The illegitimate Zanu PF party, which is responsible for the current food insecurity crisis, has severely underestimated the long-term consequences of attempting to maintain power by exploiting vulnerable households through food handouts, such as those given in Bindura during the by-elections. The root cause of this food insecurity can be traced back to the party’s populist policies, including the hasty, disorganized land redistribution programs.

To secure support from easily swayed war veterans and extend their time in power, Zanu PF implemented these chaotic land grabs, giving land to emotionally-driven, inexperienced individuals who lacked the resources and knowledge to farm effectively. The result was widespread food insecurity, forcing the country to rely on imports, donations, and NGOs such as the World Food Program and World Vision, similar to war-torn nations.

The food insecurity crisis, fueled by populism, has also led to property and human rights violations and the undermining of the country’s constitution, marking Zimbabwe as an unfavorable destination for capital investment. The absence of capital investment in agriculture has hindered modernization and overall growth in the sector, exacerbating the food insecurity problem and leaving a majority of households vulnerable.

Zanu PF wrongly assumed that this dire situation could be exploited for political gain, but the vigilant population refused to fall for their deception and manipulation. The donated maize meal was reclaimed, and the people’s memories of this experience will not fade by the 2023 elections.

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