I’d be happy to give you an update on the situation in Zimbabwe. The cholera epidemic that you mention is somewhat under control. We still have issues in the countryside. There are 80,000 people that have been affected with cholera, and the death total has gone above 4,000. Again, it’s a total collapse and failure of the health system in Zimbabwe that’s precipitated this unfortunate event.
We’re working hard with the international community. We have quite a few players on the ground in Zimbabwe working to alleviate the situation. And the Zimbabwean Government is trying to spin itself up to do more to assist its people, but there still is an issue and there’s still so much more to be done.
On the political side of the house, we have the new national – government of national unity, and that government is burping along, but not very well. There are still quite a few issues. As we sit here today, there are still farm invasions that are occurring in Zimbabwe. There are still political activists who have been jailed. We have at least 13 people. We have no idea where these folks are. We have no idea where these folks are.
So the political situation in Zimbabwe, even though we do have a government of national unity, there are still some severe problems that need to be dealt with. These issues have to be dealt with, I think, before we can move forward towards other political issues in Zimbabwe.
I’d say that the sanctions in Zimbabwe are one of the few issues that we’re – where we have made a difference. The sanctions in Zimbabwe need to continue and they will continue. We are going to take a very careful look at what this government is doing. We’ve laid out in no uncertain detail the five principles that need to be adhered to before we’re going to remove sanctions, and until we see some movement towards meeting those principles, sanctions will stay. The sanctions are against individuals. They’re against institutions. These individuals and institutions have been carefully looked at, and we know that they’re the reasons that this country, that Zimbabwe itself is in such bad shape today.
I’d like to share that, you know, we need to look at Zimbabwe and say we have opportunities. You know, this is an imperfect union. It’s an imperfect marriage, if you will – this government of national unity – but it’s also an opportunity. I think for the first time in 28 years, the people of Zimbabwe actually see hope. They’re hopeful that things can change and get better for the future. And I think that all of us – the Western nations, the donor nations, and especially the African nations – need to step up and provide more assistance: technical assistance, assistance as far as economic recovery is concerned. The African Union and SADC are the guarantors of this government of national unity. I’d love to see them step up and do more in Zimbabwe to assist people, to assist the government. Zimbabwe can work, and Zimbabwe can return to the past that it had before. We do need people to step up and be progressive with this.