Zimbabwe court blasts leaders for worsening economy

January 12th, 2009 - 10:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Harare/Johannesburg, Jan 12 (DPA) The protracted wrangling by Zimbabwe’s political leaders is furthering the deterioration of the nation’s economy, Zimbabwe’s high court head said Monday.”Our political leaders should put aside their political differences, vendettas if any and put the nation of Zimbabwe first,” said judge president Rita Makarau. “As a result of the differences between our political leaders, the economy has been battered, and battered most severely.”

Zimbabwe is going through its worst economic and humanitarian crisis since the country gained independence from Britain in 1980. An acute shortage of all essentials ranging from food, cash, fuel, electricity and medical drugs has produced the highest inflation rate in the world, officially pegged at 231 percent.

Makarau said the economic meltdown has also affected the judiciary in Zimbabwe.

“Our staff, faced with the ever-increasing cost of transport and diminishing earnings and access to cash, struggle to make it to the High Court each day. We salute all those who have not resigned to date and continue to come to work in these hard times,” she said.

A power-sharing deal signed last year in September between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was seen as a hope in halting a further meltdown of Zimbabwe’s economy.

The deal has yet to take effect as Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of taking all key ministries such as home affairs, local government, foreign affairs, finance, information and defence. Several meetings called by regional leaders to break the impasse have ended in failure.

In addition to the economic meltdown, Zimbabwe is battling to contain a cholera epidemic that has claimed close to 2,000 lives since its outbreak in August.

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