Monday, June 03, 2013

Zim begins to receive maize imported from Zambia
By Elita Chikwati in Harare, Zimbabwe
Sat 01 June 2013, 14:01 CAT

COMMENT - This is the MDC at work, putting the manipulation of the Zimbawean people before helping them.

THE 150,000 tonnes of maize imported by Zimbabwe from Zambia have started trickling in, agriculture minister Dr Joseph Made has said.

The grain was imported under a government-to-government arrangement despite attempts by finance minister Tendai Biti, who is also MDC-T secretary general, to block the deal.

He wanted the maize to be imported by private buyers, a development that would have put the grain beyond the reach of many needy families.
This, analysts said, was part of MDC-T's plans to create conditions for protest votes, a throwback to election 2008.

Made on Thursday said priority would be given to parts of the country in desparate need of the commodity.

"Priority areas are Matabeleland South, Matabeleland North, Midlands, Masvingo and some parts of Manicaland. It is important that governors and chiefs work closely with the Grain Marketing Board to ensure the maize reaches as many families as possible."

Made said chiefs should ensure the maize is allocated to families in dire need.

"Everybody needs food but we have to prioritise the worst affected. There are some families without anything and these should be given to priority," he said.

Made urged chiefs to monitor the situation on the ground since stocks were still low.

Zimbabwe imported the maize to ease shortages caused by last season's poor rains.

Officially launching the Food and Nutrition Policy recently, President Robert Mugabe said payment modalities for the grain would be discussed later.

He said his Zambian counterpart President Michael Sata made the pledge during a telephone conversation.

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