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« The Fine Line | Main | Muslims and the State in the Post-9/11 West »
Tuesday
17Feb

The Farce is Not Over

Roy Bennett appeared in court today.  That farce continues.  

But what concerns me more is Médecins sans Frontières' (MSF) declaration that the Zimbabwean health system is in a state of collapse.  The UN reports that 3,400 people have died of cholera in Zimbabwe since August and that upwards of 68,000 people are infected.  MSF is calling upon Zimbabwe's new government to open up the country to allow real humanitarian aid in, and upon donor nations to step up to the plate.  This, however, is where things get kind of scary.  Donor nations have stated that until real reform takes place in the country, humanitarian aid will not be forthcoming.  And whilst I understand this point-of-view -- aid is only useful when it gets to the people who need it -- at the same time, this is holding a figurative gun to the head of an already suffering population.

Zimababwe's new Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti (MDC), has come out swinging, though, it seems.  MDC leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has already declared that the new government will attempt to reform the nation.  But Biti today has declared that the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank has zero credibility, and he sounds like he is looking for the head of the Reserve Bank's chief.  However, that man is a Mugabe ally.  Meanwhile, Biti has declared that he will bring forth a new budget to Parliament, as well as suggestions for reform.  He also called on Western nations to donate aid to the country.  

Hopefully, then, Biti's attempts at reform will spur the West into action.  Zimbabwe's population is 10 million.  5 million of them need food aid daily.  Unemployment is 90%!!! And hyper-inflation has left the Zimbabwean currency nearly worthless.  

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