This week we’ve been keeping you posted about the crisis situation in Zimbabwe and mounting international pressure on President Robert Mugabe to step down. Despite a staggering cholera epidemic sweeping Zimbabwe, Mugabe continues to deny the magnitude of the epidemic, adding further chaos to the growing crisis. Today the New York Times published a fascinating and insightful piece on where things currently stand.
Excerpts below, full piece here
The outbreak is yet more evidence that Zimbabwe’s most fundamental public services — from water and sanitation to 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 President Robert G. 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.
In a country that already lays claim to the terrible distinction of having the second highest proportion of orphans in the world — one in four children has lost one or both parents — the closure of schools and hospitals is hitting these most vulnerable children mercilessly.