By Nhau Mangirazi
MT HAMPDEN– Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi reacted swiftly to save some children on Anti-Retroviral Therapy after their caretakers were arrested by police on Wednesday in Mount Hampden.
In a move that has proved that some junior officers are ‘overzealous and unrealistic’ of the economic situation affecting food security, Ziyambi said although the caretakers including one Gogo Nhiwatiwa and Portia Rusere were not registered but were feeding scores of vulnerable children including three who are on ART out of their pockets, there was need for a ‘reprieve’.
There are at least 54 of these children who have taken solace at the homestead in Mount Hampden getting free food daily.
The matter was raised at WhatsApp group where Ziyambi is a member.
He was touched by the plea by members that he had to call the police and social welfare officials to get to the bottom of the matter.
Ziyambi castigated junior social welfare officers whom he said overreacted on the matter.
‘The affected children are now in Kadoma where they will be assisted to get their medication. It was overzealous on the part of social welfare officers as police are not to blame. These caring mothers were doing this out of love, using their own resources to feed the children,’ he posted.
He however, called for a truce so that the organization gets registered to continue assisting the vulnerable members of the communities.
Gogo Nhiwatiwa was among the caretakers who were arrested.
The Mount Hampden ‘orphanage’ co-founder Portia Rusere confirmed that they were at Marlborough police station where they had been picked up for questioning.
‘Yes our organization was not registered but we were feeding children as there is need to help them out. Some were coming from their homes and we did this as a move aimed at assisting children who are innocent souls,’ she said.
However, Chegutu Senator Violet Mokwetsi called on the Government to relax registration of such community based organizations.
‘We are facing a crisis and when women do this caring, it is out of genuine love. Few have hidden agendas to raise money, so Government officials must help out to those with a noble cause not to witch-hunt and bring dis-harmony among communities,’ she added.
The minister’s reaction was applauded as ‘caring and realistic on community based situations’ following the appeal on a social media grouping.