Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Zimbabwe Circles the Drain

Cholera ravages population weak with hunger in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe The situation appears to be deteriorating, or maybe I should say the deterioration is accelerating.

A few years ago, Zimbabwe exported food to the rest of Africa.
On the road from Harare to Bulawayo a policeman stopped a motorist at a checkpoint. “I'm hungry,” said the officer. The car was allowed through for the price of a bag of peanuts.
Now the diseases of poverty seem to be taking hold. It isn't surprising really, given the state of everything, including health care.
Most hospitals have closed because their staff have gone abroad or given up working for nothing. In a country that once had a higher literacy rate than the United States, most schools are shut because the teachers have done the same. Water and electricity are treats. Public transport has all but ceased to function. Rubbish is no longer collected.
And so Mugabe, tries harder to hold onto power, resorting to terror.
Secret police seize leading Zimbabwean activist Jestina Mukoko - Times Online
Anyone protesting his government can expect to meet violence, or be disappeared.

But on the subject of health care: Health clinics overwhelmed by cholera cases in Zimbabwe - Times Online
The latest UN statistics show that 589 Zimbabweans died of cholera in the past few weeks and that 13,960 have been infected, but nobody believes these figures.

Many more will have died unrecorded in their homes or in villages far from clinics. “The figures are vastly unreported,” Phil Evans, the head of the British Department for International Development in Harare, said. “There are probably twice as many people with cholera as turn up for treatment.”
You have to wonder why the UN would want to white wash the figures. Is it to make Mugabe look good (or not quite so bad)? Or is it just the UN being lazy?

I suppose it doesn't help that other African nations don't want to do anything to Mugabe. Rift widens as the African Union stands by Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe - Times Online When even the likes of Desmond Tutu are asking for military intervention, the problem is severe, but the other countries just don't see it that way.
the African Union made clear that it would support a resolution only through talks. “Only dialogue between the Zimbabwean parties, supported by the AU and other regional actors, can restore peace and stability to that country,” a spokesman for President Kikwete of Tanzania, the AU chairman, said.

South Africa also maintained that the answer for Zimbabwe was power sharing. “There should be no political point-scoring and games played when what is really needed right now is support,” Ayanda Ntsaluba, a South African Foreign Ministry official, said. He added that Zimbabwean leaders needed to work across the political divide to solve the country's problems.
That's political double speak for doing nothing. Is a guy who is holding power on the backs of secret police going to work across the political divide? Yeah right.

My cynical nature says that they only want to ensure no one tells them what to do. As long as Mugabe is the bad guy, no one will look to closely at them.

No comments: