Civic society organisations (CSOs) have said corruption by African governments was the major stumbling block to eradicating poverty and food insecurity on the continent.
In statements to commemorate Africa Day yesterday, CSOs said, for instance, Zimbabwe has enough natural resources, but its citizens were starving as natural resources are being looted by political elites.
This year’s Africa Day celebrations were held under the theme The Year of Nutrition.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) said while natural disasters can affect food security, poor management of economic affairs is the major cause of food insecurity. ZimRights said:
Corruption and misappropriation of resources has taken centre stage. One area where this manifests is in the distribution of food aid. Because of the perennial food challenges, Zimbabwe has come to heavily depend on food aid, mainly from government and humanitarian organisations. However, the distribution of food from government has largely been used to further political interests by members of the ruling elite and the cases are well-documented.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) added that the government needed to take deliberate measures to address poverty which is widespread in the country, according to NewsDay Zimbabwe.
The lawyers said challenges of hyperinflation, unemployment, and local currency instability have made it difficult for many Zimbabweans to afford basic and decent nutrition.”
President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his Africa Day speech attributed the worsening food crisis in Zimbabwe to climate change and global shocks.
He emphasised the need for Zimbabwe to produce its own food.