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Food poison deaths preventable – Kapofi

2023-06-12  John Muyamba

Food poison deaths preventable – Kapofi

RUNDU – Defence minister Frans Kapofi, who was delegated by Cabinet to represent central government at the mass burial of the 16 members of the Shishugho family from Kayova village, said what has happened in this homestead could have been prevented if regional government did their job.

The mass burial was conducted on Saturday. The Shishugho family homestead recently lost 16 people who succumbed to suspected food poisoning after they allegedly ate porridge. The family exchanged reeds with a fellow villager with the traditional brew mahangu residue, which they went to pound and made flour. They then cooked a meal which they consumed, and later started reacting to what they ate. This resulted in the deaths of 16 family members.

Kapofi stated at the burial site that government has a programme designed specifically to assist the needy. 

“It is a programme meant for problems such as the one which has led to us gathering under such unfortunate circumstances. Unfortunately, the central government cannot be everywhere, and would not know what is happening to its citizens. But since it has representatives at local level, those representatives are expected to be bringing matters of the people to its attention speedily,” he noted.

“Government received the message about the mass demise of fellow citizens with a very heavy heart. From the side of the government, one life lost is one too many. We regret that things happened this way, perhaps because the cause of this tragic incident could be as a result of a lack of food. Cabinet and indeed the entire government expresses sorrow, and extends its condolences,’’ he said. The burial attracted hordes of people from all walks of life, who went to mourn with the grieving family.

Kapofi said leaders should learn from what has transpired and other similar tragic events, and be on the ground so that when they come across cases where people are hard-pressed, they notify the nearest government institution. Government will then not hesitate to provide assistance when there are people reported to be in a dire situation of whatever kind. 

“It pains me to admit that we have not as government been able to address the issue of statelessness of many of the people in its entirety. However, government is hard at work to resolve this problem, which is a requirement of the United Nations that statelessness should not be allowed,” he observed. 

“National documents will enable people to access social and other grants, which to a large extent help in addressing abject poverty in our society. As government works towards resolving some of these issues, we would like to urge you to support each other as communities in times of need. Let’s share the little we have when we realise our neighbours or fellow community members are in need,” he urged.

2023-06-12  John Muyamba

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