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


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All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
July 27, 2013, 7:02 am

 

Dear Family and Friends,

In four days time Zimbabwe goes to the polls to choose between 60 year old Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC and 89 year old Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF. Mr Tsvangirai has held office as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe for the last four years. Mr Mugabe has held office as the President of the country for the last 33 years.

Zimbabwe will also be choosing parliamentary and local council candidates but tragically those choices have almost faded into insignificance as  the giant battle for the top job has engulfed everything else.

There are so many things that I could write about at such a dramatic time in our history but I have chosen only  one which for me tells the whole story of Zimbabwe in a few lines.  It was a small and seemingly insignificant incident which happened at a police road block yesterday. For some time I could see in my rear-view mirror a bright blue 70 seater bus closing the gap between us and bearing down fast. It was definitely going a great deal faster than the maximum 80 km/hour speed limit that was clearly displayed in red paint on its chassis. When the bus was so close behind me that I thought it would run me off the road, it swung out and overtook. I was doing 110 km/hour on the open road; it was doing at least 120.  Less than two minutes after the bus had overtaken me and while it was still clearly visible on the section of straight highway ahead, there was a police road block. The police waved the bus through but indicated that I should pull off the road. When the policeman had finished looking over my vehicle minutely, I asked why they hadn’t stopped the blue bus which was so obviously speeding and endangering the lives of the 70 passengers on board. I told the policeman how fast I was going when the full bus overtook me but that was ignored, as was the slip of paper I held out with the number plate of the bus written on it.  “Aah but that’s a government bus,” the policeman said, laughing.  The blue bus was a ZUPCO bus,  owned by the government and hurtling along filled, not with government officials but with ordinary men, women and children – all totally at the mercy of the driver.

The policeman’s comment  about not stopping the government bus said it all about Zimbabwe in 2013.  There is one rule for ‘them’ and another completely different rule for the rest of ‘us.’ As George Orwell so famously wrote:  “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Knowing just exactly who is more equal than who, we go to the polls in a few days. To all Zimbabweans, wherever you are in the country, please, please go and vote on Wednesday the 31st July. Your vote does count. Vote for the countless thousands of so called ‘Alien’ Zimbabweans who’ve been struck off the voters roll and haven’t been able to get back on. Vote for the 3 or 4 million Zimbabweans in the Diaspora who’ve been denied their right to vote. Vote for the thousands who died of cholera because their government could not give them clean water; for the thousands  who died of hunger and malnutrition because there was no food to buy. Vote for the estimated one million Zimbabweans whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed  by government bulldozers in their Operation Murambatsvina. Vote for the multiple thousands of Zimbabweans who have been murdered, tortured, maimed, raped and beaten in the name of political violence. Please, if you can, go and vote.

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.



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