Mbare Report No 62

Broken People

Since May when she was assaulted this rural woman has been walking around with her left arm broken. Attempts to heal the fracture failed. The bones are completely out of joint and at a crazy angle to each other, frightening to look at. Now she wants to join her husband, who was also assaulted and escaped to Botswana. There she hopes to get proper medical treatment, which means having the bones of her arms set with steel plates. We managed to find the money and send her on her way.

Another victim who was illegally evicted by party thugs from his one-room flat in one of the hostels in Mbare came for legal help to get back into his flat. There are others like him still battling to be allowed back into their lodgings. Letters to the police so far have not made any difference. As soon as they see a case is “political” they get cold feet and will not touch it.

While dealing with these victims news came in that a woman whom we had been assisting to get tested for TB and HIV has just died: another battle lost! If only people got tested when they still have the strength to fight back, benefiting from the new medication.

All this was going on this Saturday morning while cars, hooting their horns loudly, entered the courtyard. Bridesmaids in their splendid gowns and young men in black suits were waiting for the bridal couple to arrive. In the midst of our national crisis and economic meltdown some people still manage to pretend all is normal. Of course it isn’t. Quite a few of the cars have SA number plates. Is it normal that our best young people live in exile? But at least they have brought some goodies from Gauteng. The woman with the badly fractured arm is watching all this quietly. Her face does not betray her feelings. It is time to start the wedding service and for a change to attend to some happy, carefree people. – Oskar Wermter SJ

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