[imagesource: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP]
It’s a sad, sorry state of affairs when you look at the state of your own country, and then look north and think ‘hey, it could be worse’.
Some recent dire predictions say that South Africa will be a failed state by 2030, but in Zimbabwe, that threshold has been comfortably surpassed.
Instead of President Emmerson Mnangagwa heralding in a new era, following the ousting of Robert Mugabe, it’s been much of the same, and three years into his rule the military is once again being used to quash those protesting in the hopes of a better future.
That image above shows a man arrested for protesting over human rights abuses making a court appearance in leg irons at the Magistrates Court in Harare, on Monday.
Anything Mugabe can do, Mnangagwa (below) can do, too, and a recent Bloomberg article lays bare just how terrible living conditions are within the country’s border:
“I don’t know how low we can get, but we are in a very low space,” said Alex Magaisa, a Zimbabwean law lecturer who helped design the nation’s 2013 constitution…
Zimbabwe’s collapse is epitomized by the woeful state of its health system. Hospitals are beset by medicine shortages and recurrent strikes by nurses and doctors over pay and working conditions. The neglect of pregnant women is the latest health scandal to hit the headlines.
“It’s a new low,” said Norman Matara, a doctor who has worked at Parirenyatwa, the country’s biggest public hospital in Harare. “Some women are developing complications of ruptured uteruses and experiencing prolonged labor, which leads to brain damage of their babies.”
More than half of the population is in need of food aid, taps have run dry in major urban areas as infrastructure collapses, and funding for basics like education have been severely reduced.
One teacher in a rural area north of Harare likens facilities to “something from a war film”, adding that they’re forced to “teach children under trees because the classrooms are squalid and unkempt”.
Mnangagwa has tried to blame the private sector, and anybody other than himself, for the country’s deteriorating state, and it is true that he was handed a poisoned chalice.
But with his tenure as president now into its third year, and little having changed, international goodwill may be hard to come by.
South Africa keeps sending envoys to Zimbabwe, and they keep returning without having spoken with opposition leaders, so don’t expect much more than hollow words about human rights and accountability from our side.
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