Police seize food aid for the San
Story by George Sanzila
CAPRIVI – Police seized about 37 bags of maize meal given as relief food for the San community in Western Caprivi, in an operation at the Kongola checkpoint. The food aid distributed to the San community in western Caprivi is being sold by its beneficiaries. The food aid programme, which was started last year by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, is meant to help the San community with food as no subsistence farming takes place in the area.
Kongola Constituency Councillor David Muluti said the San community in western Caprivi are provided with food aid on a monthly basis and the problem of selling food aid has become common, hence the involvement of the police in the matter. “The programme started already last year. We thought we should help give food aid to the San community in western Caprivi. Each family is getting three bags every month, but now the community is selling the food in Kongola and then they start buying alcohol. This is the reason we thought we should involve the police,” said Muluti.
Muluti said the San community in villages such as Masambo, Bipo, Chetto, Omega III, Kacenje and Poca have all received food aid since last year and have complained that government was not providing them with enough food, a claim Muluti says is contradicted if the community is engaging in selling the same food aid. “All the areas in western Caprivi are given food aid every month. They have said they need more food aid like cooking oil and tinned fish but now they are engaged in selling the food they are getting,” complained Muluti.
According to Muluti, more than 600 bags of maize meal were confiscated last year in yet another operation and he says the food aid will be returned to the community after he has held meetings with them. “Last year we seized more than 600 bags and this is happening again. What we want to do now is to have serious meetings with the community before we return the bags because we don’t want this repeating itself,” said Muluti.