by Staff Reporter
COMMENT - This is the MDC at it's treasonous, seditious best. They lie, to give Zimbabwe a negative image abroad, so they may get into power. This puppetry and sabotage is why people think twice about Western dominated 'democracy'. Democracy comes from the people, not foreign funded parties and NGOs. For the real numbers behind the numbers, read Prof. Ian Scoones article: Food crisis in Zimbabwe: 2.2 million at risk. But where do the figures come from, and what do they mean? - prof. Scoones mentions underreporting of: income, productivity in the A1 areas, concentration of on the dry south (where only 20% of the population live), livestock sales, early cropping and remittances. He also mentions the use of pre-land reform sampling frames; also 1/3 of the number may only be food insecure for a short period before the next harvest. Also check out his post "Dodgy data and missing measures: why good numbers matter (part I)". - MrK
AN MDC-T shadow minister this week blamed Zanu PF’s land reform programme and poorly-conceived agricultural policies over a national food crisis that has left up to two million people in need of food aid.
Moving a motion calling for a parliamentary committee to investigate the food crisis, the MDC-T’s shadow agriculture minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo accused Zanu PF of reducing the country from a net exporter to a perennial food beggar.
He dismissed as deplorable plans by the government to import maize from Zambia through an “eat now pay later arrangement” saying this was evidence of failed leadership.
In September, the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) warned that some 2.2 million people were in need of urgent food aid.
From prof. Scoones, who predicted: "The 2.2 million figure is of course a good flag-waving number for the WFP to raise funds, and for the CFU to bash the government for the land reform (and even President Mugabe is now joining the critique of the ‘new farmers’), but the actual implications are more complex. Here are five reasons why we need to be cautious about the figures." - MrK
The United Nations agency said this was the highest number of Zimbabweans requiring food assistance since early 2009, when more than half the population relied on such aid.
Said Nkomo: “The victims of elite capture have been the ordinary villagers of Kezi and Siyachilaba who have to contend with debilitating food shortages following the dysfunctionality of a hitherto well laid out food market chain.”
Zimbabwe has suffered intermittent food shortages since 2000 when agricultural output fell after President Robert Mugabe decided to seize white-owned commercial farms to distribute to blacks.
Nkomo blamed the manner in which Zanu PF carried out the land reforms for the current food shortages.
“Though undoubtedly noble a programme, it has become apparent over the years that the Land Reform Programme was a programme not well thought out,” he said.
“But, it was a sporadic reaction to a political capital in light of the energies of the new political players in a hitherto monopolised political landscape.
“Food handouts by non-governmental organisations have been an annual feature in the country’s calendar of events.”
He said although food shortages follow some of the poorest weather conditions, the crisis was mostly man-made and worsened by the partisan distribution of food during drought and starvation mitigation programmes.
“It is indeed sad and primitive that a government can deliberately starve its own populace for purposes of political expedience,” he said.
“It is the essence of democracy to have divergent political ideologies with government having the capability to rise above party politics and provide food to all deserving and bona fide Zimbabweans.”
The government recently announced a US$1 billion scheme to support farmers with inputs ahead of the new agricultural season.
But Nkomo said the fact that farmers needed help with inputs at the start of each new farming season was evidence the programme was not working.
“It has become a common trend that the government churns out millions of dollars annually in support of farmers who,13 years after the Land Reform Programme, are still being referred to as ‘new farmers’ and are hand-held by government with no indication of self-sustaining operations in the near future,” he said.
“While government has an obligation to support farmers, the current support mechanisms are not sustainable as they are characterised by an endless cycle of one way financial and input injections which are not matched by equivalent returns.
“It does not, therefore, come as a surprise that Zimbabwe is now a basket case from its rightful position as the bread basket of Southern Africa.
“If current practices in the agricultural sector are anything to go by, Zimbabwe is poised to suffer even more food deficits in the future.”