Despite the fact that help and help materials have been pouring in from all around neighboring countries and charity organizations, President Mugabe has refused to admit to what the whole world already knows – that Zimbabwe has become a charity case to be sympathized with.
The country is currently facing one of the worst food shortages to be recorded in the last four years due to the poor harvest which stemmed from the little rain that fell during the last planting season. The drought did not only affect the harvest, it equally made sure that there is not enough pasture to feed the livestock and as a result, while the people crying for hunger, the animals are dying of hunger since there is no pasture for them to graze and feed from.
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In the wake of the disaster, help has poured in from all around. Amid the severe drought, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had intervened, saving more than half-million units of livestock in Zimbabwe.
Daily News reported that the Zimbabwe Matabelelalnd South province holds the bulk of the country’s cattle but severe droughts have drastically reduced the heard to alarming levels. Villagers are reportedly asking for external help since they no longer know what to do and the government does not seem inclined to admit to the world that the country needs all the help it can get to survive these trying times.
UN’s FAO had said it was working closely with other local sources to reach as many livestock as they could with its cattle feeding programme which will supply thousands of 50kg bags of stock feeds and drill boreholes where the villagers can get water for their livestock.
Herald has also reported that South Africa has done the very humane thing by donating 700 tons of maize as part of the 150 000 tons the Zimbabwean government is importing from South Africa. The minister for Agriculture, Mechanization and Irrigation Development Joseph Made, confirmed this, adding that more tons of maize are expected in the country from other countries including Zambia.
The minister also made it clear that the maize would be distributed to different parts of the country for cash sales, while 10% of every delivery would be reserved for the vulnerable such as child-headed families and the elderly.
Despite all of these, the government has released a statement saying that the situation in the country is not yet so critical that it can be called a national disaster. Speaking on behalf of the President, Minister for Agriculture said:
“We are not at a stage yet to indicate whether this is a disaster or not. I want to make that clear,”
Made said NGOs and the UN’s World Food Programme were already operating in the country, while private players were already importing grain.
“Already there are private companies that have indicated that they will be major players in supplying the urban areas,” Made said.
“We will be dealing directly as government with the rural areas as well as the vulnerable groups. So we are not yet there [in a state of disaster].”
If the UN’s FAO has been involved all this while, why then is the government of the country still promising help when the serious parties have already started delivering the help.