Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mugabe's Zimbabwe: A Reign of Poverty, Hunger and Cholera

President Robert Mugabe refuses to step down, even though he lost the 2008 election. Since he came into office, Zimbabwe has experienced hyperinflation and a complete breakdown of its health care, agriculture, education, water treatment, energy, and other basic infrastructures. His policies have caused the starvation, illness and death of thousands of people, left many homeless and without jobs to earn a living wage. His ruling party has terrorized the population through the use of imprisonment, torture and death to enforce his will. Just a few days ago, Zimbabwe abandoned its currency to allow people to use other currencies to pay for goods and services, and to conduct business. The Zimbabwean government will be paying its workers in US Dollars.

In Zimbabwe, the cholera epidemic has already killed an estimated 3,000 people, and has rapidly become a global threat as Zimbabweans attempt to reach the safety and security of neighboring countries, predominantly as illegal immigrants. Those who travel to receive adequate medical care often die along the way, or soon after they reach overflowing hospitals.

Nearly 3 million people have left the country in the past decade. Those Zimbabweans who now want to legally leave the country can no longer afford the exorbitant passport fees. This affects many people, including those who were slated to go to University outside the country and business people who trade with neighboring countries for necessary goods. As for starvation in Zimbabwe, the World Food Program has estimated approximately 7 million people, or 75% of the population, need food aid. WFP has halved cereal rations in order to feed more people.

Hopefully, when the new unity, all-party government begins rule on February 13, 2009, many of these horrible problems will be addressed and eventually remedied. However, I'm not going to hold my breath.

For basic information on Zimbabwe, read this from the CIA Factbook:

For additional information, read this BBC News article:

This link will provide you with information about cholera:

These IRIN articles are about the high passport fees and starvation:

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