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Hungry Zimbabwe and the scorpion in the sink

It’s fair to say that Zimbabwe is again in a state of deep failure.
There was enough food for only 60 of the 2 500 family representatives who had been told to make the 7km trip to the central distribution point … Image: Shutterstock

When I put my fingers into a black china bowl of water in the sink to scoop out what I thought was a leaf, I found myself holding a small black scorpion. A yelp of alarm, a few unrepeatable swear words and a quick flick of my wrist left the scorpion running around the sink, its stinger poised, and me realising what a close call I’d had.

The thought of a 30km journey on eroded, potholed roads to the nearest health facility – which very likely wouldn’t have electricity or water, would probably not have doctors, definitely wouldn’t have medicine, and with no cash in my purse to pay for any help I needed – made the reality of life in Zimbabwe very frightening.

This is the fact of the shocking situation Zimbabweans are trying to survive in the second collapse in our country in just over a decade. A situation where the taps are usually dry, the power is almost always off, banks have no money, fuel stations are mostly dry, over half the population needs food aid and the rest of us can’t afford most of the food in the shops. Drought or not, it’s fair to say that Zimbabwe is again in a state of deep failure.

In the past fortnight we have seen scenes in Zimbabwe not witnessed since 2008 – things we thought, hoped and prayed we would never have to see again.

We have yet again run out of our staple food: maize meal.

It’s not as if we didn’t know this was coming; for months international aid agencies have been calling for donations, warning of hunger, starvation and even famine. Meanwhile our government has been talking about it, promising no one would go hungry and putting a positive spin on the looming disaster in interviews in Davos, but all of that did nothing to stop us going full speed into the brick wall.

Speaking in Bulawayo two weeks ago, our agriculture minister (former air force commander) Perence Shiri, said there was only 100 000 tons of maize left in the country’s grain reserves. Zimbabwe consumes 80 000 tons of maize a month, which meant that a fortnight ago there was only enough maize left in the country for five weeks. The cold hard fact of the situation now is that Zimbabwe needs to be moving 20 000 tonnes of maize into the country every single week.

For the past fortnight there has been no maize meal to buy in the shops. Empty shelves have been filled with rice, an unaffordable option for most people. In urban areas you see queues of hundreds of people outside supermarkets waiting for the chance to buy one 10kg bag of roller meal. As deliveries come in the queues swell, tempers flare, queue-jumpers push in and in a ridiculously short space of time the sales stop and the managers say they have nothing left, everything’s been sold. Exactly as it was 12 years ago, every dirty trick in the book is being played.

Mysterious night-time loadings from back doors, cars with tinted windows and an instant black market has emerged.

In a nearby rural area the headman called the whole village to a meeting to relay the news that international food aid was about to come. Representatives of 200 families in the village gathered and were told that every family was going to be given international food aid once a month for the next four months. This would consist of 10kg of maize meal per person in the family and an unspecified amount of cooking oil and dry beans. The headman proceeded to make a numbered list of all 200 families in that village.

The news of food aid had come from the chief of the district, representing 12 villages each, with an estimated 200 families. From village to village the people were called, the lists were made, and one person from each family was told to go to a central distribution point at a school 7km away. Representatives of 2 500 families gathered, arriving early in the morning and then they waited, and waited. At 4pm an announcement was made. There was only enough food for five families from each of the 12 villages; only 60 of the 2 500 families would get food – everyone else must go away and try again next week.

Zimbabwe is restless, people are desperate, but there is no sign of relief from our government. We are still crippled by the 2% tax on every bill we pay, every item we buy, every service we use, every mouthful of food we eat.

It seems we just keep putting our hand into the bowl with the scorpion.

Copyright © Cathy Buckle

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We have yet again run out of our staple food: maize meal = SOCIALISM

And yet, till today, the anc has not learned anything out of the zimbabwean experience / lesson / imploding – socialism & capitalism simply does not go along

Actually, in ZA they have overcome that hurdle. Ardent communists, the further up the gov. ladder vthey go, now have upmarket cars and residences(plural), farms, ikids go to private schools and state hospitals are anathema. The merging of socialism and capitalism, with equalty of opportunity gone astray.

No worse,

the African history is littered with failed social experiments like Zimbo. Yet the progressives left SA fall into the same black hole.

Progressive liberalism have no clue what it takes to sustain a functioning country, and less those such as in Africa.

At least they have their FREEDOM and the hated colonialists are defeated and chased way. Not very nutritious but that is their choice.

Could we send “Know-all Malema” & his war cabinet to be of assistance, he won’t be missed in RSA & “perhaps” he can make his socialist ideas work?

Better still he can roll the two countries into one big SNAFU. CR is too busy fixing Africa.

My wife’s niece was treated with an antibiotic in Zimbabwe recently. She has to be flown out to SA because of an allergic reaction to the only antibiotic available in the country. Google reveals that it is a very toxic drug, cheap to buy hence the fact that is all that is available there. How many have died because of the lack of supplies or facilities?

Of course it is Britain’s fault.

It is the fault of Ian Smith, apartheid and white farmers

Yep, Ian Smith and the White farmers made such a mess of Zimbabwe that the country was then the breadbasket of Africa, exporting food, and had minimal unemployment. Look how much better off Zim is now! This proves that Malema’s ideology is totally correct, not so? Bright lads, our EFF.

We have our own “Big Man” in CR he’s got a new different solution to the over arching African phenomenon of self destruction…..He’s gonna tell you all about it on Thursday.

Can’t wait for the great news………………

Ian Flemming once wrote that the standard American solution to any problem is to throw Dollars at it till it goes away. Similarly, the standard solution to Colonialism by the developed world was to throw democracy at it regardless of whether they were ready for it or not. So we have one failed state after another in Africa with atrocities committed by their own people that would never be tolerated in any western democracy, yet hardly caused the bating of an eyelid by these self appraising, backslapping liberals!

Coming soon…to an African country near you.

No worries Cathy, we have political locusts and hyenas to contend with here in SA!

As an ex-Zimbabwean and fully knowledgeable about the State they were given in 1981, all I can say is that you make your bed, you sleep in it. BTW, Perence Shiri was heavily involved in the gukhurandi genocide. The same process is happening in SA, albeit slower. In 10 years or so people will die of starvation in our big cities

The African “microchip” does not have the capacity to take yesterday’s mistakes and apply them positively to tomorrow, it does not allow for consequences, and only functions on the immediate needs of eating, drinking, sleeping and sex !!! When are the scientists going to disclose this conclusively, so we all know how to move forward!?

We all know we live in monkey-land .The land of the untrained untrainables

End of comments.


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