Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • France evacuates its nationals from Libya

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Karzai’s cousin killed in Afghan suicide attack

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

We have stopped cholera, says Mugabe

Video by Gwladys SAVERY , Rachel MARUSAK

Latest update : 2008-12-13

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has announced that a deadly cholera outbreak has been contained, but the United Nations, United States and South Africa disagree. The announcement comes amid mounting pressure on Mugabe to resign.

REUTERS - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe announced on Thursday his government had stopped a cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 800 people, but the United Nations said the death toll was rising.

 

The United States, which has called on Mugabe to step down, said the outbreak was worsening and South African officials declared a stretch of the border with Zimbabwe a disaster zone because of Zimbabweans fleeing in search of treatment.

 

"I am happy we are being assisted by others and we have arrested cholera," Mugabe said in a speech in which he also attacked what he described as Western plans to invade Zimbabwe and topple his government.

 

"Now that there is no cholera there is no case for war."

 

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the toll from the water-borne disease, normally easy to prevent and treat, had risen to 783 and that 16,403 were believed to be infected.

 

Asked about Mugabe's remarks, OCHA spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs in Geneva said: "The figures speak for themselves. We hope that the joint efforts of the United Nations and government will contribute to halting the epidemic."

 

U.S. government aid agency USAID said the outbreak had not stopped and announced it was sending $6.2 million more in aid.

 

"This is a cholera outbreak that is ongoing and urgent. This is clearly a humanitarian crisis," USAID administrator Henrietta Fore told a news conference in Washington.

 

The collapse of Zimbabwe's economy and health care system has left victims to fend for themselves and driven hundreds to try to escape to South Africa to seek treatment there.

 

 

 

DISASTER AREA

 

"The whole of the Vhembe district has been declared a disaster," said Mogale Nchabeleng, a spokesman for South Africa's Limpopo provincial government. The government took the decision after an emergency meeting earlier this week.

 

The outbreak, coupled with an economic meltdown, has prompted calls for international humanitarian assistance as well as calls for Mugabe's resignation from Western leaders and some within Africa.

 

Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai reached a power-sharing deal brokered by regional mediator Thabo Mbeki, South Africa's former president, in September. But they are deadlocked over how to implement it.

 

The MDC said on Thursday that the cholera outbreak showed Mugabe's government could no longer rule the country and accused the ruling ZANU-PF party of orchestrating a campaign of abductions of MDC leaders and activists.

 

"We remain on the side of the people while ZANU-PF remains on the side of terror. We remain on the side of the downtrodden while ZANU-PF is firmly etched in the dark corner of an avaricious, parasitic elite," the MDC said in a statement.

 

The French foreign ministry said Zimbabwe had denied visas to a French team of specialists standing by to help stem the cholera outbreak.

 

"Contrary to what Mr Mugabe says, the cholera epidemic is not under control... France strongly regrets this decision and calls on Zimbabwe's authorities to allow aid to reach the population," ministry spokesman Frederic Desagneaux said.

 

The United Nations has warned that cholera could infect 60,000 if not treated properly.


   
 

Date created : 2008-12-12

COMMENT(S)