Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Not to be trusted

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I’ve been of two minds since hearing that the “government” of Zimbabwe has asked for help in the current cholera crisis.

On the one hand, I thought to myself, “finally.” On Monday this week, water supplies to Harare were turned off completely – the water authority had run out of chemicals. So surely, if the “government” declares it an emergency, and they get some help, then they can start to do something about it, and people will stop dying.

But on the other hand, there’s a huge gap between the “government” saying it’s an emergency, and people actually getting help. The problem is exactly that – they’re a “government,” not really The Government. It’s the same “government” that failed to account for more than US$7 million from the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe eventually paid the money back, and the Global Fund approved another US$169 million in assistance to the country. Now the EU wants to give another USD11million for cholera – and the US has contributed USD 220 million to Zimbabwe’s food and health crisis since October 2007.

It’s a complicated issue, and I don’t really know how to resolve it in my own head. I don’t want anyone to die from cholera when there is help available to stop that. But I have no confidence that this regime will handle that assistance responsibly. So I was encouraged to see CHRA’s statement which raised similar concerns. WoZA’s recent report also points out the relationship between the regime’s growing and the spiralling health crisis.

It’s this failing “government” that created Zimbabwe’s cholera crisis. They’re not the people who should be trusted to solve it.

One comment to “Not to be trusted”

  1. Comment by Global Voices Online » Zimbabwe: On the cholera crisis:

    [...] time-bomb, and the residents know it, but can do nothing about it”. The Kubatana blog also comments on the current cholera crisis in Zimbabwe in which “water supplies to Harare were turned off completely – the water [...]