A 35 year old immigration lawyer has become the guardian angel to over 1000 Chitungwiza residents who now rely on her for a decent meal due to the Covid-19 induced national lockdown that has grounded the informal sector.
The informal sector, which consists of over 80 percent of the Zimbabwe population has become the backbone of the economy. But due to the national lockdown that started on the 30th of March , the informal sector players have not been able to fend for their families.
Touched by the plight of her community, Samantha Murozoki started providing breakfast and supper for the most vulnerable in her Chitungwiza’s Unit A extension.
She says her decision to open a community kitchen was driven by compassion after getting countless requests for assistance from her neighborhood.
“When the lockdown was announced I decided to come this side. Familiar faces from the hood would come looking for sanitary pads, food and they would tell their problems. The majority of these people are informal traders so it was natural that they would not be able to take care of themselves” said Murozoki
Driven by that sympathy she decided to start a kitchen relief programme.
“I decided that I would cook a meal and see how many people I could feed. The first day I cooked 2 kgs rice, 500 grams of beans and I managed to serve twenty four people. The next day the number doubled to forty seven, the following day it was eighty six and I realised that the number was increasing at a very fast rate” reckons Murozoki
With the aid of volunteers from the community she is managing to serve breakfast and supper.
“The number of meals has grown and the team has also grown. We have volunteers from the area that are chipping in, helping with maintaining social distancing. We also have ladies that help with the cooking and washing of pots.”
Beneficiaries of the programme have hailed the initiative saying it has relieved many from the burdens of the lockdown.
“We have embraced the programme as it is helping us especially children. At times you are stuck without any solution to feed them. With the programme we have been relieved from the lockdown burdens,” said one Chitungwiza resident.
Murozoki said because of the overwhelming numbers she is struggling with food shortages, appealing to well-wishers to chip in with support.
“We would love assistance in the form of groceries. I am really struggling with items such as peanut butter, sugar especially for the breakfast session,” she said.