Injustice in Zimbabwe: A Thorn staight to one’s heart

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Nothing angers me as much as injustice does. This is one of the reasons I wanted to write; awareness if the first step towards action.

Which is why I feel compelled to write about Zimbabwe. Although my knowledge and understanding of the situation is still pretty superficial and limited, what I do know is that at the core of the problem lies a huge case of injustice.

So I refuse to wait until I am erudite enough to write my own posts about the subject; instead, I will take you on parts of my journey to understanding by sharing with you some of the most striking articles and posts I find. Please, do share your thoughts, comments and resources. Hopefully, awareness will be raised fast enough for us to do something ASAP.

Cholera is raging, Despite Denial by Mugabe

By CELIA W. DUGGER; Published: December 11, 2008

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Cholera swept through the five youngest children in the Chigudu family with cruel and bewildering haste.

On a recent Saturday, the children had chased one another through streets that flow with raw sewage, and chattered happily as they bedded down for the night. The diarrhea and vomiting began around midnight. Relatives frantically prepared solutions of water, sugar and salt for the youngsters, aged 20 months to 12 years, to drink.

But by morning, they were limp and hollow-eyed. The disease was draining their bodies of fluid.

“Then they started to die,” said their brother Lovegot, 18. “Prisca was first, second Sammy, then Shantel, Clopas and Aisha, the littlest one, last.”

A ferocious cholera epidemic, spread by water contaminated with human excrement, has stricken more than 16,000 people across Zimbabwe since August and killed more than 780. President Robert G. Mugabe said Thursday that the epidemic had ended, but health experts are warning that the number of cases could surpass 60,000, and that half the country’s population of 12 million is at risk.

The outbreak is yet more evidence that Zimbabwe’s most fundamental public services — including water and sanitation, public schools and hospitals — are shutting down, much like the organs of a severely dehydrated cholera victim.

Zimbabwe’s once promising economy, disastrously mismanaged by Mr. Mugabe’s government, has been spiraling downward for almost a decade, but residents here say the free fall has gained frightening velocity in recent weeks. Most of the nation’s schools, which were once the pride of Africa, producing a highly literate population, have virtually ceased to function as teachers, whose salaries no longer even cover the cost of the bus fare to work, quit showing up.

With millions enduring severe and worsening hunger, and cholera spilling into neighboring countries, there are rising international calls for Mr. Mugabe to step down after 28 years in power. But he seems only to be digging in, and his announcement about the epidemic’s end came just a day after the World Health Organization warned that the outbreak was grave enough to carry “serious regional implications.”

Water cutoffs are common and prolonged here, but last week the taps went dry in virtually all of the capital’s densely packed suburbs, where people most need clean drinking water to wash their hands and food, essential steps to containing cholera. On rutted streets crowded with out-of-school children and jobless adults, piles of uncollected garbage mounted and thick brown sludge burbled up from burst sewer lines.

Read the rest of this article here.

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