No one will starve: Mnangagwa assures drought-stricken villagers

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By Audience Mutema

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa, has assured villagers in drought-stricken areas that the country has enough food to sustain them for the coming season.

Zimbabwe has been hit by a ravaging drought, after an unusual February dry spell, that left most crops a complete write-off. At least 7 million Zimbabweans, according to international humanitarian organisations will need food aid including tens of thousands affected by Cyclone Idai in Manicaland.

The President in his keynote address, to mark 39 years of majority rule, Thursday said no Zimbabwean will die of hunger.

“As a result of this year’s drought, considerable quantities of grain, in our Strategic Grain Reserves will be availed so that none of our people die from hunger.

“I urge all our community leaders and Members of Parliament, to avail information about those communities in critical need of assistance,” said Mnangagwa.

The Meteorogical Service Department (MSD) has predicted a drought due to poor rains in most areas of the country.

Chiefs Council President, Fortune Charumbira also indicated that most rural areas are facing food shortages but was hopeful government would come through.

“It is true there are food shortages in some areas in Zimbabwe, due to drought, villagers really need food aid.

“Some areas received good rains, it will however take combined efforts between chiefs, headmen and the President to ensure that people do not starve up until next rain season,” said Chief Charumbira.

Government recently introduced command agriculture, meant to boost food production in the country and take Zimbabwe back to its rightful place as the breadbasket of Africa.

Zimbabwe has struggled with food shortages, since former President Robert Mugabe’s administration embarked on the land reform programme, that turned chaotic and decimated a once thriving agricultural sector that was the backbone of the country’s manufacturing sector in particular.