[I have actually been looking for a "bread" story from Zimbabwe for a while. Several weeks ago, I came across a story that the Netherlands had given the blacks machines to make bread with! Well, I grew up there, in the then Rhodesia, and we knew how to make bread. But it seems under self rule and communism, the blacks need to be helped from time to time, to learn how to make bread again.
The City of Bulawayo is set for cheap bread boom as more than 100 ZANU PF women in the city have been trained to make bread as part of an initiative to empower them to run community bakeries.
The women’s bakeries come just a week after Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) announced plans to embark on the ambitious project to produce “affordable” bread for Bulawayo residents who cannot afford the commodity.
The expected cheap bread has since been nicknamed ZUPCO Bread by expectant residents a name derived from the below cost fare charged by government run ZUPCO buses.
ZNLWVA Bulawayo spokesperson Christopher Sibanda said the bread-making project was aimed at alleviating the plight of residents who are failing to purchase the commodity.
“We cannot disclose the prices of the bread yet, but what we can assure residents is that our prices will be reasonable and affordable in comparison with other local prices,” Sibanda said.
The price of bread, like other basic commodities and services, has been skyrocketing as producers cite inflation and a harsh operating environment.
It was only last week when Bakers Inn reduced the price of the commodity from $15 to between $14.
Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube witnessed the launch of the women’s bakery in Entumbane suburb on Tuesday.
Ncube said more than 100 women in Bulawayo have so far been trained to make bread using Dutch ovens.
She commended female war veterans in Bulawayo for embracing Government’s empowerment programmes.
Ncube said the bakeries create employment opportunities and empower people.
She said the community bakery is set to bring relief to Entumbane residents who can now buy cheap bread.
“It is an honour for me to launch the community bakery. I am happy that these women have come together to start this bakery which is going to produce cheap bread for residents. This project empowers women war veterans while at the same time providing relief to residents who are subjected to incessant prices increases by established bakeries,” she said.
Minister Ncube said community bakeries were meant to provide an alternative source of bread to residents who can no longer afford the prices of bread on the market.
The use of Dutch ovens will reduce the cost of producing the bread as compared to using electricity.
Ncube urged women who have already undergone training in bread making to impart knowledge and skills to others in their wards, saying their active participation will contribute to development of their communities.
Addressing guests during the launch, the ZNLWVA Bulawayo provincial chairperson Cephas Ncube said the local community is set to benefit from the bread making project.
“What we are witnessing today is a combination of big brains. We started with a Heroes’ Golf Tournament which we held this year in August and we raised sufficient funds to drill a borehole. The money raised from baking will be channelled to other development projects such as building of a hall and establishment of a greenhouse. The gardening activities and the bakery will be the primary income generating projects for the war vets,” he said.
Ncube said residents will therefore benefit from the borehole, garden, bakery and hall