noeuverings that are going on to help us.
First we heard that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was putting together a plan to rescue Zimbabwe from its political and economic crisis. Then, insinuating that something was already well underway by Annan, South African President Thabo Mbeki said “We are all awaiting the outcome of his intervention”.
Then came reports on South African television that Kofi Annan was going to visit Zimbabwe and that international aid would be given in exchange for President Mugabe’s retirement. Those reports on SABC TV even went as far as to say that President Mugabe would be given immunity from prosecution for human rights abuses. As the days passed the reports seemed to become more speculative than factual and the atmosphere got smokier.
Things got confusing when Zimbabwe’s state-owned TV announced that both Zanu (PF) and the MDC would accept Annan as a mediator. Whew, I must have missed something, where did the question of mediation come from all of a sudden? A few days later the mediation theme popped up again but this time it wasn’t Annan’s name being fronted but that of former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa.
Just as things had started getting interesting someone must have poured a bucket of water on the fire. The smoke got thicker than ever and from all sides came denials, back tracking and classic claims of “I Am Not The One.”
Ibrahim Gambari, the UN under secretary-general for political affairs said : “I think it is premature to talk about any package, and certainly even more premature to talk about that package including the possible departure of President Mugabe.”
Zimbabwe then said that the invitation extended to Kofi Annan to visit the country was no longer valid or applicable. Full stop. End of manoeuverings? Who knows, as they say there’s no smoke without fire. In the midst of a confusing week, and to make everything seem even more delusional, there was another earthquake.
Most of us can’t ever remember earthquakes in Zimbabwe or at least not for the last 30 years but now all of a sudden we’ve had two series of quakes and aftershocks in the past three months. At around midnight on Sunday two earthquakes measuring 3.9 and 4.0 on the Richter scale shook eastern parts of Zimbabwe. This time the epicentre of the quakes was much closer to home and near the Nyamudzi River in Wedza. Some people are saying that all these earthquakes are a sign that God is coming.
Others are saying that they are a sign from God. So from the country of smoke signals and shaking beds and mysterious signs, until next week, Ndini shamwari yenyu.
BY LITANY BIRD
Dear Family and Friends,
They say that there is no smoke without fire and if that is true then there is a big bonfire burning somewhere very close to home this week. It has been a very confusing few days in Zimbabwe with a number of different media reports about diplomatic ma