So Robert Mugabe is having a birthday party this weekend while a new case of cholera is registered at a rate of one a minute.
In this video by the Guardian a woman tells the heart-wrenching story of having no money to pay for the drip her sick husband needed: “On Wednesday I had no money. On Thursday he died”. Mugabe’s birthday party is said to cost £350 000.
Not surprisingly, Mugabe also dismissed demands for media freedom in the country.
These are the legacies that the new government of national unity will have to deal with – amid skepticism that the power-wrangling between Mugabe and Tsvangirai will bring about significant change soon enough to stem the tide of disease in the country.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa reports that the CEO of the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) was fired last month after reportedly defying ministerial orders to deny the opposition political party, the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) favourable coverage in the run-up to the 29 March 2008 elections in which the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will face the incumbent Robert Mugabe as presidential candidate. In another report , MISA condemns the attack on a delivery truck bringing in copies of The Zimbabwean newspaper into the country from South Africa. In the attack 60 000 copies of the newspaper were destroyed.
These incidents are making it clear that in the period running up to the upcoming presidential contest in Zimbabwe, the media will continue to be one of the battlegrounds upon which the struggle for democracy in the country will be fought.