Position of the South African Government on the Zimbabwean Government's denying the MDC access to Food

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO 110

QUESTION TIME: 3 NOVEMBER 2004

MR DHM GIBSON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

1) Whether her attention has been drawn to the contents of a recent Amnesty International Report entitled "Zimbabwe: Power and Hunger - Violations of the Right to Food", dated 15 October 2004, which warns of serious food insecurity and hunger in Zimbabwe as a result of the Zimbabwean government denying access to grain to supporters of the opposition MDC; if so,

2) Whether her department intends taking steps to encourage the Zimbabwean government to desist from such practice; if not, why not; if so, what steps?
N1325E

REPLY:

1. The Minister is aware of the allegations of the recent Amnesty International report on the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe entitled "Zimbabwe: Power and Hunger-Violations of the Right to Food", dated 15 October 2004. The Government of Zimbabwe informed the UN and other international donors that its final crop assessment for the 2003/2004 season indicated that it would have enough food for local consumption and no longer needed food aid. The report states that "International human rights groups, as well as the organisations involved in monitoring the food situation in Zimbabwe, believe the government's claims are part of a strategy to manipulate people's fear of hunger ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for arch 2005". We will continue to monitor the situation and if and when we receive concrete evidence that the Government of Zimbabwe is denying access to grain supporters of the MDC, we will consider what to do.

2. Not applicable, as per the reply to 1.

END





 

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