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see civil unrest in Zimbabwe as food shortages intensify
Ndimyake Mwakalyelye and Loirdham Moyo, Voice of America
August 24, 2007
Mounting and already
severe food shortages in all parts of Zimbabwe have lent new impetus
to the quest for a solution to the political and economic crisis,
Chronic food shortages
over the years have taken a heavy toll, particularly in children,
with malnutrition widespread and the distended child bellies of
kwashiorkor appearing even in urban settings, as reported recently
by Harare public health officials.
The 2005-2006 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey, compiled by
the Central Statistical Office, reported stunted growth in 29% of
children under the age of five. The Harare City Council's health
department collaborated in the study.
Meanwhile, consumer desperation
has led to tragic incidents such as a stampede for extremely scarce
sugar in Bulawayo, resulting in three deaths.
Economists say the scarcity
of staple goods has been exacerbated by the government drive since
last month to reduce prices by fiat, which emptied supermarket shelves
as Zimbabweans rushed in to purchase leaving merchants with heavy
The government has allowed
some prices to rise to draw goods back into the market, including
those of sugar, tea and chicken, but little improvement is reported.
on the acute shortages of food items and other basic commodities
was provided by independent development consultant Roger Mpande
and Advocacy and Communications Manager Fambai Ngirande of the National
Association of Non-Governmental Organizations.
Mpande told reporter
Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the food
emergency in the country is reaching critical proportions.
From Mutare, reporter
Loirdham Moyo reported that millers complain they often go for days
without receiving grain allocations from the state-run Grain Marketing
Board, reflecting disruption in the supply chain of the national
staple maize meal.
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