Opposition members denied food aid

HARARE - Food shortages in Zimbabwe have markedly worsened, causing massive profiteering, political interference in distribution and forcing the hungry to survive on wild fruits and roots, relief agencies said this week.
An estimated 3.3 million Zimbabweans, more than a quarter of the population,

are in danger of starvation in the coming months because of food shortages blamed on drought and the government’s chaotic program to seize thousands of white-owned commercial farms for redistribution to black settlers.
The Food Security Network, a grouping of 24 non government organizations, said household food stocks fell to between zero and less than a month’s supply in all but one of the country’s 52 districts it monitored in September.
Supplies of grain dropped sharply, pushing up the black market prices of 20 kg of mealie meal staple by five times the government’s fixed price of $500.
Last week, a faith-based rights organisation Zimbabwe Peace Project accused the government of withholding food from opposition supporters, interfering with distribution of international aid and prolonging the nation’s grain shortage to protect its power.
Zimbabweans get mealie meal from government controlled food-for-work programs, government run grain sales or international donor feeding programs.
Last month, relief agencies said they had run out of food. – Own correspondent

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