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Council stands by report

Loughty Dube

The Bulawayo city council has defended reports by its health department that people are dying as a result of hunger in the city, despite denials by the government.



face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Bulawayo executive mayor, Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube, told the Zimbabwe Independent this week that the information gath-ered by the city’s Depart-ment of Health on malnutrition was factual and the council stood by it.


“Those figures are collected by council from clinics and hospitals in the city and this exercise has been going on since January last year and there is nothing political about these figures,” Ndabeni-Ncube said.


“If anyone is interested in the breakdown of the figures they can visit the Department of Health for a detailed analysis since there is nothing we are hiding.”


The council this month released figures indicating that 62 more people had died as a result of food shortages, bringing the total this year to 152.


The figures were how-ever hotly-disputed by government’s Informa-tion department whichclaimed that the MDC-dominated council was advancing a political agenda.


“The political motives behind this claim, which draws from minutes of the MDC-controlled City of Bulawayo, are as ignoble as they are obvious,” government said.


“Zimbabwe does not face any food shortages as alleged by Bulawayo’s British-sponsored MDC mayor,” the government said.


However, Ndabeni-Nc-ube said there was no way the figures could have been falsified since the statistics were collected from doctors across the city.


“Those statistics are true and we have been compiling them together with HIV/Aids figures since January last year and we are not going to stop because we have an obligation to inform the nation of the true situation on the ground,” he said.

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