Three days of death and delusion
A snapshot of the blatant lies and the terrible truth in Zimbabwe today
Last Thursday President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe declared that his country's cholera epidemic, which had made sensational headlines throughout the world, was now over. The danger had been "arrested". There was now no more cholera in Zimbabwe.
Also last Thursday Pedzisai Munda, aged 47, died of cholera in her shack in Hopley, South Harare. She met her death in a sea of urine, faeces and vomit, overflowing from the temporary toilet - a one-metre deep pit just yards from her home - which had flooded in the heavy rains.
Her death came two weeks after the similar death of her neighbour, also from cholera. Attempts had been made to get the neighbour to Budiriro Hospital, 15 kilometres away, but they failed. Pedzisai had nursed her neighbour as best she could. There was no-one to nurse Pedzisai, and she died in squalid misery.
Last Friday Zimbabwe's information minister, Sikhanyiso Ndlovu explained that the cholera epidemic - which no longer exists, see above - was being spread by British agents, who were deliberately infecting the population with the disease, and with anthrax. Their aim was, he said, to weaken the country ahead of an armed invasion. Despite the succcess of the agents' efforts, as evidenced by the chronic weakening of the country, Mr. Ndlovu had no information on when we might expect the armed invasion.
Also last Friday Taurai Siza, aged 10, died of cholera. An Aids orphan, Taurai lived on the streets of Hopley, and slept at night wrapped in an old blanket, under a piece of plastic sheeting. There was no money for a coffin, so they buried Taurai in his blanket, some 100 metres from his plastic shelter.
Last Saturday I spoke to the Zimbabwe Minister of Health, David Parirenyatwa. The minister told me: "Cholera has been managed in the area you are talking about. You and your handlers in the West can wish it to continue, but it's no longer there. Period."
Also last Saturday, in Glenview, Harare, three people, all of whom lived in a street called 13 Avenue, died of the cholera which, according to Mr. Pairenyatwa, is no longer there. Period..
One of the three was Tonderai Chapeyama, aged 18. Tonderai had nursed her friend Elizabeth Mutodzaniswa when Elizabeth had the disease. Elizabeth recovered. Tonderai sickened and died.
Last Friday, British home secretary Jacqui Smith warned that Zimbabweans, fleeing their country and buying false passports, might bring cholera with them to the West.
A personal thought for today, Monday: If Mr. Mugabe's non-existent cholera does reach Britain and the rest of the world, perhaps then, at long last, Britain and the rest of the world will grow genuinely concerned about what is happening in Zimbabwe, and come to our aid. Perhaps.