A letter to Father Christmas

Dear Father Christmas, I know that you only give gifts to children and I'm not a child but I wonder if you would consider the items on my list for the benefit of all Zimbabwe's children, most of who don't have a voice, and for their parents who struggle so much every day.

First and most important: Is there any chance you could give us some more water? Scooping water out of open wells in the bush because our taps are dry 22 hours a day makes life very tough and we are so scared of our children getting sick. We haven't had a drop of water in my home town for the last three days, it's been much longer in many other places and we would really appreciate your urgent help on this.

Secondly: Please can we have a little bit more electricity? These 16 hour a day power cuts are gruelling and we don't understand why the power company keep charging us more and more but give us less and less. We have to keep throwing away the food in our fridges because it goes bad and are cooking outside over smoky fires so a bit more power would be a very welcome gift.

Next Father Christmas, please, oh please can you stop the latest batch of farm invasions. Never have we seen anything so cruel as groups of thugs evicting farmers and their workers from their homes just a week before Christmas. Maize and tobacco crops are flourishing in the land, cows are growing shiny and fat on the new green grass but no one can stop it all being seized by a bunch of greedy criminals.

They are using their political connections to steal people's homes and livelihoods and reap crops they did not sow. It's breaking our hearts Father Christmas, where are all these people to go, they know nothing but farming, they have no other homes or incomes.

If you had any spare cash it would be great if you could pay off Air Zimbabwe's debts that they seem to owe in a number of countries, not to mention the money outstanding to their long suffering members of staff. It seems every time they land somewhere their planes are being grounded or impounded leaving passengers stranded.

Families separated by our political and economic crisis are in exile around the world and are desperately trying to get together this Christmas, they need your help. There are so many other things I'd like to ask for this Christmas but the most important gift you can bring us is hope. Hope for real, meaningful change for Zimbabwe. Hope for an end to fear, oppression, greed, intolerance and political violence. Hope for real democracy, prosperity and respect for human rights.

To all Zimbabweans and those who care about us, wherever you are in the world, thank you for your support of my writing and books in 2011 and for not giving up on our country. I wish you all a peaceful, happy Christmas, surrounded by friends and filled with laughter. I hope that 2012 is a better year for us all and for Zimbabwe. Until next time…

Post published in: Opinions

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