The politics of food in Zimbabwe

  • Author / Creator
    Jaricha, Edmond Musengi
  • Southern Africa faced a serious food security crisis after a three-year drought which started in the 1999/2000 season. In 2002, Zimbabwe and its neighbours declared food emergencies. With improved climatic conditions in 2003, Zimbabwe failed to recuperate from the crisis despite its neighbours showing signs of recovery. Instead, the food crisis in Zimbabwe intensified and has threatened the lives of many ordinary Zimbabweans. This paper argues that the land reform programme and its after effects, other government policies, international sanctions and intractable political posturing have all played a significant role in causing and prolonging the post 2000 food crisis in Zimbabwe. International and local food aid became a priority to feed the millions of hungry Zimbabweans. With severe food shortages, food aid became an important political tool used by the main players in the food distribution process to win support or discredit the other side.
    Drawing from the political theories of famine, this research argues that the food crisis in Zimbabwe is largely due to the failure of political accountability by the government of Zimbabwe, and also by the international relief organizations and other stakeholders who are in and outside Zimbabwe. With a thorough review of primary, secondary and scholarly literature, helped by informal discussions with people living in Zimbabwe, the research found out that the Zimbabwe food crisis has thus far failed to be resolved due to lack of political commitment and competence by the government of Zimbabwe; and an unwillingness by the international community to work with the Mugabe government which many in the west see as a dictatorship.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2009
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Thompson, Guy (History and Classics)
    • Smith, Malinda (Political Science)
    • Mahdavi, Mojtaba (Politcal Science)