Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak: A Failure of Governance?

The latest news and analysis from Zimbabwe and beyond.

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe is facing a deadly cholera outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 100,000 since August 2023. The disease, which causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, is spread by contaminated water and food. It is easily preventable and treata

Many Zimbabwe blame the government for failing to provide adequate health services, clean water, and infrastructure. They accuse the authorities of corruption, mismanagement, and neglect. They also criticize the government’s anti-cholera campaign, which they say is too little, too late, and ineffective.

The campaign, launched In September 2023, aims to raise awareness, distribute supplies, and vaccinate people against cholera. However, it has faced many challenges, such as shortages of funds, staff, and equipment, as well as resistance from some communities who distrust the government and the vaccine.

Some experts say that the campaign is not enough to address the root causes of the outbreak, which are linked to the country’s political and economic crisis. Zimbabwe has been suffering from hyperinflation, unemployment, poverty, and social unrest for years. The situation worsened after the disputed 2023 presidential election, which sparked violence and protests.

The government has denied any responsibility for the outbreak and blamed it on external factors, such as climate change, sanctions, and sabotage. It has also accused the opposition and civil society groups of politicizing the issue and undermining the campaign.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and other international partners have been supporting the government’s efforts to contain the outbreak and provide humanitarian assistance. They have also urged the government to improve its governance and accountability, as well as to address the long-term challenges of water, sanitation, and health systems.

The cholera outbreak has exposed the deep divisions and frustrations in Zimbabwe society. It has also highlighted the need for dialogue, reform, and cooperation to overcome the crisis and prevent future disasters. Many Zimbabwe hope that the outbreak will serve as a wake-up call for the government and the people to work together for a better future.

Source: New Zimbabwe





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