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30/01/2016 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
Govt needs to be more serious about food aid ... Obert Gutu

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe should stay in the country, suspend the purchasing of luxury vehicles for his ministers, stop the recruitment of soldiers and police officers and channel all resources towards the starving population, the opposition MDC-T has said.

There have been reports that both the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) are planning to recruit more than 30,000 new recruits at a time the country is faced with a severe drought.

“Zimbabwe is not at war with any country and neither are we facing any serious security threat,” said MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu on Saturday.

“Reports that both the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) as well as the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) are planning to recruit more than 30 000 new recruits each are therefore quite depressing and unfortunate.”

More than three million Zimbabweans, according to the MDC-T, are in dire need of food assistance as a result of the drought whose effects have already started to be felt in the Southern part of the country.

In his statement, Gutu said government should stop buying cars for ministers and direct all the finances towards the procurement of grain for the starving masses.

“Instead of wasting our limited financial and material resources on building up a massive security system, the Zanu PF government should, instead, focus more on feeding the millions of starving people and also resuscitating the ailing economy,” said Gutu.

“The government should prioritise the importation of grain rather than utilising our limited financial resources in purchasing expensive motor vehicles for government ministers and other regime bureaucrats.”

Despite conceding the dire effects of the current drought, President Mugabe has not declared a state of emergency.

The European Union recently advised that Zimbabwe should declare a state of emergency so that it attracts aid from the “pressed” donor community.

Gutu said Mugabe’s reluctance to call for a state of emergency was worrying and urged the veteran leader to curb his globetrotting.

“President Robert Mugabe should also try to spend more time in the country attending to pressing national issues rather than travelling from one foreign destination to another.

“Zimbabwe needs a hands-on administration that is prepared to bite the bullet and take immediate corrective action to avert any further bleeding of the comatose economy.”


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