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Sunday, 14 December 2008

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.

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Comments

@Moses. I feel so sad and because I'm so far away...so ineffective.

This is the end game for Mr Mugabe and his thugs. I wish it were otherwise but it is apparent that the rest of the world must do something about this situation. "Enough is Enough". I am certain that action will be taken but will it be soon enough for zimbabwe's next generation.? Lets hope so.


"SOKWANELE"

Moses, you say
"perhaps ..., at long last, Britain and the rest of the world will grow genuinely concerned about what is happening in Zimbabwe"

I'm an ex-Zimbo in the UK. I can safely say that in general, the British people wish nothing but the best for Zimbabwe. They already are genuinely concerned. If it was up to the man on the street in London or Birmingham, Mugabe would have been toast nearly a decade ago.

The problem is the age old - 'African problem, African solution' mantra. If Britain or the West lifts a finger of condemnation or tries to take action(like they did through the Commonwealth), they face a plethora of criticism of being imperialists, racists, neo-colonialist etc.

So our hands here in the West - the best friends Zimbabwe have at present - are tied.

So realistically, Africa must come to Zimbabwe's aid. At the moment Africa continues to come to ZANU-PF's aid. And that is not the same thing.

And as I've said before, the African response is being dictated from Pretoria under supervision by Mugabe and Mbeki.

My advice: Zimbabweans should learn to live their short miserable lives in squalor and die in squalor. They will be doing it for a long time to come, so they may as well get used to it.

Hi, You might be interested to know that The British Red Cross launched an appeal on 11 December to help thousands of people affected by cholera and food shortages in Zimbabwe and the surrounding region. Red Cross volunteers have been on the ground in Zimbabwe since the beginning of the cholera epidemic to help with delivering clean water and focusing largely on public education.
You can find out more at www.redcross.org.uk/zimbabwe

Thanks
Alex

I read this morning that a UNSC motion to censure Robert Mugabe was 'blocked' by South Africa. Therein lies your problem.

Even when scores of South africans start dying the govt of South Africa will still be telling us 'dialogue with Mugabe' is still the best solution. How do you 'dialogue' with a man who tells us straight faced that the epidemic is suddenly over.

African statesmen create and worsen their own problems, how on earth can we leave it to them to solve them.

A good article well put together but your final line is so telling of why the problems in Zim are as they are.

Zimbo's must fight for change themselves! The world would stand with you and help where possible but the responsibility is yours. As others have said in their comments, the 'African solution for Africans' never works and SA is a HUGE stumbling block. This is why you must look to yourselves within your own borders for a solution.

Your parents fought for liberation, now it would seem it's your turn. Stop delaying and looking to the west, as it's merely time wasting. Unless you guys act, no-one else will.

Hie.

I find it very strange that Zimbos have become so docile. who has bewitched these once mighty nation? I lived in Zim just as they got independence and I saw the pride ,the agressiveness and the yearning for freedom by the Zimbos, they could not allow anything to derail them from enjoying the freedom and they fought with everythhing they had....Now where are the men in Zim where are the sons of sekuru Kaguvi and mbuya Nehanda. you are responsible for your own destiny guys.. get up stand up fight for your rights and boot the old man and his croonies. Guys be prepared to pay a blood sacrifice.. the bible says without blood there is no remmission of sin...no blood no freedom. The west will look and wait as u wait for it.....Pambeli ne 4th chimurenga

Its a damn good story

If a cholera victim arrives in Britain, they will simply be treated in the usual way. There is no risk of an epidemic, because our sewage systems are properly maintained and there is no shortage of chemicals. The problem in Zimbabwe is not the cholera itself, but the neglect of maintenance which allowed the water and sewage systems to collapse.

Poor or no maintenance of infrastructure is typical of corrupt regimes, where important jobs are given to cousins and brothers-in-law instead of to those who are properly qualified. Iraq, for example, had exactly the same problem with disintegrating water and sewage systems as does Zimbabwe. The Iraqis are now spending some of their oil money on fixing things, instead of on building palaces.

If Zimbabwe ever gets a competent government, the money from the gold and platinum mines could be spent on fixing the sewers.

Unless there is defenceless people involved they cannot do anything right,can they!

It is a reminder of the time in 1980 when there was an attempt to blow Mugabe up at Masvingo airport and he vanished into the bush for 48 hrs like a scared rabbit, they failed again did'nt they. Just imagine how different it would have been if they had been successful.

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