Monday, December 1, 2008

New offer from Zimbabwe government: free graves!

The cholera epidemic is getting so bad in Zimbabwe that authorities in the capital, Harare, are offering free graves to the families of victims. The reason? The economy has collapsed to a point that most families cannot afford the roughly $30 it costs to bury someone in the city.

So let's review - under Robert Mugabe's leadership Zimbabwe has fallen to the point where they can't provide their people with food, medicine or clean water, but they will give you a free hole in the ground when you die. It would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.

And it's likely to only get worse. Since the infrastructure has collapsed from lack of maintenance in much of the country people have taken to digging latrines in their back yards, along with wells. And with the rainy season coming it's expected that the excess rain will cause waste from the hastily dug latrines to spill into the hastily dug wells, contaminating them and causing an even larger cholera outbreak.

Mugabe, meanwhile, jetted off for Qatar to attend a UN conference on financing development. Surely the guy whose country has an inflation rate estimated at 231 million percent has a lot to offer by way of economic advice. Again, it would be funny if it weren’t so tragic.
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