lephant Hills hotel – re-living the colonial dream in amazing surroundings, bags to eat and drink and entertained by “young ebony skinned maidens.”
I would just like to remind your readers that Victoria Falls may well be the perfect place to be on a Zimbabwean winter’s weekend – but only if you are not one of the hundreds of thousands with nowhere to live and nothing to eat, who lives against the backdrop of a 1,800 percent inflation rate and who will be dead before his/her 35th birthday!
TREVOR GRUNDY, UK
Silence is betrayal
EDITOR – In the time of every nation, there comes a time when silence is betrayal and the time has come for genuine and serious human rights defenders to speak out. I am joining the many people who have been brave enough to speak about the suffering we have had under the Mugabe regime.
The people who have taken the biblical message seriously: Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:8ff).
Zimbabweans have nothing to show for 26 years of independence. We no longer have a leader, I mean a caring leader to address our suffering. It is paradoxical because the person who is supposed to be there for us happens to be the author of our suffering. Zimbabwe is today torn between two societies. One society is built upon the freedom of the human person, and the other one is opposed to that freedom.
All democratic and progressive forces belong to the society built upon the freedom of the human person. This is the category of people who have been labelled enemies of the state, puppets of the West etc. But I differ with whoever came up with such nauseating labels.
Who is the enemy of the state? The enemy of the state is anyone who uses force to stay in power, anyone who uses the uniformed forces to suppress any peaceful demonstration, anyone who rigs an election to lengthen his overstaying in power. We are experiencing hell on earth due to sheer misrule. In a country fraught with injustice, repression and corruption there is no philosophical justification to remain the leader. Give others their chance. People power will set you free. In the end victory belongs to the people. Whether you like it or not.
Roy Bennet has suffered enough
EDITOR – Roy Bennett is a highly respected Zimbabwean leader. In denying him political asylum, the South African government has clearly displayed its support for Zanu (PF) and it’s insensitivity to the suffering of Zimbabweans.
Roy Bennett was sentenced to one year in prison by a Mugabe kangaroo court for pushing a fellow MP in parliament as a result of false and insulting accusations by Patrick Chinamasa. He served the sentence and came out a popular hero of the Zimbabwe people.
This was not what the Mugabe regime had anticipated, so they dreamed up ridiculous treason charges, which would see him sentenced to death. It is a well-known fact that the judicial system has been subjugated, corrupted and vandalised by the regime, so much so that magistrates and judges who try to give impartial verdicts are targeted by Mugabe’s agents.
The upshot of this is that Roy Bennett, an innocent man, was likely to have been faced with the hangman’s noose. It is for this reason that he fled the country. The fact that the South African government refused Bennett asylum reflect either dangerous and ominous signs of sheer racism or complete ignorance of the realities on the ground in Zimbabwe.
It must make one think about recent statements made by Cosatu about the possibility of another dictatorship, like Zimbabwe’s, becoming a reality in South Africa. Roy Bennett, his family and the people who used to work with him have suffered immeasurable tragedies at the hands of Mugabe’s thugs.
One of his workers, a woman, was raped and murdered when his farm was invaded. The South African government must know about what happened because it was well publicised in the media. It boggles the mind to contemplate the possibility that their love for Mugabe has blinded them or is it that the South African government is simply following Mugabe’s orders. The Pretoria administration has openly supported the atrocities being perpetrated on the people of Zimbabwe under the smoke screen of quiet diplomacy.
South Africa could have used its political muscle and economic muscle to reign in Mugabe. However, a donkey cannot laugh at another donkey’s tail when it can feel its tail growing also. People like Willkie Modishe, Zwelinzima Vavi, their team and followers realise that this country is a powerhouse to liberate the rest of the oppressed African Countries. If these people were in power, then Swaziland would not be where it is today, and Zimbabwe would still be a land of milk and honey. South Africa would have a lower unemployment problem because the almost 4,5 million Zimbabwean refugees would not be competing for South African jobs. We believe South Africa is in the wrong hands and we predicted it three years ago. The article that we wrote three years back clearly stating that South Africa was in the footsteps of Zimbabwe is available on www.zimbabwean.netfirms.com
To President Thabo Mbeki, we say that this callous, blatant action to refuse Roy Bennett sanctuary from tyranny is a disgrace to humanity. It smacks in the face of your constitution and your obligation to preserve and foster human rights on this continent. We Zimbabweans will remember you actions and when freedom comes to our land, as it most surely will, you will not be welcome under any circumstances. CONCERNED ZIMBABWEANS ABROAD, Johannesburg