Famine, genocide on the cheap in Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe is in the grip of a hidden famine and as a United Nations envoy begins a tour of the country today, The Independent can reveal a deadly nexus of Aids, starvation and depopulation of the cities that is sending tens of thousands to a silent death in rural areas.

One month into President Robert Mugabe's brutal campaign of demolition and displacement, which has cost at least 400,000 people their homes and livelihoods, the scale of the humanitarian disaster is emerging. The victims of this forced expulsion - which has been compared to the devastating policies of Pol Pot in Cambodia - are arriving in the already famine-stricken countryside, where, jobless and homeless, they are waiting to die. Unofficial estimates obtained by The Independent suggest the death rate is already outstripping the birth rate nationwide by 4,000 a week.

What hidden famine? It has been apparent for years. That is why these people had come to the city to try to scratch out a living. Mugabe seems to be brutally straight forward about his plan to kill his opponents like they were Terry Shavio. But I do not think the paper will be describing their state as one of euphoria.


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