Tuesday, June 07, 2005

All is not well in Zimbabwe

Just a day removed from the start of the intended job stay away to protest the unbearable chaos created by Mugabe & Co. in Zimbabwe there’s a strong sense that the mass protest will be a success. Here are snippets once again of a phone conversation I had with an immediate family member and my friend both in Harare, early Wednesday (Zim time off course):

“We had to go to FOUR different stores just to find bread today. Because of the displacements during Operation “Murambatsvina” (cleanup), hundreds of thousands of people have nowhere to stay or prepare their food, so they clamor for the bread when they can find it cause they don’t have cook it any further before they can eat it.

Even those of us who lived through the war (of liberation) have never seen anything like this before. It is unbelievable I tell you.

Harare is cold, and people are suffering. You will not believe Mbare Musika (long distance bus terminus and popular informal market) if you went there now; it looks like they dropped a bomb over there. There’s congestion as people try desperately to leave the city and the debris from demolished stalls is all over the place.

I think this time the stay away will succeed it’s not like the other times. The war vets (chief culprits of violence and pandemonium during the government sanctioned farm invasions) are livid about the cleanup. They had their makeshift homes destroyed during the blitz too. People lost everything. That has made them frontliners in the calls for protests against the government.

People around the city (Harare) are well aware of the planned protest. The independent media and cell phone text messages have been the main way that the message has been passed on. There have also been a lot of fliers handed out in the city here. People are definitely aware.

The Herald and ZBC—Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (both government propaganda) continue to belittle the stay away but I think anyone who had any doubts, now knows the reality that this government is cruel. How can anyone with a heart do this to their own people?”

I don’t think I’ll be able to get into town for work on Thursday and Friday. The combi (minibus—informal transporters) people have already told us that they will not be plying their routes during the stay away. Everyone seems set to be involved this time. I don’t know if I can get into town. I might go to work but if I have problems trying, it’s not worth it. What do you want us to do? This is too much man, we are suffering here.
There you have it, “The world as seen from the eyes of a Zimbabwean.” It’s all falling apart.

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