It seems almost cruel to abandon them…

I read the following heart rending article on drought in Zimbabwe, currently presided over Robert Mugabe. This excerpt gives and idea of the dire straits that country is in.

The government is very happy about the food situation as they know they can use food to make people vote for them again,” he says. “They use every advantage.”

At the next village, Grandmother Dedi Ndlovu is complaining about pain in her legs. She harvested just 20kg of maize for her nine grandchildren, eight of whom are orphans. “Not even half a bag,” she says. “In the past we would get six or seven bags. Sometimes I think, what if I get sick and die? What will happen to these children?”

It is a while before I notice something even more eerie than the impending famine. These are villages of grandparents and grandchildren. There is nobody of my age. In a whole day we meet only one person between the ages of 20 and 50.

“All the young people have either died or gone,” explains Pastor Raymond, the local clergyman.

In a country where drought has consumed that land, an inflation rate of 15000% and the government resorting to paying gangsters to make sure shopkeepers comply with price restrictions, you can call the powers that be insane, almost diabolic for thinking about using food to barter for votes.

But what shocked me was the following comment left at the end of the webpage.

…the West should leave Africa to sort out its own problems. However, they are incapable of doing so, and have no intention of doing so, because come hell or high water, African leaders will NEVER act decisively as one to get rid of their dispicable peers, such as Mugabe.

In fact, the West should give Africa up as a lost cause, because that is what it is, very largely. and it will remain so until African leaders …

The crude generalization of Africa and the West as beggar and benefactor should repulse us.

But then in the name of respecting national sovereignty, would anyone just stand by and watch a country waste to ashes?  Could you, after seeing what starvation does to a person, just sit by and pontificate about a country, no even a whole continent, being a ‘lost cause’? Does “God helps those who help themselves” apply in this case?


1 Response to “It seems almost cruel to abandon them…”

  1. July 15, 2007 at 12:03 am

    It seems even more callous when you take into account the West profited from Africa in the earlier colonial days, and now, seeing no use for it other than being a deadweight on the conscience of the world, would rather kick it aside, very much like a used battery.

    Whatever happened to all Tony Blair’s resolutions during the G8 to send more aid to Africa? The road to hell is paved with good intentions… so it would seem the wastelands of Africa are equally paved with good intentions…

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About me

moogleBorn and bred in KL, Malaysia. Now studying for his Phd in Singapore. Learning to walk one fall at a time.
July 2007
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