Flushing out the Wounded Buffalo

The wounded Baffalo
When hunting a dangerous enemy, especially one that has been wounded but
still has the capacity to wreak carnage if we are not careful, vigilance is
the key to success.

Zanu PF has been mortally wounded, no one expects them

to last much longer but they have gone into the Jesse and apart from the

sounds of an angry bellow or two and trees being shaken by a massive head

with horns, we have seen little of the quarry since our engagement on the

29th March.

We are working hard to flush the devil out of the Jesse – we are beating the

surrounding bush. The SADC countries are all doing their bit except for

Mbeki who still wants us to negotiate a deal. Time is running out, the

inflation rate is bleeding the beast and if he does not move soon he will

not have the strength to do so and will die where he is in the bush. The key

is to guess – you can never know with certainty, where and when he will come

out with a rush and what we will have to do to ensure we get in a clean


Anyone who has hunted one of the big five in Africa will know exactly what I

am talking about. That sense of fear and anticipation; the adrenalin is

pumping and although its hot you do not notice the weather and all is

concentrated on being ready for that final contest. You have checked your

weapon, made sure your fingers know where the spare rounds are and that they

are all in good working order. Your guide is behind you with his own weapon

and you have confidence that if you do not finish off the beast, he will.

Nearly 7 weeks have gone by since this old buffalo was shot. He has had

plenty of time to work out an exit strategy and to watch his hunter through

beady eyes and allow his own internal hatred and anger build. His campaign

is made up of what he has known to work in the past – brute force, terrible

terror and fear and deceit and deception before that final fateful rush

where he hopes his horns can get close enough to kill.

So Zanu PF has deployed their brown shirts – in all sorts of uniforms and

with all sorts of weapons. They have targeted all those whom they thought

were in any way responsible for that fatal shot on the 29th. They have

beaten and raped, burnt and destroyed. Many have died and thousands are

wounded and hurt, tens of thousands have fled to safety. This old adversary

is now preparing to leave the Jesse – leave at an unexpected point and time

and in areas where it has the best hope of a killing thrust. This is clear

from Chinamasa’s statement yesterday that Zanu is looking forward to the run

off and that it will be held within 90 days of the 2nd May, even though this

is illegal.

They are preparing ZEC for a final effort to rig the electoral process

hoping that by driving out of the rural areas all those who supported the

MDC and by instilling fear in the rest and then falsifying the ballot that

this will be enough to turn the tide. How close the old buffalo is to

completing this exit strategy is anyone’s guess but the postal ballot is

under way in Police camps and this is a clear sign that we must be ready.

My own guess is that they might well try to ambush us – and give us a week’s

notice of the run off. We had intelligence to that effect some weeks ago. In

which case we will have a week to campaign and organise to supervise the run

off in 9200 polling stations. An impossible task even if it is extended by a

week or two, it is still a very tough assignment.

We are advised by all and sundry that we should not participate until the

playing field is more level and the violence in the Jesse is halted and

conditions returned to normal. The hunt in Africa is not like that and

perhaps this is what makes it such a life changing experience. Hunter and

the hunted have to anticipate and react – fast and under deadly conditions.

This contest is no different, only the weapons are different.

On Sunday we plan a celebration rally in Bulawayo and we hope the President

will be there to celebrate our victory in March with the people who have

walked this long road together with him. I think sometimes we lose sight of

the fact that on the 29th March the people of Zimbabwe voted, almost for the

first time, on a national basis. In 1980 we were cleanly divided

Ndebele/Shona, north/south. In March we elected a Shona speaking Zimbabwean

as President and he was supported in the southwest in the same way that he

was in the north of the country.

We will celebrate our victory and look forward to the future under a new

government, look forward to a new beginning for this broken and mangled

country. We will remember all those who died in our long road to freedom –

the men and women who died in the independence struggle, the people murdered

in Gukurahundi and those displaced and made homeless in Murambatsvina. The

many hundred who have died during the democratic struggle up to 2008.

We will celebrate our victory – made sweeter because it is a democratic one

and not one wrought over the innocent bodies of the people in some sort of

armed struggle, as has been the case in so many other African States.

Yesterday the Police informed us that they would not allow any campaigning –

they said we could not hold the rally as planned. We are taking this to

Court today and are planning to go ahead anyway. What more stupidity can

these people devise next – weeks or even days away from an election and the

main contender is not allowed to campaign? No press access, no freedom of

association, widespread political violence against opponents, and attacks on

activists, arbitrary arrests and detention all translate into elections,

Zanu PF style.

Here we are 7 weeks after the elections and still not one town council has

taken office, not one MP has been sworn in, no Senator has taken his seat

and we continue to be governed, not by the victors but by the defeated that

remain in office illegally and continue to behave as if it was business as


A nasty feature of the present situation is the intensified control over the

distribution and sale of basic foods. Maize meal is being tightly controlled

and so is sugar. I expect that other basic foods will follow shortly. These

are being distributed on a political basis and the recipients are then on

selling at huge margins. We will take careful note of all who participate in

such activities and will take appropriate action against them when things

come right.

I have just heard that Breytentach of the Congo and other misdeeds has

bought a massive Ranch – over 1 million acres with huge potential in the

Southeast of the country. I also understand he is evicting all the settlers

and others who have been using the ranch. This makes a complete mockery of

the so-called land reform exercise and demonstrates that Zanu PF it totally

corrupt in its business dealings.

Keep it up guys, the gravy train you are on is going nowhere and soon will

be derailed and we will then have to pick through the wreckage to decide

what to keep and what to throw away.

Eddie Cross

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