Skip to comments.Starvation is the price for defying ruthless Mugabe
Posted on 11/24/2002 3:15:25 PM PST by MadIvan
AT the age of seven months, Thinkmore Mwinde could hardly be accused of harbouring dangerous opposition thoughts, even in the deranged political landscape of President Mugabes Zimbabwe.
The same cannot be said of his mother, Regina, 39, who voted for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and is now being punished for that by Mr Mugabe. She is being denied the maize meal she and her seven children need to survive.
Mrs Mwinde, along with an overwhelming majority of the impoverished Tonga people in Zimbabwes north-western district of Binga, voted for Joel Gabbuza in the March presidential elections, giving the MDC its single biggest parliamentary majority.
The Tonga did the same again in the rural district council elections in August, providing the MDC with its only rural constituency in the country.
But the price of such persistent defiance has been high. For three months, the ruling Zanu(PF) party has blocked food shipments into the district, in what has become the most blatant and ruthless use of food as a political weapon in the former British colony.
Cradling Thinkmore in her arms, Mrs Mwinde said that she and her children, who stand next to her holding their bloated bellies, had not eaten for two days. They have been surviving for months on a diet of leaves, roots and seeds from the bush. She is weak. She has no money, and has no idea where the next meal will come from.
In scores of villages throughout the district the food situation is the same. Standing in the doorway of his one-room hut, Samson Munkuli, 48, says he has not eaten for days.I have been surviving on millet and salt, he said. The muscle and flesh on his arms and legs have wasted away. He is a human skeleton, and will not live long.
In the town of Binga, the manager of the state-controlled Grain Marketing Board (GMB), which has a monopoly on maize sales, openly admits that food is only sold to Zanu (PF) supporters.We only sell to Shona speakers, he said. Members of the Central Intelligence Organisation and the Presidents Office stand nearby, ensuring that he complies with Harares directives on food distribution.
Reports that maize is only sold to card carrying members of Zanu(PF) are widespread. Roadblocks have been thrown up around the major cities to ensure that maize is not smuggled into the urban areas, most of which are hotbeds of opposition support. But the governments stranglehold on food distribution is far more sophisticated than that.
Under an agreement hammered out with the United Nations World Food Programme in February, Harare agreed to import 800,000 tonnes of maize; the WFP would import another 800,000 tonnes for distribution among the young, pregnant women and the elderly; while the private sector would import a further 800,000 tonnes for sale to the adult population.
But the government is only importing 500,000 tonnes. International donors have failed to raise sufficient cash for WFP to fulfil its commitments, and the government has refused to grant licences to the private sector to import food - a flagrant breech of the February agreement.
The MDC has 100 tonnes of maize at the Beitbridge border post with South Africa. Roman Catholic church organisations have another 2,000 tonnes sitting on the border, and Oxfam had wanted to bring in a further 38 tonnes. All have been refused import licenses by the Harare government.
The shortfall in imports has enabled Zimbabwes National Food Committee, run by Nicholas Goche, the head of state security, to ensure that only Zanu(PF) supporters get food. The GMB has some 50 depots around the country controlling the distribution of maize stocks.It controls who mills it, who packs it, and who buys it, Eddie Cross, a member of the MDCs National Executive Committee, said.It is absolutely systematic, he added.
Didymus Mutasa, Zanu(PF)s Administrative Secretary, the partys senior bureaucrat, has said he would not mind if Zimbabwe lost half its 12 million people as a result of the collapse in agricultural production.
We would be better off with only six million people, with our own people who support the liberation struggle, Mr Mutasa said.We dont want all these extra people, he added.
Harare: Only 7,000 of 14,000 farmers allocated formerly white-owned land in the rich province of Mashonaland West have taken up their plots, the state-run Sunday Mail reported. (AFP)
Travel ban row
A row over the European Unions travel ban on President Mugabe of Zimbabwe and key members of his entourage is threatening to disrupt a conference starting today between Euro MPs and their counterparts from 77 developing countries.
Several countries threatened to boycott the meeting after the European Parliament refused access to its premises to two ministers in the Zimbabwean delegation.
Flag of Rhodesia
Those were all desperately poor and living at a starvation level, of course.
How many blacks, do you think, will be living there at a starvation level 115 years AFTER the British (wimpout, treasonable) abandonment of their own in Rhodesia? My guess is: 300,000.
Unfortunately no. Shooting black people, no matter the reason, makes some people in the Labour Party grouchy. And we can't have that.
BBC NEWS: "FARRAKHAN BACKS ZIMBABWE LAND GRAB" (ARTICLE SNIPPETS: "Louis Farrakhan, leader of the US Nation of Islam organisation, has backed Zimbabwe's controversial land reform programme at the start of a three-day visit to the troubled country. Mr Farrakhan told the state-owned Herald newspaper that he was in "full support" of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's policies "as it was aimed at correcting a historical injustice"..."Mugabe's government has targeted about 95% of white-owned lands for confiscation.") (July 13, 2002)
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded -- here and there, now and then -- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people.
Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck."
From "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long"
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