SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
THERE is need for the public officers charged with the responsibility of giving out the social cash transfer to sensitize people in rural areas before slashing out funds to avoid some of them perceiving the aid to be satanic, the National Union for Small-scale Farmers of Zambia (NUSFAZ) has advised.
In an interview, union Director General Dr. Frank Kayula expressed sadness that some people in rural areas perceived cash transfer funds as satanic.
Dr Kayula was commenting on revelation by Community Development and Social Services Minister Olipa Phiri that some people in rural areas were shunning the social cash transfer because they perceived the funds to be satanic.
Ms. Phiri said it was disappointing that some people in rural areas were snubbing the funds meant to improve their lives because of lack of information.
Dr Kayula said there was need to sensitize communities on the benefits of the social cash transfer so that they stop shunning the funds.
He said people in rural areas should be provided with an improved understanding of existing social protection programmes that aimed at reaching the poorest and most vulnerable.
“First of all, there is need for government to educate them that that money is meant to foster broader economic development impacts. Awareness is important unlike just telling them to line up and start giving them the money because they will start thinking otherwise.
“I would also like to advise the intended beneficiaries to get that money and invest it in goat production, poultry or any other business. It is their money meant to fight poverty within communities. That money is not satanic at all as it is part of the budget,” Dr Kayula said.
He explained that the social cash transfer is meant to fight poverty in the country and targets lower income households.
He added that the social protection was now widely seen as an important component of poverty reduction strategy and efforts to reduce vulnerability to economic, social, natural and other shocks and stresses.