Desperation in Zimbabwe
The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe says that the country’s leaders are playing politics while the people suffer. They point to a failure to announce a new inclusive Cabinet as going against the will of the people for coordinated action.
A vendor arranges eggs on a new 100 billion Zimbabwean dollar note in Harare July 22, 2008. Zimbabwe's central bank introduced new higher-value 100 billion Zimbabwe dollar notes on Monday as part of a desperate fight against spiralling hyperinflation, the bank said. An egg now costs $35 billion.
Zimbabwe’s Bishops say that a power sharing agreement signed in September could transform the country's bleak future. Read the full statement.
But the Church leaders warn it could as easily unravel if politicians continue to seek political self-interest rather than address the challenges in the country. And the need for action is acute.
People are eating grass and bark in Zimbabwe and it will not be long before there are deaths from starvation. Malnutrition rates in children are relatively low considering the scale of the disaster. That’s because adults are going without food so that their children can eat.
Annual inflation has hit 231,000,000 percent, effectively strangling humanitarian agencies from carrying out their work. Despite a ban on NGOs being lifted, relief efforts such as the ones being run by Caritas that feed three million people are in jeopardy as they can’t pay salaries or casual workers.
Bankruptcy effects all areas. There’s no medicine, doctors or nurses in the hospitals. There are no teachers in the schools. Two thirds of children have stopped going. There is no electricity outside a few urban areas. Drinking water is becoming contaminated. There have been 16 cases of cholera. But the Church says that all sides to the political agreement are failing to show the necessary will to govern effectively.
If that continues, the Bishops say, the possibilities of total and disastrous failure are real.
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