Women who are part of a Heal Zimbabwe Community Accountability Action Team (CAAT) in Zaka have called on government to ensure that the Pfumvudza input distribution scheme is not abused by political parties. This came out during a dialogue meeting organised by the CAAT in commemoration for the International Day of Rural Women that was conducted in Zaka on 15 October 2020
Women highlighted that at the forefront of abusing this input facility were Agricultural Extension Officers who were colluding with some local political leaders to distribute the inputs in a partisan manner. “Some Agricultural Extension Officers are politicizing the distribution of the Pfumvudza inputs.Goverment must ensure that there is no discrimination during the distribution process”, said one participant. These sentiments were also confirmed by a local Councillor who attended the dialogue meeting.”The registration process of the Pfumvudza input scheme has been marred by many irregularities, in most cases we have seen Agriculture Extension Officers working with some political parties to deny registered beneficiaries’ inputs. We have also seen Pfumvudza inputs been sold at the local business centre”, he said. It was noted that women have been greatly affected by this practice.
As part of the resolutions, the CAAT resolved to convene a dialogue meeting with the Agricultural Extension Officers to register their disapproval in the way the scheme is being run. The meeting dialogue will be attended by the Local Legislator, Councillor and other local stakeholders. Women at the dialogue also reported that there was a decline in cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the area owing to their awareness raising against GBV in partnership with other stakeholders. The commemorations for the International Day of Rural Women were running under the theme, “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID 19”.
The dialogue meeting by the CAAT is one among many interventions by Heal Zimbabwe to strengthen capacity of citizens to uphold participation, inclusion, transparency, accountability and responsiveness principles and mechanisms. Such interventions help build peaceful and socially cohesive communities.