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Cholera has killed nearly 600 people and the numbers seem to be jumping almost a hundred a day.
December 3, 2008 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Zimbabwe Hiding Cholera Epidemic. Sadly, no one knows what the real death toll numbers are. First hand report from Sarah Jacobs with Save The Children. Morgan Tsvangirai, backed by former President Carter: Zimbabwe is in shambles...deaths from starvation and a cholera outbreak threaten to surge with the rainy season approaching.

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International Rescue Committee
posted by allkindsoftime (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The Sky News report doesn't seem to square with this BBC report, which states: Zimbabwe's government has asked for urgent international help to tackle its cholera outbreak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
posted by billysumday at 9:57 AM on December 3, 2008


Is there any kind of human misery not going on there now?
posted by Joe Beese at 10:01 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's at least a bit encouraging, although everything I've seen in the news leads me to believe Mugabe still refuses to admit that anything is awry (even if his Health Minister does).
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:03 AM on December 3, 2008


Zimbabwe's government has asked for urgent international help

PS We won’t get huffy and eject you/beat you up/set fire to you the moment something real or imagined happens that isn’t to our liking.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on December 3, 2008


I wonder what will happen when we have a president in office for whom Africa is not some abstract continent of misery, but instead has a father from there, spent time there, and still has family there.

I know he's Kenyan and this is Zimbabwe, but I am hoping that the myriad problems throughout Africa that desperately need international attention and aid will stop being something we'll get around to when we get around to it. And I know we already give a lot to various African countries, but it's not enough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:24 AM on December 3, 2008




TBH I'm looking more at SA for leadership on this one. In part because it removes the argument that all outside intervention is just snotty colonialism.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on December 3, 2008


Well, SA has the most to either gain or lose through intervention, so one would hope they'd be most involved. Already 3 million refugees have spilled into SA from Zimbabwe, and the constant influx is hurting the country's stability.
posted by billysumday at 10:40 AM on December 3, 2008


There have been reports of soldiers rioting in Harare. If that's the case and it spreads to the rest of the soldiers Mugabe and the Armed Forces junta that run the country will be on the first plane to Malaysia.
posted by PenDevil at 11:04 AM on December 3, 2008


Is there any kind of human misery not going on there now?

It's always been this way; we just know more about it now given the advances in communication technologies. I remember when the tsunami happened, and how I just could not cope with all the coverage. It was so overwhelming. So I told myself that since I knew about it and had donated and done what I reasonably could to help out, it was okay for me to tune it out otherwise. Nobody was better off for my knowing every detail, and so I didn't need to know all about it.
posted by orange swan at 11:32 AM on December 3, 2008


This is especially distressing in light of the fact that we have known how to prevent and treat cholera for a century and a half.
posted by TedW at 11:35 AM on December 3, 2008


Will someone just put Mugabe against the fucking wall already?
posted by qvantamon at 11:43 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd be reading up on the last days of Ceausescu if I were him.
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder what will happen when we have a president in office for whom Africa is not some abstract continent of misery, but instead has a father from there, spent time there, and still has family there.

Say what you will of GWB, Astro Zombie - and granted he's not from Africa, but he did quite arguably more for African than any president in our nation's history, or any nation's history for that matter. For the work against AIDS in particular, he led a revolution in the amount of Western assistance being sent over there. I don't think he was a good president by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a considerable amount of respect for what he did for the African people, and I think he and the conservatives don't get nearly enough credit for that.

Obama has some pretty big shoes to fill when it comes to this area, but I'm certainly hoping he can fill them and then some. God knows there's the need for it.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:08 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


There have been reports of soldiers rioting in Harare. If that's the case and it spreads to the rest of the soldiers Mugabe and the Armed Forces junta that run the country will be on the first plane to Malaysia.

Mugabe is the figurehead; the Joint Operations Command has been making all the decisions for awhile now. There have been several reports that Mugabe considered resigning after the parliamentary vote and and that he verbally promised Tsvangerai control of the home affairs ministry, and was overruled by members of his inner circle. My theory is that several of them want to succeed him, have their own power bases, and are itching for the opportunity to succeed him in a coup. I think its overwhelmingly likely that if mutiny among government forces spreads, Mugabe cronies (evidently the two main camps among Zimbabwe's security forces are led by Emmerson Mnangagwa- who oversaw the violence preceding this year's runoff election- and Joice and Solomon Mujuru- vice-president and former army chief) will be leading it, not fleeing from it. And that's why this is even worse than it seems- if Zimbabwe's government is destabilized, it will remain unstable for years to come.
posted by gsteff at 4:12 PM on December 3, 2008


I'd be reading up on the last days of Ceausescu if I were him.

Yeah, more than a few other people think the same.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:16 PM on December 3, 2008


Cholera. I've been thinking about this every day, because I have a childhood fear of cholera, and I just read The Ghost Map. Cholera is such a medieval thing to happen to anyone, not only because it's a hideous torture, not only because it spreads through sewage, but because it can be cured very simply -- with rehydration. But that requires clean water, knowledge, and the professionals to administer the treatment . . . A cholera epidemic is like a chasm gaping into the past.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:01 PM on December 3, 2008


i have a neighbor who emigrated to here (NE) from Kenya. he tells that there you can't wear jewelry or watches in public: people with guns or knives will just accost you on the street and take it.!
posted by lemuel at 1:24 AM on December 4, 2008


My theory is that several of them want to succeed him

In the last Mugabe post, it was also pointed out that the high military leaders have done Very Bad Things on his behalf, and if he turned over government to democratic foes they could be charged by a war crimes tribunal.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:38 PM on December 4, 2008




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