Zimbabwe: archbishop blames famine on government


 The Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube 55, has said that the famine in Zimbabwe has reached crisis levels and has been caused by government policies. The Catholic Information Service of Africa reported on Friday that the Archbishop said: "In my life time I have never seen such starvation in my country. During previous droughts the government was able to buy food from abroad with foreign currency." He accused the Mugabe government of using foreign currency reserves to buy limousines, helicopters, arms and to fund the war in Congo. He said the government has crushed civil society through killings, jailings or beatings and burning villages. Forbidding civic and human rights education. On farming the Archbishop said that due to Mugabe's land reform programme, 90% of all commercial farms have been invaded by people with no farming skills, no proper planning and no farm implements. Food distribution was interfered with through politics, so that supporters of the opposition party were discriminated against. These people were even afraid to accept food for fear of being in trouble after aid workers leave. He said many people over 60 will not survive and children under four and expectant mothers are at great risk. Food supplies are arriving through the World Food Programme (WFP), the Church, CAFOD, and Catholic Relief Services. But CISA report that it is not enough to supply the large number of people who need assistance.

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