|NEPAD & Nevirapine
|How high is the High Court?|
|A new storm
is brewing. This time over Health Minister Tshabalala-Msimang. Activists
sued government some time ago over the use of antiretroviral drugs in state
hospitals, or rather the absence of these drugs. Eventually now it ended
up in the High Court which duly ruled against government and for the right
of the people. Nevirapine helps prevent mother to child HIV/Aids transmission.
At Elim hospital an average of eleven HIV-positive kids are admitted each month. Of these two to three die each week. This figure could be cut by a third if pregnant mothers had access to the drug.
Government still don't have a plan in place for the effective battle against HIV/Aids. And this is exactly where the court nailed them. The Msimang episode started with her expressed "no" response on national TV when asked whether government will comply with the court order. Of course government is now trying to "put things in perspective" by stating that what the Health Minister said was not what she meant. The long and short of this is that government wants the Constitutional Court to decide on the matter. One of the stupid remarks made by a government official (Msimang herself) was that this ruling was only by one High Court, and that others might come to a different conclusion. How high is a High Court, and what makes one different to another? Will government quickly go and amend the constitution so that the Constitutional Court must rule in their favour? Mugabe has been doing it for some time and we've all seen Deputy President Zuma and Mbeki's support there, why not here?
When will government start governing for the people? When will the ANC eventually realise that they're slowly but surely killing off their supporters? Good thing for all the conservatives you might think, but not at this cost!
Getting back to Mugabe. NEPAD (New Partnership of Africa's Development) support has been dropping in the Northern hemisphere. A South African and Nigerian initiative to promote African trade in the rest of the world, has a member which is not much liked in developed countries namely Robert Mugabe. Mbeki pleaded with the Commonwealth not to suspend Zimbabwe after the abortion they called a "fair and free" election. Eventually all agreed on a years' suspension only. Now the North has flooded Africa with criticism over the handling of the Zimbabwe affair, threatening withdrawal from NEPAD if neighbours can't look after neighbours. And here I must agree with Alec Irwin and Jacob Zuma (makes a change, doesn't it). Then again, if your neighbours' wife is alone at home being raped, will you sit back and turn up the TV or will you call the cops? If your neighbour dumps all his refuse / rubbish on the paving, will you reprimand him or join him?
Now let's get
real here! What did the government expect after their initial jubilation
of the fairness and "freeness" of the Zimbabwe election, to only afterwards
tone down their party music? Did they really think that the world would
ignore their own analysis of the proceedings and accept South Africas'
version? Not! And with more intimidation and attacks than ever before in
ZImbabwe, what must the developed world do now? The limited sanctions were
a good start, but what do you do with a worm like Mugabe? Squash him.
And in the meantime our economy has not seen the worst of the falling Rand saga as yet. Last week I reported on the price of milk, so big was my surprise when checking sachet prices at the local Engen (Mobil) shop and discovering that these guys charge well over six bucks a liter! Then again cigarette prices are close on 30% more than at the local Greek shop. Should've expected that! Big story on Sunday was the relevant price increases on basic foodstuff. With some products being increased by up to between 40 and 69% in one go where the estimated manufacturing cost amounted to nothing more than 12 to 14%. But this ain't nothing yet! Fuel is going up by 25 cents a liter next month which will speed up the already rolling ball of ever increasing prices.
I am currently looking at a certain business opportunity with the prospect of starting my own business. Seems this is the only way to "sort-of" survive in this country. Looking at most of our population the business owner seems to be the survivor. That of course excludes all high-flying government officials
If you haven't seen a Banana Republic as yet, hang on, we're getting there!