Zimbabwe could be treading dangerously as at one point it says it has enough food but does not dispute figures released by the United Nations which say 5.3 million people need food and other assistance in the next six months.
The UN has just launched a $234 million appeal to “provide urgent food, health, water, sanitation, hygiene and protection support for 2.2 million people of the 5.3 million people in need over the next six months”.
“An estimated 2.9 million people in rural areas and 1.5 million in urban areas are already severely food insecure, including 1 million facing emergency levels of food insecurity,” the UN said.
“A further 900 000 people risk reaching crisis food insecurity levels if the humanitarian assistance they are receiving does not continue.”
Vice-President Kembo Mohadi told a rally in Mashonaland Central recently that the country had enough food for the next seven months without taking into account the harvest for the current season.
Deputy Labour Minister Lovemore Matuke told Parliament four months ago that the country has enough maize to last two years even if there were no rains.
Who is telling the truth?
While this appears to be a minor issue, it could be blown out of proportions because if 5.3 million people need assistance one can argue that the country is facing a humanitarian crisis which requires international intervention.
So, what is the true situation?
Someone has to provide an answer because both the European Union and the United States are closely watching the country and are looking for an excuse to press for international intervention in Zimbabwe.