Food security is something that every government ought to make a priority because access to food should not be a privilege for a selected few but a right for all.
The lingering scarcity of bread in Zimbabwe has become a big embarrassment to both the country and the continent in general. Many people depend on bread as their daily food and the scarcity of the commodity has created widespread hunger in the country, and also great dissatisfaction with the current government.
It is disheartening that the country is still going through such horrid times despite the promises by the Emmerson Mnangagwa led government. The government continues to say it is working to ensure people can buy bread that is affordable.
Citizens have been forced to scramble for alternatives which sadly, are also in short supply and come at high costs.
A loaf of bread in Zimbabwe now costs as much as $2 or higher; this is more than three times the normal price. Thus, many citizens in a poor country cannot afford it.
Reacting to the crisis, 63-year-old Gibson Nhema said:
"My friend, bread is now expensive. Now, sometimes we have our thick porridge, sweet potatoes, and green mealies. If we can get it [bread] once a week that will be it. But we no longer miss it, because it is now expensive.
“They [at home] make them have a color of bread so that I do not miss bread. If they [government] would push the price of bread and flour down, that would go well with our way of living. We have no cash. If it remains expensive, I will not be able to buy dinner if I buy bread.
“So, we go for potatoes and will have bread when I get money."
Alwyn Mutero, who is a bread seller, added that:
"People used to buy bread a lot. But these days, they are not buying bread. You can check the shelves. There used to be lots of bread, but these days, people no longer buy like they used to do, because prices are going high. We used to sell this bread for about $1. Now, it costs about $2.50. So, people cannot afford it."
The government on its part through the Minister of Industries, Mangaliso Ndlovu said the government is aware of the problem and are doing what they can to remedy the situation.
"We are currently engaging the baking sector, specifically looking at the issue of bread availability and the price of bread. We are worried that there is always demand for the importation of wheat. It is possible to have bread that is 100 percent Zimbabwean. As a government, we are quite keen to see that bread is available at affordable prices to the generality of our people", he said.
In your opinion, is the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa doing enough to solve the problem or paying lip service to the crisis?
Header Image Credit: Mail & Guardian