By TD WaMzezethure
IT was good to see and hear Colonel Samuel Muvuti on the national broadcaster as he spoke proudly about how the Grain Marketing Board he heads li
ved up to President Mugabe’s call that no one would starve or die from hunger.
The same news item was aired on Sport FM during the 08:00hrs news on May 2. Indeed, no one died (at least no known reported cases) from hunger as compared to Kenya where 60 people died from hunger-induced deaths.
Said Muvuti: “Zimbabwe managed to avert these dreadful deaths because the GMB timeously delivered food to the communities inspite of the continued droughts that have been with us for close to six or seven years.”
Let the truth be said for once even when it hurts.
Muvuti would know that the Ministry of Labour entered into an agreement with the World Food Programme (WFP) to feed 58 rural districts of Zimbabwe.
At the end of April, the WFP, together with other cooperating partners that were carefully selected jointly with the Ministry of Labour were feeding close to four million people.
In most districts the communities wanted the whole ward registered because the GMB deliveries had been erratic. Some communities would go for close to four months without taking delivery of grain from the GBM.
Household community surveillance assessments showed these statistics month in and month out.
It is true no one died from hunger or starvation, but to say it was because of the timeous intervention by the GMB is a false statement as it fails to acknowledge complementary efforts of other stakeholders such as the WFP and the Consortium of Southern Africa Food Emergency (C-safe).
We should give credit where it is due. We worked together in this and these agencies complemented the efforts of the GMB and the government of Zimbabwe. To single out the GMB as the sole pillar and champion in averting hunger is rather being selfish and an insult to other stakeholders.
Indeed, the retired colonel may be quick to say he is not an appointed spokesperson for other stakeholders, but when we talk of food security in Zimbabwe, there is no one-man band or one-institution show.
I just wanted to put the record straight and let the colonel know that when they speak, we listen.