Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Zimbabwe - not getting any better

Just received this open letter from a family friend in Zimbabwe. Thought I'd share. I was there a few years ago, just before hyper inflation and the troubles really kicked off again, and the family I stayed with have left the country, and their lovely home flattened. They were trying to make a difference with equitable employment policies on their farm, and really the anti-thesis of the racism often associated with white Zimbabweans.


I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF. The darkest hour is always before dawn. We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next........I mean they are actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one white family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when 100 riot police came in with AK47's and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house - 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings - because it was "too close to the airport", so we are feeling extremely insecure right now. You know - I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you do not know - how can you help?

You can't just be in denial and pretend it's not going on. To be frank with you, its genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are IN level seven (level 8 is after it's happened and everyone is in denial). If you don't want me to tell you these things then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation.

We need you to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say - oh well, that's what happens in Africa. This government has GONE MAD and you need to publicize our plight or how can we be rescued? You can't just say "oh you attract your own reality". The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in 0 Celsius with no food water, shelter and bedding are a reality. Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener's wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep outside. We already support 8 people and a child on this property and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water. How can I take another family of 4 and yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open?

I know we chose to stay here and so we deserve what's coming to us. For now, we ourselves have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal - but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those I can't fight for my rights. We no longer have SW radio which told us everything that was happening because the government jammed it out of existence - we don't have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of everyone's homes which are supposed to be 'illegal' but which a huge percentage of them actually do have licenses for. Please - have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can be done.


"I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do." - Edward Everett Hale


Anonymous said...

As Bob Marley once said to the black masses in Zimbabwe, “You have to fight for your rights.” So do what he said, stop complaining, pick up a gun, and start exterminating in the good old African tradition! Or do what Mandela did, pick up a gun and start exterminating in the good old African tradition. Remember the slogan “One bullet, one settler”? Well perhaps it’s time for that again, this time perhaps “One bullet, one ZANU PF”. To sit back and assume help will come by reporting what is happening is so unbelievably naive, it makes me wonder if these people actually like being trampled on! TIA (This Is Africa). NONA (No Oil No Action) etc. Listen to me sunshine, help is not coming no matter how much you would like it. You’re going to have to wait until Mug dies. Then perhaps you have another 10 years before it all kicks off again!

Tim Stevens said...


Thanks for your comment. I appreciate that. Understandably, this subject riles people up. My personal take on matters like this is fighting fire with fire is not the answer, but of course you are entitled to your own opinions, and you might be right!

No doubt whatever solutions are required this is a long game, that won't play out for some time to come, and many folk will be hurt over it, and much more pain to come.

rags said...

Though I don't personally know anyone from Zimbabwe, the situation there is something I've followed for quite a while now. And completely believed that external intervention and pressure is desperately required to get Mugabe out of power. Unfortunately, the US (or any other nation which might interfere in others' business) only seem interested in dictators and oppressive regimes in countries with nuclear weapons and/or oil.
Certainly good to hear feel-good stories such as your friends helping out others in the area and hope the situation changes for the better somehow!

DE said...

South Africa isn't going to help, so only Mugabes death and/or civil war will end (or change) the problems.

Anonymous said...

This letter has been around for ages. Here it is exactly


and that was close to 3 YEARS ago.
I originally saw it nearly 5 Years ago.

You've been duped!!!

Tim Stevens said...

Possibly I have been duped by the letter, but from what I'm told the situation is not improving and these guys still need support. So I stand by the sentiment, even if the content itself is bogus.

Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens
Be Silent