Zimbabwe’s Leadership “Drought” Is Worse Than A Meteorological Drought – Chamisa

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Zimbabwe's Leadership
Zimbabwe's Leadership "Drought" Is Worse Than A Meteorological Drought - Chamisa

Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s prominent opposition figure, Nelson Chamisa, strongly criticized President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa for the delayed declaration of the El Nino-induced drought as a State of Disaster. The drought wreaked havoc on crops and pastures during the 2023/24 rainy season.

On Wednesday, April 3, President Mnangagwa declared a state of disaster and urgently appealed for international assistance, stating that Zimbabwe needs more than US$2 billion to mitigate the impending famine.

Chamisa contends that recognizing a meteorological drought at the tail-end of the summer season reflects a significant “leadership drought” within the country. Chamisa said:

Drought in Zimbabwe has become a perennial challenge evidenced by persistent extreme weather conditions. Poverty, disease, and cholera also characterize our national perils.

These all constitute major threats to our national security. It’s like we’re stuck in a time loop since ‘07/‘08. This points to leadership failure.

Declaring a state of emergency after the fact is too little too late, lame and lacking. We’ve ignored warnings from experts including the UN, WHO, WFP and our own meteorological teams who gave these warnings more than a year ago.

Our lack of preparedness shows that the drought of leadership and strategy is OUR BIGGEST DROUGHT HAZARD.

We’ve got dams but they’re underdeveloped, silting up with no de-silting plans. We have too many undeveloped dam sites. We lack the right water harnessing and harvesting plans.

The former leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) issued a challenge to the Mnangagwa-led administration, urging them to draw lessons from other nations that have achieved food security even in the face of limited rainfall. He said:

Other countries with less rainfall manage better. With the right leadership and proper governance, Zimbabwe would be evergreen. We have a great deal for Zimbabwe- the Green Agenda revolution.

Climate-smart solutions need a proactive strategy, not a reactive policy. Our water systems and land use need effective management for preservation and sustainability.

Declaring disaster late is no solution. Lives have been lost and continue to be lost the policies are floppy, sloppy, slow and weak.

We’re ready to provide the leadership that acts, not react. We must resolve the drought of leadership. Zimbabwe deserves better.

We must fix the broken politics, resolve the disputed elections conundrum, reverse the rigged elections scourge and restore majority rule.

Mnangagwa announced that the anticipated grain yield for the 2023/24 agricultural season in Zimbabwe stands at 868,273 tonnes. However, this falls significantly short of the nation’s food requirements, resulting in a cereal deficit of nearly 680,000 metric tonnes.

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