Zimbabwe Is ‘Begging’ For Food

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The New York Sun

HARARE, Zimbabwe — President Mugabe said yesterday that Zimbabweans were “begging” for food because of his mass seizure of white-owned farms.

After years of official claims that his land policies would improve production and guarantee self-sufficiency, he confessed that many of those awarded whiteowned farms were doing nothing with their gains.

“If farming is not in your blood, switch to what you are good at,”Mr. Mugabe told supporters in the capital, Harare. “We want those with land to use it. We don’t want to keep begging for food.”


Zimbabwe has depended since 2001 on emergency supplies from the World Food Program.Almost 4 million people, one-third of the population, needed help from the WFP last year.

Food once ranked among Zimbabwe’s main exports.The main reason for the switch to dependency on outside help from self-sufficiency is the transfer of commercial farms to new owners with no training, capital, expertise, or equipment for farming.

Mr. Mugabe’s speech at the annual ceremony remembering the war against white Rhodesia of the 1970s amounted to an acknowledgment of failure.”Those who can’t produce, be warned. We will take the land back,” he said.


“We now need to distinguish capable and committed farmers from holders of land who are mere chancers and who should be made to seek opportunities elsewhere.”

Mr. Mugabe’s regime has evicted all but a few hundred of the 4,000 white farmers who were the backbone of the economy.The economy shrunk by nearly 40% since 2000. Inflation, at nearly 1,000%, is the highest in the world.

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