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.
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete's friend asked him if 'he was f***ing mad' after shooting through sunroof
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 1 Watch: The student election Macklemore parody that isn't completely awful - and all the others that are
- 2 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Joanna Lumley’s garden bridge over the Thames gets £30m seal of approval from Government
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...