Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Zimbabwe 'Returning to Stone Age'

BBC - The introduction of ox-drawn ambulances is a sign that President Robert Mugabe is taking Zimbabwe back to the stone ages, the opposition says. The nine ambulances are destined for rural areas around the capital, Harare, as well as more remote regions, where there is a lack of motorized transport. "Our neighbours are getting state-of-the-art services, while we are going backwards," an opposition official said. Zimbabwe's health minister said the new ambulances would save many lives. Zimbabwe is in the midst of an economic crisis, with annual inflation running at more than 400%, unemployment of some 70% and shortages of foreign currency. One health official told a South African newspaper that in many state-run hospitals, Panadol is the only available drug. "An ambulance will thus be a big luxury," he told the Johannesburg Star. . . "We are going back to the stone ages," Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Paul Themba Nyathi told BBC News Online.

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