Zimbabwe on brink of collapse as outbreak of cholera spreads

A vision of things to come for the world as our financial system collapses?
A man infected by cholera, which has killed around 300 people in Zimbabwe, is transported to a Harare clinic

A man infected by cholera, which has killed around 300 people in Zimbabwe, is transported to a Harare clinic. Photograph: AP

The situation in Zimbabwe may soon “implode” as a cholera outbreak spreads and basic services collapse, South African leaders and a group of international statesmen warned yesterday.

On the eve of talks in South Africa between Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and opposition rivals, South African leaders sharply upgraded their crisis assessment and warned of Zimbabwe’s imminent collapse if urgent action was not taken.

About 6,000 people have contracted cholera in recent weeks, according to the UN, and almost 300 have died. A chronic shortage of medicine has sent hundreds of people south to seek treatment in South Africa.

“Unless this root cause of the political absence of a legitimate government is solved, the situation will get worse and may implode and collapse … It is now an urgent matter, because people are dying,” said South Africa’s caretaker president, Kgalema Motlanthe.

Three eminent statesmen representing a group called the Elders, which was established last year to tackle international issues, said Zimbabwe was in a far worse position than previously thought.

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