Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Cabinet Takes Up Food Aid Politicization Amid Deepening Hunger

Cabinet Takes Up Food Aid Politicization Amid Deepening Hunger

24 April 2012

Blessing Zulu & Jonga Kandemiiri | Washington

Zimbabwe’s cabinet was on Tuesday pre-occupied with the unfolding hunger 
crisis in the country following complaints by Prime Minister Morgan 
Tsvangirai’s MDC formation that most needy families were being denied food 
aid by ZANU-PF activists.

The MDC says the situation in most rural communities is becoming untenable 
with allegations that President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party activists were 
politicizing food aid ahead of elections that Mr. Mugabe wants this year.

After intense debate, the cabinet mandated its task force on food security 
to ensure there is no politicization of food aid on the ground as details 
emerged the food crisis had also been underestimated.

Reports also indicate that ZANU-PF officials are using food aid to lure 
voters in their on-going restructuring exercise that has seen district 
coordinating committee elections being called around the country.

Some officials in the agriculture ministry and rights groups have also 
alleged that ZANU-PF officials are hijacking maize from the Grain Marketing 
Board that is meant for the poor and giving it to their supporters.

The task force is expected to report back to cabinet as soon as it finishes 
its probe in the communities.

Two weeks ago cabinet resolved to declare five provinces disaster areas 
following a disastrous farming season. These are Manicaland, Masvingo, 
Midlands and the two Matebeleland provinces.

But technical staff on the ground say hunger is wide spread, adding cities 
like Harare may need to import more food to avert shortages.

Agriculture Minister Joseph Made told the state media early this month that 
nearly 45 percent of the maize crop that was planted this farming season is 
a complete write-off.

The country needs at least 2.2 million tonnes of maize to feed itself 
annually but Made said Harare currently has only 400,000 tonnes of maize 
grain reserves.

Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Tsvangirai 
told VOA’s Jonga Kandemiiri his party took the matter to cabinet because it 
was concerned some families were suffering due to the politicization of food 
aid, adding such reports were growing by the day.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo dismissed the MDC claims as cheap propaganda.

But political analyst Trevor Maisiri says ZANU-PF has a long history of 
abusing food aid.


New Posts:

From the archives

Posts from our archive you may find interesting