Mnangagwa Pledges Grain Supply Amid Zimbabwe’s Drought Crisis

April 15, 2024
| Report Focus News
FILE PHOTO: President Emmerson Mnangagwa arrives for the official opening of the ruling party ZANU PF's annual conference in Esigodini, outside Bulawayo, Zimbabwe December 14, 2018. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

President Emmerson Mnangagwa committed on Saturday to ensuring adequate grain supplies to prevent starvation in Zimbabwe, where a severe drought has left five million people food insecure. This declaration came during the 122nd ordinary session of the Zanu-PF central committee at the party’s headquarters in Harare.

In response to the crisis, which has escalated to a national disaster, Mnangagwa reassured that his government is prepared to handle the situation effectively. “Our Zanu-PF government will not let anyone starve,” he stated firmly, emphasizing the government’s readiness to combat the drought’s impacts.

Food monitoring agencies have raised alarms about the increasing food insecurity in the country, prompting Mnangagwa to direct party officials to actively participate in identifying citizens in need of aid. He drew parallels with the nation’s successful mitigation of COVID-19 impacts, boosting confidence that similar collaborative efforts could address the current drought.

Earlier this month, Mnangagwa officially declared the drought a national disaster and disclosed that approximately US$2 billion is required to avert a starvation crisis. However, there are ongoing concerns about the equitable distribution of food aid, with reports indicating that opposition supporters have been excluded from assistance, a practice that has been criticized in the past.

Additionally, Mnangagwa addressed internal party dynamics, calling for an end to “petty squabbles and a misplaced sense of entitlement” and urging provincial leaders to prioritize discussions on economic policies over internal politics. He emphasized the need for a shift from “politics of positions to that of production, productivity, and prosperity.”

The president also announced that Kenyan President William Ruto is scheduled to open this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, marking a significant diplomatic engagement amidst the ongoing crisis.

Mnangagwa’s commitments come at a crucial time as reports from rural areas indicate that several Zimbabweans are already experiencing severe food shortages, highlighting the urgent need for effective governmental intervention.