The Zimbabwe House of Assembly on Wednesday moved a motion to declare severe food shortages across the country a national disaster. A full vote on the motion is to be taken when parliament reconvenes Nov. 11, house sources said.

Parliamentarian Abednico Bhebhe of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Arthur Mutambara, representing Nkayi South in Matabeleland said the motion was a response to the growing number of deaths from malnutrition and followed intense lobbying by non-governmental organizations.

Bhebhe told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that legislation is also envisioned to provide for the free entry of food into the country to relieve hunger.

Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Gutu.

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