Naome Nzira, Harare street vendor: “Since food insecurity in some cases is caused by natural causes such as climatic change, food aid remains a handy contingency to save lives. There is nothing unusual about well-wishers feeding the hungry and there is nothing dehumanising about receiving food aid.”
Joseph Mwenga, self-employed welder, Sunningdale: “There is nothing wrong with receiving food aid if a country cannot feed its citizens. Zimbabwe is importing food from neighbouring countries because the land reform programme failed. The food shortages cannot be attributed to the land reform programme, as new farmers are actually producing more than the white commercial farmers did.”
Simba Takawira, Waterfalls “Food aid is positive if it comes with no conditions attached. One of the conditions is the respect of human rights which in itself is not wrong but recently there has been a tendency to emphasise strongly on the issue of gay rights. They should respect our culture and values. Zimbabwe has lost its bread basket status and the main reason for that is that the beneficiaries of the land reform are not utilising land as productively as the displaced former commercial farmers.”
Mavis Khumalo, cross-border trader, Harare “Although under-utilisation of land by some new farmers might have contributed towards food insecurity, natural causes such as climatic changes are largely to blame. Inadequate agricultural inputs and lack of farming skills on the part of some new farmers have contributed towards the perennial food shortages”.
Michelle Hamadziripi, Kuwadzana “I think food aid is crippling Africa and Zimbabwe by creating a dependency problem. People are no longer willing to work to produce on their own. Zimbabwe used to be a major producer but gradually some people have come to depend on hand-outs. It is up to the government to make agriculture a working sector because right now it is dead.”
Theresa Ndebele, Mabvuku “Had it not been of the food aid, thousands of starving children would have dropped out of school. Child-headed families would have perished and many would have died from diseases that prevail where there is insufficient food.”
Evans Mtetwa, Hatfield “The government has nothing to offer in terms of helping farmers adapt to changing climatic conditions. We are now importing maize from countries we used to export to. The President even used the importation of maize as a campaign gimmick.”Post published in: News