Zimbabweans need our help now

It seems to me that the crisis in Zimbabwe will be with us for a long time. This much I regrettably accept.

Therefore, I wish to appeal to the World Health Organisation, through their highest office in South Africa under the directorship of Dr Welile Shasha, to play a more active role publicly in alleviating the plight of millions of destitute citizens in that country.

I met Shasha many years ago when he was still with the United Nations in Pretoria.

I strongly believe that it is through the leadership and the vision of humanitarians such as Shasha that some of the societal anomalies that persist in Zimbabwe can be decisively tackled.

There is untold poverty, homelessness, deprivation and suffering as a direct result of the economic and political stalemate that prevails.

Strategically, it is crucial that some of these social ills are addressed simultaneously and with a sense of greater urgency shown towards resolving the political shenanigans that continue to afflict and destroy innocent lives of ordinary and poverty-stricken Zimbabweans.

Children are starving, there is a dearth of basic medicinal necessities, people continue to be infected with HIV and there's a visible lack of basic foodstuffs to feed the nation.

If we can highlight, prioritise and provide for the day-to-day necessities which are the side-effects of the political crisis that threaten to destroy and bring Zimbabwe to its knees, then we can proudly declare that we are responsible neighbours.

Secondly, it will unequivocally show that we accept our inherent responsibility, by virtue of being members of the human race, to care, to treat and to support our neighbours who are literally on the verge of starving to death.

Let me hasten to remind all and sundry that in the not too distant past Zimbabweans, among other Southern African countries, including Zambia, provided shelter and sanctuary to our own political leaders and our own people at a time when apartheid was at its worst.

Such sacrifices by the citizens of those countries came at a heavy price.

The apartheid regime brutally attacked, maimed, raped, killed and destroyed these countries while pursuing our exiled leaders, but citizens of those countries refused to be intimidated.

They stood by us through thick and thin, through bloodshed and fire. Therefore, it pains my infected heart and my stained conscience, in this day and age of suffering and trauma, that we are seen to be turning our backs on those people.

It is imperative that the World Health Organisation is seen to be proactive and committed to the cause of emancipating civilians in Zimbabwe from the cruel and unflinching jaws of poverty, disease and trauma. I speak not for the powers-that-be but for helpless, defenceless and vulnerable children of the South.

I am sick and tired of so-called political leaders playing a game of Russian roulette while the lives of the powerless majority rot on a daily basis.