Although President Robert Mugabe says cholera in Zimbabwe has stopped,
many continue to die according to United Nations statistics. In one town, close to Harare, 20 percent
of those who catch the disease have been dying.
rising death toll, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe claims that the
country's cholera outbreak is over, dismissing international calls that
he should step down amid the crisis.
At a state funeral for a
ruling party official held on Thursday, Mugabe repeated accusations
that the West wanted to use the cholera crisis as an excuse to topple
"Because of cholera Mr. Brown want military
intervention," he said. "Sarkozy wants military intervention. Bush
wants military intervention, because of cholera. But I am happy to say,
our doctors, being assisted by other and the WHO [World Health
Organization], have now arrested cholera. So now that there is no
cholera there is no cause for war anymore. Let's tell them that the
cholera cause doesn't exist anymore."
On Friday rain began
falling heavily around the worst-hit areas, and the U.N. says it fears
this will spark even more contracting the preventable and easily
The Southern African Development Community,
or SADC, has held a meeting of its health and water officials. Thami
Mseleku, from the South African health ministry said the cholera crisis
in Zimbabwe was unprecedented.
"One, we have a cholera challenge
and it's of a massive magnitude in Zimbabwe," he said. "Although there
have been challenges of cholera in Zimbabwe like every other country
and they have been able to manage them, this one is of a magnitude that
is unprecedented and is already effecting other neighboring states and
South Africa, as you know, is one of them. So, firstly that is the
picture that is emerging and that we need to deal with that challenge
Chitungwisa, a town adjacent to Harare, has some of the
worst statistics for deaths from cholera. More than 20 percent of those
treated for cholera have died, as opposed to two percent for greater
Most of Zimbabwe's main hospitals have been closed for
weeks now as health professionals say there is not enough equipment or
drugs from the Ministry of Health.
Meanwhile, there are reports
that six more Movement for Democratic Change activists have been
abducted, this time from a small town, Headlands, about 80 kilometers
southeast of Harare.
This brings the number of people abducted this week to seven.
More than 20 MDC supporters and human rights workers have been abducted by groups of men in the last six weeks.