Mugabe's cholera denial 'was sarcastic'

President Robert Mugabe's claim that there was "no cholera" in Zimbabwe was sarcasm, the country's state newspaper reported yesterday. Mr Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamaba, said the President's comments on Thursday were "sarcastic" and that the outbreak had been contained. The opposition called his remarks about the epidemic that has killed nearly 800 "careless and reckless". The UN says the death toll is 783, with more than 16,000 cases. Cholera has spread rapidly because of Zimbabwe's under-nourished people, crumbling health care and lack of clean water. Last week, the country declared a health emergency. AP