will remain the owners of the project, and they are free to visit and assess the crop until it is harvested and its subsequent distribution,” she said.
The Zunde RaMambo/Isiphala SeNkosi concept is a social safety net programme run by traditional leaders designed to cushion the less privileged members of rural communities from food shortages.
The Government is on record saying funding for the programme was inadequate hence the need for other stakeholders to complement it through availing agricultural support facilities. Central to the stunted growth of the concept is labour and volunteering spirit by able bodied members in communities. There is no law compelling people to participate in the concept.