“Journalists are not allowed to move around the country in numbers” was the answer that the WFP received from the state authorities.
The tour was aimed at identifying and highlighting critical areas that required urgent food assistance, particularly in rural areas where millions are at risk of starvation. It was cancelled at the eleventh hour in unclear circumstances.
The Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVac) revealed that 9.6 percent of the population was in dire need of food assistance and the number is expected to swell to 11.5%.
ZimVac further highlighted that the rainfall forecast is not entirely positive, as the first half of the season is projected to have increased chances of normal to below normal rainfall.
Moreover the late delivery of grain to the Grain Marketing Board by farmers as a result of late payments as well as the absence of credit lines for famers were some of the factors that were identified to be contributing towards the food shortages.
Given the above findings, it was the duty of journalists to further scrutinize and find out whether the ZimVac analysis was authentic.
Such a tour would enable the government to have a clear understanding of the situation on the ground from a media perspective.
If there was anything sinister that the state wanted to hide from the public, the writing is on the wall. It is in the rural areas where Zanu (PF) continues to use food as a political tool to win votes.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis