Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Zim needs $1.5 b in drought relief, says VP Mnangagwa but why have we started with empty silos?

"Masvingo has 75 percent of maize being a write off while Matabeleland South has 65 percent write off. 30 percent of the rural communities, which is 3 million people are food insecure and they require food assistance. So we need US$1.5 billion from the private sector and other organisations to support the emergence relief programme," said VP Mnangagwa.

The regime has admitted that dams have dried up, while 71 percent of boreholes are mal-functioning and 16 000 cattle have already died. A lot more cattle will died before the next rainy season which in October, nine months away.

VP Mnangagwa I hope for the nation’s sake that your regime will raise the necessary money so that no one dies of starvation. There is no doubt that the country has been badly affected by the drought; other countries in the region have also been affected by the drought and they too are suffering. We in Zimbabwe must conduct a thorough judiciary investigation into the nation’s drought preparedness, especially if there is loss of even one human life due to starvation. There is no doubt that this drought is going to hit the nation very hard causing untold suffering because we were ill prepared for it.

The thorough investigation is necessary to establish the facts and lay to rest the generally held believe that the country’s man-made problems will have made the effects of the drought worse than it need be. There are two specific areas that must be thoroughly investigated;

1)      How much grain did the nation have at the start of the drought? Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of the region what happened?

It is a well-established fact the regime’s land redistribution polices has caused serious disruption in the agricultural sectors, which is bad enough. What will make it intolerable is if it turns out that a very significant amount of the land was given to Mugabe and his cronies and not the landless peasants as the regime has maintained throughout was the case.

The empty grain silos at the beginning of the drought will therefore be attributed to the insatiable greed of the politicians who seized the former white owned farms only to fail to put the farms to productive use and thus putting the food security of the entire nation at risk. This year with the severe drought the nation has ended paying dearly for this greed.

2)       How serious is the country’s corruption problem? How much of the $15 billion drought relief would the nation have raised from its own resources if the criminal waste from corruption was dealt with the sense of urgency the matter demanded given the seriousness of the drought.

According to Partnership Africa, a Canadian NGO monitoring the trade in illegal diamonds, President Mugabe pocketed $2 billion in 2012 alone from the wholesale looting going on in Marange and Chiadzwa. If this is indeed the case then no Zimbabwean need die since the country can fund the entire food relief with $ 0.5 billion left over to save the national herd. 

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