Today’s Solutions: June 26, 2022

With the help of a range of food delivery apps and specialized websites, Zimbabweans who have settled elsewhere are supporting their families through the country’s economic crisis.

For instance, Sharonrose Manhiri, a Zimbabwean living in Wolverhampton in the UK, can make sure that her 85-year-old grandmother who resides in the Honda valley receives groceries each month. She does this by ordering supplies from a Zimbabwean online delivery company, Fresh in A Box. After that, she contacts a “runner” to pick up the order from the Mutare, a city 80 miles away from her grandmother’s home. 

More than just groceries

Even though the process may be a bit complicated, Manhiri says it’s worth going through the trouble, and that being able to support her family in this way “is a big part of staying in touch with [her] roots, staying connected to who [she] is. It’s more than just sending groceries or money.”

Being able to look out for her grandmother’s wellbeing from afar has become even more important since the beginning of the pandemic, especially since trips back home were not an option.

Though a lot of Zimbabwe’s diaspora send money through money-transfer agencies like Mukuru, WorldRemit, and Western Union, sending supplies directly has its advantages. For one, it’s much cheaper.

As reported by The Guardian, buying cooking oil in Zimbabwe costs $4.50, but for someone in South Africa (which is home to 3 million of Zimbabwe’s diaspora), purchasing cooking oil and sending it to someone in Zimbabwe only costs #3.50.

Users also say that using grocery delivery services is more efficient. According to Gamuchirai Mutume, who lives in California, “If I order in the morning, by afternoon [the order] would have been delivered. It is a very good and efficient process. I can take care of my family back home with ease.”

On the receiving end of Mutume’s order, her aunt Julient Mbofana, who lives in Norton, says: “I always look forward to receiving groceries from my nieve. They always deliver at home, and this has been of great help during Covid-19.”

The rise in online deliveries is also encouraging businesses to diversity. Money transfer agencies such as Senditoo beginning to offer delivery services, and African fast-food restaurants under Simbisa Brands added a platform called InnBucks that permits Zimbabweans from around the world to purchase meals for their families back home.

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