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African Tears Beyond Tears Innocent Victims Imire Can you hear the drums, by Cathy Buckle


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Bubbling black pot
April 6, 2013, 8:47 am

 

Dear Family and Friends,

When the mists are slow to lift out of the riverbeds in the mornings you know that winter is near in Zimbabwe. In the deep green foliage of the Musasa trees the young Sparrowhawk screams, urging you to stop and watch as it prepares to pounce, while down in the vleis and  along the streambanks the Red Hot Pokers are a mass of warm, fiery orange flowers; all are signs of the approaching cold.

This Easter with a couple of friends there was nothing nicer than sitting under a big shady tree near a stream, water spilling over rocks on one side and a three legged black pot bubbling gently on the other. We call it a potjie here, a strange Afrikaans word of Dutch origin pronounced poy-key that translates into long, slow cooked lunch the African way – meat, vegetables and gravy all in the same pot over a fire. Apparently the rule is not to stir the pot once you put the lid on, hard at first as your suppress your instincts, easier later as the surroundings soak into your senses. A fish eagle flies overhead, far away from the big wide dams and lakes where you most expect to see the huge eagles and hear their haunting cries. Conversation slows and then stops as a female Kudu walks quietly through the golden grass a little distance away. She sees us long before we see her and all too soon the kudu disappears, her colours perfectly camouflaged in the dappled sunlight and shadows that flickers between the trees.

That was one face of Zimbabwe this Easter but not very far away, in the straight line of a fish eagles’ flight, something very ugly had just been going on.  It took a couple of days after Easter before the attack on Wilson Anderson became common knowledge. According to the MDC provincial secretary in Zvimba who took the victim to hospital, Wilson was set upon  by eight Zanu PF youths who had been hiding in a maize field near his home. “They attacked him when he was about to enter his kitchen. They accused him of being a sell-out after they saw his picture in the Daily News at the burial of Christpower,” (the little boy who was burnt to death in Headlands a month ago) the MDC official said. Wilson Anderson had apparently gone to the funeral of Christpower to show support to the Maisiri family as he and his children had also been victims of politically motivated arson in the period around the 2002 elections. At first it seemed there was no attempt to deny or ‘sanitize’ what had happened to Wilson Anderson just before Easter and the Mashonaland West police spokesman Clemence Mabweazara  was quoted as saying: “I can confirm that there was political violence in Zvimba East.”

But then came the third face of Zimbabwe this Easter. Despite police confirmation of the political violence in Zvimba , the ZBC posted a story on their Facebook page contradicting the statement by the Mashonaland West police spokesman. The  ZBC wrote: “ In the Zvimba story, a local daily reported that Wilson Anderson was allegedly attacked by Zanu PF militia when in fact he was attacked after a misunderstanding with Moses Sande over a girlfriend when the two were drinking beer.”

From the land of contrasts and contradictions, truths, half truths and ‘sanitized’ news, until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.



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