President Robert Mugabe said Monday the country's citizens should not blame the government for the current economic crisis and hunger that has rocked the country.
Addressing thousands gathered to commemorate the country's National Heroes Day in Harare, Mugabe said sanctions and the El Niño-induced drought had caused havoc for the Southern African country.

“When we are in a crisis we should know this is our problem together, not for people to point fingers at the government. The government does not make rain. We have tried to improve the lives of our people but the El Niño-induced drought and continued sanctions have caused food shortages in the country,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe said no one in the country, regardless of political affiliation, would starve as the government would continue to import maize to feed the millions who face starvation. “If you have enough food, eat and grow pot bellies, but if you don't get enough, don't blame the government. We try to feed everyone, including those that are not Zanu PF, it is not our culture to discriminate along political lines,” Mugabe said in vernacular.

Mugabe defended the controversial Statutory Instrument 64 which restricts imports, saying it was meant to protect local industries.

“There is no country in the world that does not protect its local industries. We know that the rand is weak and people get things cheaper in South Africa, but that is dumping. We cannot allow dumping of cheap products because they will destroy our industry,” he said.

Mugabe also attacked the Chinese for bringing cheap clothes into the country, saying it did not help local clothing manufacturers grow.

The ageing president also attacked #This Flag Pastor, Evan Mawarire, saying he was after money and not the word of God.

“Some church leaders are now after money and are not seeking God. I did not know this Mawarire until he said people should not be treated like this. But this is our problem together and not a government problem,” he said. African News Agency