Days after begging for US$2 billion donation, broke Zimbabwean government gifts half a million to Palestine

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By Staff Reporter

BARELY three days after going on live TV begging for over US$2 billion in food aid, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has donated US$500,000 to Palestine.

With a famine in clear sight, Mnangagwa, whose Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuku had until that moment been misrepresenting deposits in the country’s grain reserves called on the United Nations, churches and individuals to help raise the big purse for food.

The US$500,000 gift, handed to Palestine’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Tamer Almassri by Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava, was said to be Gaza’s heavily bombarded communities.

The Gaza strip is currently being besieged by Israeli forces in a century-old war whose intensity resurfaced last year October. Tens of thousands have been killed and more displaced.

Mnangagwa’s decision to approve the donation has raised eyebrows on social media platforms where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared the news.

According to his speech on Tuesday where he declared a state of emergency due to the expected food shortages, over 2.7 million Zimbabweans are facing food shortages as a result of an El Nino-induced drought.

“Today, the government donated US$500,000 to the Palestinian people through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency,” reads a statement from Shava’s ministry.

“Mnangagwa authorised the allocation of funds specifically for Gaza’s suffering population as assistance.”

Poor rains and a scorching sun have rendered last year’s farming season void. Plants were heavily burnt, most experienced stunted growth while others did not germinate.

Villagers in areas such as Mwenezi are already pleading for government aid.

“I call upon all Zimbabweans of goodwill, including those in the diaspora; the international community, United Nations Agencies, Development and Humanitarian Partners, International Financial Institutions; the private sector, churches and other faith-based organisations, as well as individuals to generously donate towards ameliorating this State of National Disaster.

“Preliminary assessments show that Zimbabwe requires more than US$2 billion towards various interventions we envisage in the spectrum of our national response,” said Mnangagwa before sanctioning the half-a-million US dollar gift.

Zimbabwe has a 680,000 metric tonne grain deficit.