Govt Suspends COVID-19 Cushioning Allowance Citing Bumper Harvest
The government has suspended COVID-19 cushioning allowance payouts to vulnerable households across the country, saying communities are now self-sufficient after the country recorded a bumper harvest this year.
This was revealed by the Leader of Government in Parliament and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi during a question and answer session in the National Assembly last Thursday.
He was responding to Senator Watson Khupe who had questioned the government why the allowances had been cut to those deserving. Said Ziyambi:
The money that the Hon. Member has made reference to, last year we used to disburse it to a lot of people because of the drought that was prevailing.
At the moment, the Social Welfare Department is busy screening or vetting those people that need to be weeded out because we have a bumper harvest.
If you are to observe, you will see that in the past, in the communal lands, everyone was entitled to receive this benefit, but at the moment they are vetting the rightful candidates that should receive it.
Ziyambi added that the vetting exercise was ongoing and payments would be backdated for those who qualify to receive the allowances. He said:
The money is supposed to be disbursed but whenever it is disbursed, it shall be backdated from the last time that it was paid to the deserving recipients of such aid.
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