Thousands Die After Zimbabwe Dictator Nationalizes Water Systems

Thousands of people have died of cholera in Zimbabwe after the country’s left-wing dictator Robert Mugabe nationalized municipal water systems to seize their revenue, allowing them to fall into ruin in the process.

“The cholera epidemic has its origins in politics . . .Mugabe’s ZANU-PF regime nationalized municipal water supplies in 2006 after the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by Morgan Tsvangirai, controlled some 80 percent of seats nationwide following successes in municipal elections. Mugabe’s government seized the water authorities to deny the MDC revenue and to control the lucrative contracts for repair of the broken system. The result was mayhem: Graft and corruption further undermined repairs, water went untreated and raw sewage was pumped into [the capital city of] Harare’s main reservoir. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, was spared this fate. Mugabe’s regime had calculated that taking over the water authority there would drive residents to vote for the MDC. Tellingly, Bulawayo suffered no cholera deaths last week, while Harare’s case fatality rate for the same week was 19 percent, some 20 times higher than the 1 percent fatality rate the World Health Organization estimates for cholera when proper treatment is available.”

Filthy water isn’t the only cause of rampant death in Zimbabwe. Malnutrition is another. So is destruction of the country’s hospitals. “On Nov. 18, President Robert Mugabe’s police, wielding batons, attacked doctors, nurses and medical students from the teaching hospital.”

In 1979, Zimbabwe had a democratically-elected government. But then-president Jimmy Carter undermined it with sanctions, helping bring to power the bloody insurgent leader, Mugabe (who had received aid from North Korea). Carter was angry that the country’s white elite had been able to cede power peacefully to the new democratically-elected president, the black nationalist bishop Abel Muzorewa, rather than being violently overthrown by Mugabe, the black insurgent leader who had waged a guerrilla war against the regime dominated by that white elite. Carter’s UN Ambassador, Andrew Young, effusively praised Mugabe as “incorruptible” and claimed that the stoutly-democratic Muzorewa was a fascist.  Out of ideological blindness and political correctness, Carter effectively condemned thousands of people in Zimbabwe to death and misery. Aided by U.S. sanctions, Mugabe soon took over the country, jailing Bishop Muzorewa. His North Korean-trained security forces then killed perhaps 25,000 members of the minority Ndebele tribe, forcing torture victims to sing praises to Mugabe even as they were savagely tortured, and forcing people to torture their own family members, sometimes to death.

Mugabe has since turned Zimbabwe, once a prosperous breadbasket, into one of the world’s poorest and hungriest countries.  Dissidents’ wives and children are tortured and murdered, orphans are beaten, schools are turned into torture chambers, and aid agencies that once fed thousands of starving people have been kicked out of the country.

Liberal politicians have learned little since then about not meddling in other countries’ affairs. Obama went to Kenya in 2006 and supported the candidacy of a socialist rabble-rouser (a distant kinsman of Obama) who incited ethnic cleansing after the disputed election of December 2007, until the embattled incumbent president, a pro-western reformer, named him prime minister to end the bloodshed.