Community members who are part of a Virtual platform created by a community members working with Heal Zimbabwe in Gutu West have taken their Member of Parliament, Honourable John Paradza to task over a cattle pestilence disease that has claimed thousands of livestock in Gutu.
The move was prompted by delays by the Department of Livestock and Veterinary services to respond to repeated calls by the community for a swift response on containing the disease .Speaking during a Virtual dialogue meeting on 11 November 2020, community members highlighted that delays by the Department of Livestock and Veterinary services to act swiftly to requests from the community has created speculation and anxiety as some farmers are now using some drugs that are not recommended. “We continue to lose our livestock to this disease and for rural farmers it is tough. Over the months we have recorded an increase in the number of people who are moving around wards selling some drugs that they claim can cure this disease. The drugs have not worked as we continue to record a high mortality rate.”, said one farmer. Community members noted that since the department was not forthcoming, it was imperative to engage their Legislator so that he can make follow up with the Provincial Veterinary services representatives from Masvingo Province. Other issues that came out during the dialogue include high price of farming inputs ahead of the farming season.
As part of the resolutions, the dialogue set up a committee tasked with making follow up on the Legislator concerning the engagement outcome with the Department of Livestock and Veterinary services. The Legislator was also tasked to take the issue of the cattle pestilence to Parliament so as to initiate a multi-sectoral approach to help contain the disease. The virtual dialogue platforms by Heal Zimbabwe are meant to facilitate for local level conversations as well as build socially cohesive communities in the wake of COVID 19.