POSTAL and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) this week donated an assortment of foodstuffs and personal protective equipment to 50 people living with disabilities in Manicaland.
The beneficiaries were identified by the Ministry of Public Works, Labour and Social Welfare.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony in Mutare on Tuesday, Potraz director-general, Dr Gift Machengete, said people living with disabilities have been the hardest hit by the debilitating socio-economic effects of Covid-19.
“Potraz has spared a thought for this vulnerable group and decided to lend a helping hand with this small donation. We hope this donation will bring relief to the beneficiaries and ease the burden brought about by the pandemic.
“This initiative is not unique to Manicaland Province, it is a nationwide programme where Potraz is assisting people living with disabilities to cope with the Covid–19 pandemic.
‘‘Last month we were in Gwanda, Matabeleland South Province, and our next port of call shall be Mashonaland West Province,” said Dr Machengete.
Besides the Covid–19 related CSR programme, the authority is also assisting the elderly, orphans and expecting mothers.
Projects include renovations of classrooms and children’s homes, water tank installations, donations of computers and foodstuffs, among others.
“The authority will run both the Covid–19 and the general CSR programmes concurrently until all provinces have benefitted,” said Dr Machengete.
In a speech read on her behalf by Manicaland Provincial Development Co-ordinator, Mr Edgars Seenza, the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba said Manicaland has had consecutive droughts over the past few years, thereby leaving many families in need of food aid.
“Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought other challenges and untold suffering to our people.
‘‘During crises, women, children and people living with disabilities are the worst affected. The pandemic has caused further deterioration of lives of these groups.
“While Potraz is playing a critical role in the fight against Covid-19, they are also playing an important role in fighting hunger and poverty in Zimbabwe through their CSR programmes,” said Dr Gwaradzimba.
She said in pursuit of Vision 2030, information communication technology (ICT) has become the backbone of socio-economic transformation.
“As we embrace devolution, it is crucial for our people to access ICT so that they participate in nation building as championed by President Mnangagwa.
“Let me also appeal to Potraz to bring ICT services to some of our rural districts that are still lagging behind in terms of poor network coverage and access to modern technologies,” she said.