Zimbabwe: Chitungwiza Municipality Orders Closure of Relief Kitchen

21 May 2020

The Chitungwiza municipality has ordered the closure of the relief kitchen that has been providing food for distressed residents during the Covid-19 lockdown.

In a letter to the relief programme founder Samantha Murozoki, council health officer Tongai Mukomondera said the kitchen does not meet minimum requirements for a feeding kitchen.

"You are being guided by this notice that the above mentioned feeding kitchen taking place has not been approved by this department according to the Chitungwiza Urban Council By-Laws, 1981 part 11, 6. You are being advised by this office to take necessary procedures to meet minimum requirements for a feeding Kitchen. You are therefore advised to cease operations with immediate effect," wrote Mukomondera.

Contacted for comment Murozoki confirmed that she was served with the letter yesterday and over 100 children had come for food this morning despite being told of the latest developments.

"Yes, I can confirm that I received a letter yesterday. On the position I don't know if what I have started to do today is within the legal margins or I will overstepping so I am a little bit skeptical in making a statement but I have children that came through today about 120 after we told them not to come yesterday and I had to make a plan for them because they came as early as 6:45 a.m for porridge. I have made a contingent plan that does not involve cooking food," said Murozoki.

The relief kitchen had been providing food assistance to vulnerable residents who are mainly informal traders who have been grounded as a result of the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

Murozoki said she will be making consultations regarding the latest developments and will issue a statement in due course on the way forward.

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