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October 18, 2003

Amazingly, it Gets Worse

Just when you thought Zimbabwe couldn't sink further without the outbreak of a bloody civil war, things get a little bit worse. Zimbabwe's state-controlled oil company doesn't have fuel to distribute to critical service providers (police, military, health care) much less to distribute to individuals.

Relatives of some sick Zimbabweans had been asked to provide their own fuel for the journey to hospital, according to The Herald.

"A medical officer at the Beitbridge Rural District Hospital confirmed having asked some relatives of sick people to refuel ambulances for their sick to be ferried to referral centres in Gwanda or Bulawayo," the paper said.

The country's fuel shortage has worsened since a trade deal with its main supplier, Libya, collapsed in November 2002.

With currency worth near nothing, inflation wildly out of control, almost no remaining industry, a farm system that has left Zimbabwe as a perpetual welfare state, and political dissent being quashed more on an almost daily basis, this should have come as no surprise. It should also come as no surprise when the open rebelion comes, led by regional leaders who may be able to provide some level of social structure to replace the structures that will surely collapse in the coming months.

Of course, we in America have taken a rather apathetic stand on the subject; the papers barely discuss the nation, we aren't discussing Zimbabwe publicly, and the administration has deferred to South African leadership on the subject. Unfortunately, South Africa's soft-touch diplomacy is completely inadequate.

Count on the worst, and weep for what was once the most beautiful nation in southern Africa.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at October 18, 2003 05:54 PM
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