Irrespective of the fact that Zimbabwe is passing through hell in the claws of drought, Mrs Grace Mugabe has wooed rally-goers supports in Chiweshe with 1095kg of raincoats. This was according to an update from the private Newsday online. Many believed that Mrs Mugabe used the rally to canvas for president Mugabe’s re-election.
According to Newsday, Mrs Mugabe maintained that she would not mind pushing her husband to work “in a wheelbarrow” if walking would be difficult for him [an indication that Mugabe may vie for the office of the president in 2018]. According to Eye witnesses and Newsday, apart from the raincoats, other items given out at the rally were tractors, rice, cooking oil, sugar and shoes.
Just few days ago, the president declared drought, a national disaster because of the intensity of the drought on Zimbabweans, plants and livestock. Drought has degenerated most rural areas in most South African countries. In Zimbabwe, areas like Limpopo, Harare, Masvingo and so many others have been plunged into severe hunger and penury. An estimated 2.4 million people are currently wallowing under the whips of severe hunger.
After the rally, Brezhnev Malaba, who is former Sunday Mail editor posted on his twitter account: “Mrs Mugabe reads out a list of goodies: mealie-meal, cooking oil, salt, sugar, clothes, raincoats, cement, tractors. Crowd roars in delight.”
Following the exacerbation of the El Nino weather occurrence, millions of people now face severe hunger. In fact, The United Nations World Food Programme said an estimated 14 million person in Southern Africa face hunger because of drought. Apart from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa are badly affected.
Buzzsouthafrica gathered that Charity Oxfam director Jan Vossen who spoke to BBC recently said, “with rains failing almost completely this year, the situation is getting desperate.”
“In certain parts of the country, we even see that people, farmers, are using the thatch of their roofs to feed their cattle.”
Also, Zimbabwe’s local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere said in a statement that 26 per cent [a total of 2.44 million ] of the country’s population now need food assistance. He also said that Zimbabwe received less than 75 per cent of normal rains.
Moving forward, he reiterated that dam levels in the country are also failing, as the average capacity of dam levels is measured 51 per cent. Three quarters of crops have failed to yield increase in some regions. Not only that, he stated that Kariba, which is the country’s largest hydro power plant, decreases power generation by only 62 per cent. The minister finalized by saying “Given the foregoing, His Excellency the President has declared a state of disaster to severely affected areas in communal and resettlement lands of Zimbabwe effective from February 2, 2016.”
However, Zimbabwean government has urged victims not worry, as there are plans to import maize from Zambia. The government has promised to import up to 700,000 tonnes of staple maize this year to forestall hunger.
Agricultural sector seems to have suffered the biggest lost so far. Lack of rain has caused a drastic reduction in crop production. Tobacco and cotton farmers are beginning to accept the weather condition too. Depreciation in rain did not spare South Africa, the biggest maize producer in Southern Africa region.