OMUTHIYA – Tsumeb constituency councillor Lebbius Tobias says urban constituencies do not receive food aid from government for the less fortunate in towns.
He bemoaned the situation, saying it paints a negative perception that such offices do not want to distribute food to the poor. According to Tobias, he has been vocal about the matter even in the National Council, saying there are destitute people in urban areas who also deserve to be assisted with food.
“There is a directive from government that urban constituencies don’t receive drought relief, of which I am on record from time to time in parliament pleading we too should be included to benefit as we also have equally challenging situations. It is just unfortunate, but my hope is one day government will heed to the call and assist the needy,” he said.
“As much as I advocate for this, many people do not know this fact, and are made to believe that we have food for the masses and we just don’t want to give. Therefore, it is not that I don’t want to give, I just don’t have the food. I am therefore sorry to my people who are finding themselves in difficult situations. I have people suffering at Kuvukiland, Endombo, Ondundu, Soweto, old age home, Ndapandula compound and many others, all these qualify to receive food, but there isn’t any to give.”
Last week Tobias came under fire after a video taken at the Tsumeb dumpsite by an Affirmative Repositioning movement activist Johannes John went viral in which he accused the councillor of failing to cater for the needs of the less fortunate.
It was further stated that the councillor has not been providing food relief to communities. Tobias hit back, saying his detractors are playing dirty politics in an effort to discredit and tarnish his name, by politicising everything.
The councillor said the only food his office gets is intended for people living on farms and also under the San community programme. He said sometimes his office is left with no choice but to share with anyone approaching them for food aid.
“As I am speaking to you now, I am preparing spinach packs from my small garden that I am going to give to the community. And this is something small as I always tell them I will always provide as little as it gets. I am sorry to my people, if am not meeting all expectations but all I can promise is I will always be there for them and never will I forget their needs,” he said.