Odilo touched many lives
EDITOR – I am sure many of your readers will remember Father Odilo Weeger, the former Roman Catholic Church Bulawayo provincial Superior of Mariannhill, who died at Mater Dei Hospital recently aged 94.
Fr Weeger had a passion for helping local people and he served them with love and zeal, opening many schools and hospitals in Matabeleland North Province with only a bicycle and a prayer book at his disposal.
Tributes have flooded in for him. I quote some of them for the benefit of those in the Diaspora who might be interested: He touched all of our lives with no thought of race, colour or creed. He remembered everyone, he remembered our names, our family members, our hobbies and our friends. He sought only to spread his love and the love of the Lord to each and every person in the Matabeleland community. His life spanned many decades, his strength, his devotion to Christ, his devotion to this City and this province, will be remembered by everyone who came in contact with this remarkable man. Catholics, Anglicans, Protestants, Baptists, the Jewish Community, every single person of every single religion, was encompassed by his extraordinary aura of love for his fellow man.
He was a wonderful man who committed his life fully to God, and to serving the many peoples of Zimbabwe. One of his sermons, especially at baptisms, was about living our lives like candles. He certainly did exactly that – giving light and warmth and consuming himself in the process. He had a genuine love for and interest in people, across a most surprising and wide range. He maintained contact personally with so many people whom he considered his personal friends and those of us fortunate to be included knew his concern and felt his prayers.
He had a deep reservoir of natural and acquired wisdom and human understanding and he appreciated God’s loving provision for us all in the beauty and complexity of creation, the earth and all life on it and the stars and all of the ever-more revealed universe. He appreciated the finer things in life, like art, music and etiquette and supported many community presentations and efforts with his presence. His strong sense of justice suffered greatly from the absurd removal of his own rights as a Zimbabwean resident for over 65 years, as well as the growing culture of impunity and disregard for basic rights that has done so much in our country.
He was a man of great faith in God. He was a source of inspiration to many who knew him.
L MOLONEY, UK
Looking for Sibanda, Rusere
EDITOR – I am trying to find the whereabouts of Mandla and Mehluli Sibanda and Reginald and Ronald Rusere. These gentlemen are originally from Bulawayo, Luveve. They used to stay in Slough, a few years ago. Mandla Sibanda used to work in Harare at Chikurubi. If anyone has their details or any information of their whereabouts please contact USA number 1-651-428-5856 or email [email protected]
Putting Mutambara straight
EDITOR – Like Pauline Henson, I didn’t take lightly what Arthur Mutambara said about former Rhodesians. In trying to castigate a section of the electorate, he is actually doing himself more harm than good. I vividly remember that this unfortunate comment came up after reference had been made to Major Giles Mutsekwa.
As an educated man himself, I feel I should further educate him on our history and what was happening during the Smith era because I know he could have been too young to understand what led others into joining the Rhodesian Army, Police and Special Branch. Other employment opportunities were completely shut out from blacks, and even the education system denied blacks chances of excelling in fields of their choice. This led to some blacks joining the Rhodesian forces, not because they wanted to delay the liberation effort, but because they needed a professional career.
In my opinion, this must not be confined to whites alone, but to all who are now being referred to as having been ‘firing from inside’. They are all referred to as Mapuruvheya, in Zimbabwe.
Let me remind some, who share Mutambara’s sentiments that there is no country in the world where a liberation war was fought, that did not include some indigenous people. As I write, right now, there are hundreds of these former forces still employed by the present government and some have been promoted to higher ranks in their professions. What do these people now think of such comments? They must start fearing for their future now, if Mutambara, as an aspiring future president starts uttering such irresponsible words in public.
These people are Zimbabweans like everyone else, and should not be treated differently. They will therefore feel more comfortable under Mugabe than his government, like some ex combatants. This is a very important constituency that he is now up against, that cannot be ignored. I am talking of many people, not Giles Mutsekwa alone. Even some of the most successful people in politics now were sent to school by their patents who were civil servants at that time. In trying to attack Mutsekwa, it looks like he has touched a raw nerve, that will cost him dearly in his quest for getting people to support his party. Mugabe knew it doesnt do anybody any good, that is why he decided to go for intergration of the three forces.
I want to assure him that once he becomes president and tries to play that card, sons and daughters of those former forces will rise against him, because had they not worked for their children’s upbringing, the children would not be positions in which they are now in. Talk of irresponsibility and immaturity.
BERNARD MATONGO, Harare
I still dream of returning
EDITOR – Just over two years ago, I left what I knew and ventured into a territory that was very unfamiliar. In doing so, I left friends, family and memories behind. This new territory was a downright nerve-racking experience. Suddenly in front of me appeared new faces, new names, new dress standards, new living arrangement, new education facilities and most importantly a new culture. It was incredibly overwhelming and a challenge which at the time seemed almost impossible to overcome. I believe the confusing factor was not knowing who or what to blame for my unhappiness.
I guess time gave me a second chance and my mind managed to work around the difficulties and deal with any issues that headed in my direction. Everyone you meet has an interesting story to tell, they also have sad stories and happy stories, sometimes they sound more dreadful than others. But no one can measure it because everything happens in perspective and we deal with events in our lives as we best see fit.
There will always be someone that gets hurt, and someone that ends up better off. The best you can do is try to learn something from where you went wrong, and take that lesson with you. I do not know where this life will lead me, and I do not know where this path will lead me in life. If you cannot do something with all your heart, then stop and ask yourself why are you doing it? Do not lie because it makes it appear to have improved, tell the truth so that it has improved.
One day there is sunshine and the next might be a thunderstorm, we might lose faith, but it is not hard to find again. I have moved from one continent to another, coming from a land of turmoil to a land of law and equal opportunity. For that I must admit, I am truly grateful. But there lies a fault, in that it is too easy to forget the importance of truth and guidance. It is all too easy to step back into unhappiness. I have taken my time in moving forward, and even now I still dream of returning to my homeland. At least I have my fond memories of what I knew as Zimbabwe, and I will have those memories forever. Keep your faith and remain unchanged.
JACKIE ROBINSON, (aged 14), Australia
Post published in: Uncategorized