Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Zimbabwe accuses UK, US of invasion plan

Zimbabwe’s president has accused the UK and US of plotting an invasion in the wake of the cholera outbreak.
A presidential spokesman told state media they would not be surprised if the British and Americans tried to “spring a ‘mission’” involving the UN. It came as a regional delegation continued its visit to Zimbabwe to assess the escalating outbreak.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s health minister visited border towns with Zimbabwe where the epidemic has spread. On Monday, European Union nations ramped up the diplomatic pressure on Zimbabwe’s government, broadening sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle, while French President Nicolas Sarkozy added his voice to the growing calls for the end of the 84-year-old’s rule.
Former colonial power Britain has led calls for Mr Mugabe to go. The US, as well as African countries like Botswana and Kenya, have also said Mugabe should step down. But the 53-member African Union said on Tuesday the only solution to the Zimbabwe crisis was the power-sharing talks.
Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change have been deadloc
“Only dialogue between the Zimbabwean parties, supported by the AU and other regional actors, can restore peace and stability to that country,” said Salva Rweyemamu, a spokesman for AU chairman and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, Reuters news agency reports.
The Zimbabwean presidential spokesman told the state-owned Herald newspaper that Western countries were planning to bring Zimbabwe before the UN Security Council by claiming the cholera epidemic and food shortages had incapacitated the country’s government. Send us your comments”The British and the Americans are dead set on bringing Zimbabwe back to the UN Security Council,” George Charamba was quoted as saying.
“They are also dead set on ensuring that there is an invasion of Zimbabwe but without themselves carrying it out. In those circumstances, they will stop at nothing.
“We would not be surprised if they spring a ‘mission’ involving the UN,” he added. The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe stood at 13,960 with 589 deaths. But doctors say the death toll could be much higher, while the UN children’s agency Unicef has warned 60,000 cholera cases could emerge in the coming weeks.
South African Health Minister Barbara Hogan led a team of health experts on Tuesday to assess the cholera outbreak in Limpopo province bordering Zimbabwe, where at least eight people have died from the disease.
The BBC’s Jonah Fisher in the border town of Musina says South Africa’s medical services are coping so far with the scores of sick Zimbabweans crossing the border every day looking for treatment.
But there is concern that people are sleeping in the open in conditions where the easily treatable could easily spread, while sanitation is poor at the site where new arrivals are being processed.
Meanwhile, a Southern African Development Community team dispatched to Zimbabwe on Monday is continuing to look at the extent of the epidemic.
The once-vibrant economy is now suffering from the world’s highest inflation, last estimated at 231m% in July.

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