via Sata ‘makes U-turn on maize deal with Mugabe’ | News24 2013-10-25
Zambia has reportedly made a U-turn on its initial agreement to supply Zimbabwe with maize grain on credit, a move that is likely to see most Zimbabweans go hungry if the country doesn’t take swift action to contain the situation.
Mail and Guardian reported on Friday that Zambia was demanding cash upfront for maize imports despite its earlier promises to deliver the grain on credit.
Zambian President Michael Sata had earlier promised President Robert Mugabe that 150 000 tons of maize valued at nearly $25m would be delivered to Zimbabwe with no questions on payment asked as that issue was not a priority in the face of starvation, according to the report.
The report comes at a time when most parts of Zimbabwe are struggling with food shortages.
Recent reports have indicated that at least 2.2 million people in Zimbabwe face hunger and that they would need food assistance early next year.
Zimbabwe started experiencing serious food deficits over a decade ago after President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on a violent land reform programme.
At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms.