Few people outside Zimbabwe realise the implications of the AIDS pandemic in Zimbabwe for its people.  On October 13, 2007 an excellent mini-documentary was published by the BBC’s Unreported World on UBTV.  This followed an undercover visit to Zimbabwe by two journalists.  (Western media, including the BBC, are banned from entering Zimbabwe by Mugabe – and all media within Zimbabwe is state controlled and censored.)
The BBC report refers to Mugabe’s “reign of terror” on his own people and says that a “major tragedy is unfolding”.  Those of us who care have been trying to bring this to the attention of the world for years.
The same report quotes from a United Nations estimate that “1.3 million children in Zimbabwe have been orphaned by AIDS”.  Zimbabwe previously had a total population of some 12 million – but over 4 million have already left the country as political or economic refugees.   Imagine a country with a resident population of 8 million including 1.3 million children orphaned by AIDS!
In some areas “more than 50 percent of all families are orphaned” because, as is the case with food aid, Zimbabwe’s HIV and AIDS infected people are only given access to treatment if they are card carrying members of Mugabe’s political party, Zanu-PF.  These children live in an area that has traditionally supported the opposition to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.  The BBC report calls it “gerrymandering” by Mugabe and his state thugs, especially in the police and army.  But surely it is much more that that?  How about genocide?  These people also happen to belong to the “wrong” tribe – they’re Ndebele, instead of Shona (Mugabe’s tribe).
And let us not forget that life expectancy in Zimbabwe has fallen from one of the best in Africa during the Rhodesian civil war days of the 1970s, to the lowest in the entire world now – 34 years for women and 37 years for men (United Nations figures).
Meanwhile millions are suffering from malnutrition and face starvation as the last of the commercial farmers are forced from their land under Mugabe’s Zanu-PF “land-redistribution” laws that has destroyed Zimbabwe’s once hugely successful agricultural industry see my post last week “Zimbabwe farmers face up to 2 years in prison for growing crops on their land”.  The country now has 80 percent unemployment and the highest inflation in the world.
Zimbabwe has 27 years of Mugabe’s Zanu-PF Marxist rule to thank for all this.
END
Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  Davies’ novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

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