Mugabe's regime admits Zimbabwe's people are starving
Thursday 06 October 2005
But non-governmental organisations (NGOs) say the figure is grossly understated and agree with a World Food Programme estimate that more than four million Zimbabweans need urgent food assistance.
Mr Mugabe stunned his countrymen at a recent United Nations summit in New York when he paraphrased Marie Antoniette by telling reporters that Zimbabweans who cannot find the staple maize meal, which is in short supply, could have potatoes instead. A bag of potatoes costs about £20 and is out of reach of many Zimbabweans. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said the country was in virtual economic collapse with 70 percent unemployment and 265 per cent inflation.
The Mugabe regime made a turnaround yesterday with government official Sydney Mhishi saying it was about to feed at least 2.2 million starving people.
The main opposition party has urged Mr Mugabe's regime to swallow its pride and appeal for help.
Despite having no foreign currency, Mr Mhishi said the government would import 222,000 tons of maize. He did not say where it would find the money. Sugar and fuel are also in short supply. Ox-drawn ambulances have replaced petrol-powered vehicles.
In its report issued after a fact-finding mission, the IMF warned on Tuesday that Zimbabwe's economy was in a state of virtual collapse with economic growth crashing, inflation rampant and poverty soaring.
"Directors observed that without a bold change in policy direction, the economic outlook will remain bleak, with particularly detrimental effects on the poorest segment of the population," the report said.
One NGO worker said the "regime is sleepwalking to disaster". "The sooner they open their eyes and do the right thing the better."
Kofi Annan has pledged to send an envoy to Zimbabwe in November to break the impasse between the Mugabe government and international donors.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...
£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Birmingham: SEN TA's apply now! West Midlands
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...