Zimbabwe Warned Of Food Shortages In September

The Famine Early Warning System (Fewsnet) in a report, noted that the availability of grain was likely to deteriorate from September until the end of the farming season.

“The food security situation in the southern, western and some eastern parts of the country is likely to deteriorate through September and food assistance will be required for the vulnerable households both in rural and urban areas.”

A number of Zanu (PF) ministers announced earlier that Zimbabwe would not accept food aid as this was being used as a tool for regime change.

Earlier this year, Agriculture Minister, Joseph Made announced that the government had banned donor agencies from giving free food while Matabeleland South Governor, Angeline Masuku also said her province, which is drought prone and is among the hardest hit, would reject any food aid.

“The cost of living for the majority of poor urban households is likely to remain high, making it difficult for these households to meet their basic food and non food requirements,” Fewsnet warned.

Already there is a food deficit of 416 000 metric tonnes, due to poor imports and harvests.

Zimbabwe has had to rely on food aid since President Robert Mugabe embarked on a chaotic and ill advised land reform programme a decade ago. Thousands of white commercial farmers were pushed off their land, since then the country has experienced successive grain deficits. But Mugabe and his cronies blame this on recurrent droughts and sanctions imposed by the West.