This post will mostly highlight photos from Zimbabwe and key stats/ quotes from today’s NY Times article on Zimbabwe. According to the Times by CELIA W. DUGGER, “a recent United Nations survey found that 7 in 10 people had eaten either nothing or only a single meal the day before” in Zimbabwe.
They are in their seventh year of hunger as a result of Mugabe’s policy of breaking up the predominately white owned farms that was distributed to his followers. This year, he contributed to their hunger even more by banning, “international charitable organizations from operating, depriving more than a million people of food and basic aid after the country had already suffered one of its worst harvests” from June to August.
NGO’s and western governments who help distribute food to the poor during Mugabe’s reign have in a way, kept him in power. They prevented starvation which could have led to social unrest from within the native population that could have potentially unseat the dictator.
“The World Food Program is short of nearly half the food needed for January, said Richard Lee, a spokesman.”
“People rise before the sun. . . to fill metal pails with the small, foul-smelling hacha fruit. . .the fruit is now infested with tiny brown worms. Nevertheless, the women peel it, crush it and soak it in water. Some of the worms float to the surface and can be skimmed off.”
“Maidei Kunaka grinds the animal feed she earns in exchange for her labor on a nearby ostrich farm — an unappetizing amalgam of wheat, soy bean, sand and what she calls “green stuff” — to nourish her three children.”
As a result of Mugabe’s failed agricultural policies, “the annual harvest of corn, the main staple food, has fallen to about a third of its previous levels, the Development Program reported.”
The cholera epidemic could devastate the country because of the weakened population. Hopefully this will change with the new administration, but we must urge both administrations that if we are defenders of democracy, we should support Morgan Tsvangirai who won the first round of voting and force Robert Mugabe out of power first indirectly by sanctions like ones proposed by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice