There are times where I look at Zimbabwe and wish that nations had reset buttons.

The situation in Zimbabwe may soon "implode" as a cholera outbreak spreads and basic services collapse, South African leaders and a group of international statesmen warned yesterday.

On the eve of talks in South Africa between Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and opposition rivals, South African leaders sharply upgraded their crisis assessment and warned of Zimbabwe's imminent collapse if urgent action was not taken.


Attempts to agree a power sharing arrangement have foundered as Mugabe insisted on keeping most of the ministries for his Zanu-PF party.

In the meantime, the economy has disintegrated and the health system is close to breakdown. Four big hospitals, including two in Harare, have effectively closed their doors to new patients owing to a shortage of basic supplies and running water, the Elders said. Even women needing caesarean sections are being turned away.

Machel said it was clear that the state could no longer offer basic services and was failing its people.

The cynical part of me just thinks they should set up a giant slush fund half the size of Zimbabwe's economy and give it away to whatever companies come asking for it before Zanu-PF is run out of power. The more hopeful part of me thinks this may be a critical place where a new Obama adminstration (I'd hold out hope for Bush here, but I might as well wait for Burger King to replace the beef in the Whopper with seitan) can step in and aid a country in desperate need, thereby gaining a ton of goodwill. Or we could just save Citigroup. Again.