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


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Rebels who dared to criticise
May 2, 2014, 2:37 pm

 

Dear Family and Friends,

Dramatic developments are underway in Zimbabwe. Every day the headlines are screaming, the editorials scathing and the criticism fierce as we watch fifteen years unravel in front of our eyes.  We saw this coming,  it seemed inevitable but still it is cause for bitter disappointment.  

In February 2009 when our  dollar had been devalued for the third time in thirty months during which time twenty five zeroes had been removed from the currency, Zimbabwe was at its darkest hour. One ‘new’ dollar in February 2009 was equivalent to ten septillion old dollars.  Most of us did not know how we had survived ten years of economic mayhem, not to mention disease, hunger and an epidemic of political violence. By the time we were talking in quadrillions and septillions we had only one hope and that lay with the ten year old opposition MDC party. They had by then already split into two factions and all was not rosy in the party but we knew they were the only people that could pull us out of the hell we were stuck in.

What happened after that is history: a so called Unity Government took over but it was riddled with fighting and inequity which provided a convenient smoke screen for a mammoth orgy of looting which is only now being uncovered.  While ordinary people were struggling to recover from a decade of penury and mayhem, officials in state enterprises were awarding themselves salaries ranging from 30 or 40 thousand dollars a month to over 230 thousand dollars a month.  We still don’t know what’s really been happening with our country’s gold and diamonds or many of our other assets and resources; those dark secrets are yet to be unlocked.

Four and a half years later, in July 2013, the MDC agreed to an election littered with flaws and in which they didn’t even have a copy of the voters roll.  Deep down everyone knew it was dead wrong but were swept up in a tidal wave of excitement, believing that the promised future was really possible. None of us expected the extent of the loss that would follow, and as dramatic as it sounds, we’ve been a country in a state of paralyzed shock since August 2013.

In the last week Tendai Biti, the MDC’s Secretary General, who served as the Minister of Finance during the unity government held a meeting and threw his cards on the table, openly calling for new leadership in the MDC. ‘Dear leader Morgan Tsvangirai has failed as a leader, is now clearly unsuitable,’ he said. Credited with stopping the economic haemorrhage of our economy in February 2009 and smashing inflation from an estimated 200 plus billion percent down to five percent, Mr Biti has now been labelled a ‘rebel’ and been expelled from the MDC along with eight other MP’s and others who attended the meeting. What happens to the MDC now, or to the expelled ‘rebels’ who dared to criticise, to call for new leadership, remains to be seen.

As much as we don’t want to go back to the dark days of  2000 – 2009, ordinary Zimbabweans know only one thing: we don’t want more dictators; we need true leaders who will work tirelessly and selflessly for all  of us, regardless of our tribe, our skin colour, our connections or our financial means.  Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy 



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