Daily we hear about the horrific conditions in Zimbabwe. In the past three weeks, the complete collapse of public health system and sanitation infrastructure has developed into a major cholera epidemic, which has not only extended to the entire country but also into South Africa. Authorities have closed the country's two main hospitals in Harare, including maternity wards. Essential medicines are not available to treat diseases that the government's gross negligence has exacerbated. Antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS patients and TB treatment has been severely disrupted. Recently, the Medical School of the University of Zimbabwe was closed indefinitely as it has become impossible to continue to teach medical students in non-functioning health institutions. In the same week, Zimbabwean health workers organised a mass protest in Harare over the failure of the government to address both the health system collapse and the cholera outbreak. The country's notorious riot police brutally and violently broke up the peaceful demonstration that was calling for a regional and international crisis response.
The Social Justice Coalition made up of the diverse people of South Africa held a meeting on Wednesday 25 June 2007 to demonstrate their solidarity with victims of rights abuses in Zimbabwe and those of xenophobic attacks.
This is part of the launch of the Social Justice Coalition, highlighting the continuing political crisis in Zimbabwe and calling on people across South Africa and elsewhere to press the Southern African Development, (SADC), African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN) to act decisively to end systematic political violence in Zimbabwe and resolve the country’s long-standing political crisis.
Open Letter to the Governments of the World: