Out of sight, not out of mind

Dear Family and Friends,
The democratic space in Zimbabwe shrunk dramatically this week in a series of events reminiscent of our recent past. It's a familiar litany which instils fear, silences voices and closes doors that were just beginning to open:

The Mayor of Marondera town together with a Ward councillor and two others were arrested after a rally at a football stadium. The Mayor was held overnight and released without charge. At the time of writing the others were still detained without charge.

A 10-day photo exhibition at an Harare art gallery closed down one day after it was launched. Pictures highlighting human rights violations during the 2008 elections were seized by Police before the official opening by Prime Minister Tsvangirai. The pictures were returned after a High Court order but then attempts to seize them again later that same day, led the organizers to close the exhibition. Even though we are now not able to go and see the pictures, the images are already burned into the minds eyes of hundreds of thousands who witnessed the horrors at first hand when they were happening just two years ago.

Out of sight is not out of mind.

Another exhibition behind held to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of people in Bulawayo, was the next to come under the spotlight. Being held at the Bulawayo art gallery, the Gukurahundi Exhibition displayed documents, paintings and graffiti painted onto the walls of the gallery and visible to passers by on the street. Police raided the Gallery, arrested the organiser and confiscated pictures.

Then, in the midst of all this came the news that Finance Minister Tendai Biti had been in a car crash. Side swiped by a haulage truck, the Ministers car was a write off but miraculously he was OK. Need I say more?

A bad week ended on a bad note. Just as we dared hope that South African President Zuma had made some progress in breaking our political deadlock, there was a Zanu (PF) central committee meeting in Harare. Filmed on ZBC television, Mugabe stood at the podium and said that Reserve Bank Governor Gono and Attorney General Tomana were not going anywhere. He said that there was no package deal with the MDC and that no concessions were going to be made.

“Sanctions must go! Sanctions must go! Sanctions must go!” he said to laughter and applause from the audience.

Sanctions: the scapegoat for everything that is wrong in Zimbabwe; it used to be the Rhodesians, then the whites, then the farmers but now its sanctions!

Until next time, thanks for reading, Ndini shamwari yenyu.

Post published in: Opinions

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