The Zimbabwean drought and politics of food aid

3 Min Read

Zimbabwe last week belatedly declared its certain drought a state of disaster, with most of the crop in the south-eastern and western parts of the country already a write off.

In a nutshell this means people of that region are facing certain starvation unless the government can somehow channel food aid there.

Now here is the tricky part, it is no secret that the government has no money, in fact it has had no money for a very long time and it will be stretching imagination to think they can somehow feed the 2.44 million people who are facing starvation this year.

As has been happening in the past few years, Zimbabwe has no choice but to call on donors from the west, particularly the ones with “pink noses”, whom Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe recently railed against accusing them of interfering in African issues.

The World Food Programme and USAID literally have semi-permanent food relief stations in Zimbabwe, as they are often called on to stave off certain starvation in some areas of the country.

Now here is the irony, Zimbabwe cannot feed its own people, but its president is strongly opposed to western interference.

If Mugabe was so averse to interference, then the first thing he would have done was encourage food security and that way America would have no reason to interfere in Zimbabwe’s affairs.

As it is, Zimbabwe has opened an easy route, the much reviled Americans and the British have an unassailable reason to be in Zimbabwe, something that the governing party is loath to.

Secondly, Zimbabwe – with a chain of fanatics and scholars in tow – is always so quick to point out that its land reform programme was a success.

It has also used dubious and unscientific methods to project “bumper harvests” and grain surplus and each time the projections are spectacularly wayward.

If the land reform programme was the success the government so much wants us to believe it was, then at least once in the past 15 years or so the country would have recorded a food surplus, but alas, the country has had to resort to imports from Zambia and Malawi to feed its people.

To make matters worse, grain silos, themselves meant to be a symbol of food security, are now being rented out to Zambia, because Zimbabwe is under utilising them.

So President Mugabe will continue railing against western nations on the world stage, how evil they are and he will trump Africa’s cause for sovereignty, giving bombastic speeches and receiving the custom standing ovation from his peers, while back at home, the white devils – as he calls them – will be feeding his people.

The irony.

Share This Article