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Source: allAfrica

Women want Harare City Council to give them land to grow food crops to feed new mothers at the city's maternity homes following reports that council was failing to feed them. The appeal was made yesterday during a workshop on strengthening transnational partnerships and networks for enhancing participatory local governance.

Expectant mothers pay US$25 towards their antenatal and delivery fees to council.

The city had wanted the mothers to pay US$100 arguing the amount was enough to finance maternity requirements. Government reduced the fees to US$25.

Founder of the Wife Ministries, Mrs Lorraine Kariwo, said the city should reserve land to be managed by women to grow food crops to feed mothers at council maternity clinics.

"We demand land to grow maize and vegetables to feed our new mothers," she said.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda had earlier highlighted the plight faced at the Edith Opperman Maternity Home in Mbare where the city was failing to feed new and expecting mothers.

She also suggested that the city should engage the shopping public and shop operators with a view of persuading them to dedicate their change towards the operations of council clinics.

"We can put boxes in the shops where residents can deposit their change slips and get the slips exchanged for cash to support the maternity homes," she said.

Mrs Kariwo's comments were in the context of citizen participation in the administration of city affairs.

Chamber secretary Mrs Josephine Ncube said the programme was run under the auspices of the Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe.

"The programme aims to improve participatory democracy.

"It is intended to assist the city and stakeholders to find common ground in making decisions," she said.

Various stakeholders including the media were given an opportunity to address the workshop and point out areas they think the city should improve its interaction with the residents and the press.

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