LETTER FROM HOME – A very sad week

Dear Family and Friends,
It has been a very sad week for Zimbabwe. After two months of hints, whispers and promises, yet another opportunity to help Zimbabwe has come to nothing. They were all there at the AU meeting in the Gambia, all Africa's Big Men. They were joined by the

leaders of Iran and Venezuela and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was there too.
Between them all, however, none was able to step forward with empathy, compassion and courage to speak out and stand up for ordinary men, women and children of Zimbabwe.
Just a few months from the end of his term of office, and despite having agreed to be a mediator for Zimbabwe, Kofi Annan went back on his word at the last moment. A few weeks ago South African President Thabo Mbeki also backed away from standing up for his next door neighbours. Mbeki, christened by America as the Point Man on Zimbabwe, and after years of exceedingly Quiet Diplomacy, said he was looking forward to Annan taking the lead in assisting Zimbabwe. Now, tragically, it is all over before it even began.
Speaking from Gambia last week Annan neatly passed the buck on to ex Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa. He said: “I told him (Mugabe) I was committed to helping Zimbabwe and the people of Zimbabwe and would support the work of the mediator.” Annan had the chance to show real and heroic leadership as his term of office comes to an end but he chose otherwise. He concluded by saying: “We both agreed that he (Mkapa) should be given the time and space to do his work.”
It is beyond belief that he could talk about time and space six years into Zimbabwe’s crisis. It was his own office that said 700 000 homes were destroyed and two and half million people lost their livelihoods just a year ago in the Zimbabwe government’s Operation Murambatsvina.
There is no time left in Zimbabwe – that is plain for everyone to see. Eight out of every 10 people here are unemployed; we have the lowest life expectancy and the highest inflation rate in the world. Four hundred and eighty people die in Zimbabwe every single day from AIDS. This figure is the bare minimum and to my knowledge is now at least a year out of date. It does not include needless deaths from inadequate food, shelter or medical care.
There is no space left in Zimbabwe either – emotions are at breaking point, frustration and anger is uppermost and democracy is being taught with sticks, stones, machetes and fists. This week we heard with shock that five members of the Mutambara-led faction of the MDC had been brutally attacked by a mob. Four people were hurt, worst of all 61 year old MP Trudy Stevenson who was left with a deep gash to the back of her head, broken arm bones and a fractured cheek bone.
What hope is there for Zimbabwe when the Big Men keep stepping back and saying Not On My Watch? Until next week, thanks for reading, ndini shamwari yenyu

Post published in: Opinions

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