ZORORAI Old People’s Home in Sakubva, Mutare, has lamented lack of government support over the past 15 years, with the charity organisation surviving on well-wishers’ donations, chairman Arthur Chinaka revealed.
Chinaka made the revelation at the launch of Tendai Chitowa Foundation at the home yesterday. He said the Labour and Social Welfare ministry was failing to pay the $15 per capita welfare monthly grants for each elderly person at the home.
“We have been surviving on donations from the corporate world and individuals. The ministry for the past 15 years has been failing to pay $15 per person monthly, we house 18 elderly people. We only received $700 in the last 15 years,” he said.
“We need money to pay our workers and this has been one of our major challenges, most of the our elderly are suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cance.”
Under the Older Persons Act, the government is mandated to give grants to registered old people’s homes, but has contributed little to Zororai.
The Constitution obligates the State to take care of the elderly. Section 82 of the Bill of Rights states that all persons over the age of 70 are entitled to receive from the State reasonable financial assistance under social security and welfare programmes, as well as healthcare and medical assistance.
Contacted for comment, Labour and Social Welfare minister Petronella Kagonye said she would check on the status of Zororai Old People’s Home.
“I will have to check on that one (Zororai Old People’s Home), but there is a provision we give to the vulnerable, be it orphans among other groups, we do some cash transactions to them, they are given grants according to the capacity of the people, on the issue of Zororai I will check on the statics when I am in the office tomorrow (today),”’ she said.
Meanwhile, Zororai received a major boost after a nonprofit organisation, Tendai Chitowa Foundation pledged to assist with medication among other expenses as most of the inmates suffer from chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.
Founder and president of the foundation, Tendai Chitowa donated goods worth $2 000 and held a Christmas party for the 18 inmates. Chitowa said he would focus on the elderly, vulnerable children and orphans and the physically handicapped. Newsday