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April 02, 2006
Desperate mothers

Mugabe refuses to seek food aid

Zimbabwe is starving.

The dumping of babies, along with what doctors describe as a “dramatic” increase in malnourished children in city hospitals, is the most shocking illustration of the economic collapse of a country that was once the breadbasket of southern Africa.

Some of the corpses are the result of unwanted pregnancies in a country experiencing a rise in sexual abuse and prostitution. But others are newborns dumped by desperate mothers unable to support another child. Inflation has reached 1,000% and the government’s seizure of 95% of commercial farms has seen food production plummet.

The dead gutter babies are the most pitiful victims of a government that believes it can starve its people into compliance, or death, turning Zimbabwe into the only country in the region with a shrinking population.
So grave is the situation that even the government media have begun reporting it. “Some of the things that are happening now are shocking,” complained Nomutsa Chideya, Harare’s town clerk, to the state-owned Herald newspaper. “Apart from upsetting the normal flow of waste, it [baby dumping] is not right from a moral standpoint.”

As ridiculously repressive as the Bush Administration would like to be, at least we're not yet a country in which the abandonment of thousands of newborn babies has to be covered as a problem for waste treatments plants instead of as a humanitarian disaster.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:48 PM