Exactly why did 4000 Zimbabweans lose their lives to cholera? Al Jazeera reports:

The UN dispute tribunal in Nairobi, Kenya, in effect found that UN bosses did not want to upset the government of Robert Mugabe, and did not act on warnings by a senior member of its staff. One hundred thousand people caught the disease.

Months before the outbreak of the cholera epidemic in 2008, which coincided with a time of heightened political tensions in Zimbabwe, Georges Tadonki, the then head of the UN humanitarian office in Zimbabwe, warned his superiors of the severe risks, but no action was taken.

Tadonki claims that he was fired in January 2009, partly because he sounded the alarm about the cholera crisis.

“Mr Tadonke pressed the issue, and this tribunal has heard that he was hounded out of his job, and his lawyers said he suffered a nervous breakdown as a result.” Al Jazeera’s Diplomatic Editor James Bays said.

That nervous breakdown is the story of Zimbabwe's post-independence black intelligentsia in a nutshell. No good mind could survive in that overwhelming atmosphere of rural stupidity.

The title of this post references this excellent book.