Thursday, July 22, 2004

Zimbabwe: four provincial governors ask for resumption of food aid

The following story is published in the new Zim publication (based in South Africa) ...
According to the government's new policy on food aid, donor agencies can only operate in specific areas upon receiving authorisation letters from the ministry of public service, labour and social welfare. The ministry acts on recommendations from provincial governors. The governors of Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South and Bulawayo had told the minister that people in their provinces were starving and in urgent need of food aid, the sources said. But [Paul] Mangwana [the minister of public service, labour and social welfare], in keeping with the government's assertion that there would be enough food for Zimbabwe, had largely ignored the governors' letters.

[...] Although Zim Online could not get copies of the letters, Masvingo governor Josiah Hungwe confirmed that he had written to central government saying that he needed donor organizations to resume feeding people in his province. However, Hungwe said, this was because farmers had been duped by donor organizations into planting the wrong varieties resulting in low yields. Care International has acknowledged that it gave my people the wrong seed. So the hunger here has nothing to do with land reform. Care (International) should come back and feed the people because it was wrong in the first place to give people the wrong seed. We need food, yes, but the need is not of our own making. I have informed the relevant government minister about our problem here, said Hungwe. (source)