Utterly shameful – Cathy Buckle’s News from Zimbabwe

via Cathy Buckle News from Zimbabwe Utterly shameful February 20, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

For a few months I’ve been slowing down on the frequency of  my fourteen year marathon of Letters from Zimbabwe. There are many critics but also much despair about the backward slide of our beloved country. I can only tell the story of life in Zimbabwe from my perspective and my snapshot this week is of the good, the absurd , the annoying and the utterly shameful.

The good helps to maintain sanity and on an early morning trip to Harare a long crested eagle sits on a telephone pole just as the sun breaks over the horizon. The feathers on the eagles head provide a majestic silhouette in the golden dawn while a swirl of mist hugs the ground, curling along the twists and turns of an unseen river. The ripening summer grass is heavy with gold, purple and white seed heads, gently swaying and bowing in the dawn breeze. I pass a man riding a bicycle with a broken bicycle tied onto his carrier rack while above him many thousands of red footed kestrels sit side by side on the electricity cables, waiting for the day when it’s time to leave on their winter migration to Asia.

In the capital city bureaucracy consumes every task, testing the patience of a saint. Not being able to make a simple payment to the tax authorities despite their lines of tellers and cashiers because the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority don’t accept money. All payments have to be made into one specific bank and the deposit slips then taken back to the tax authorities to be stamped. Is this because they don’t trust their staff you wonder? It gets worse though because when you find that one specific bank that accepts tax payments, it takes half an hour to make a simple cash deposit. That’s because all deposits have to be double checked and  the deposit slip counter signed by the Accountant. Is that because they don’t trust their staff you wonder, as you trudge back to the tax offices again?

Then comes the downright annoying as born, raised and permanently resident Zimbabweans have to queue at Immigration offices for an annual ‘resident’ stamp in their passports. This is because we are classified as ‘Aliens’ if our ancestors weren’t born here, despite our new constitution which stipulates that every born Zimbabwean is automatically a citizen.

And then, after enduring all this, there comes the utterly shameful.  A group of 3,000 people who are predominantly white Zimbabweans, have formed a lobby  group called Zimbabweans Against Sanctions. They are calling for the lifting of all targeted sanctions against Zanu PF individuals by the EU and US. There are only two individuals left on the EU targeted sanctions list, namely President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace,  along with one company, the Zimbabwe Defence Industries.

The white lobby group say they approve of the compulsory 51% indigenous shareholding of all companies and  they blame targeted sanctions for the collapse of Zimbabwe’s economy. Their Chairman, Matthew Smith, says targeted sanctions  should be lifted because: ‘the truth about Zimbabwe needs to be heard … and needs to be told from our perspective, especially as white Zimbabweans on whose behalf these damaging sanctions were supposedly imposed.’

It’s ironic that a predominantly white lobby group thinks sanctions were imposed because six thousand white people had their farms seized and not because twelve million Zimbabweans lost everything in our country’s decade long collapse. Denying that their motive is to protect their own businesses from being seized by Zanu PF, Matthew Smith said he was making this call now because: ‘the time just feels right.’

What a shame for Zimbabwe that the time didn’t feel right for these white people to speak out when half a million or more farm workers and their families were rendered homeless and destitute in land invasions; when at least  850,000 people were left bereft and desperate after government bulldozers destroyed their homes and livelihoods in Operation Murambatsvina; when at least 4,000 people died from cholera in 2008; or when countless hundreds of thousands of black Zimbabweans were the victims of political violence in the 2002, 2005 and 2008 elections.

It’s also ironic  that retired Zimbabwean cricketer Heath Streak is one of the lobby group’s prominent members despite the black armband ‘death of democracy’ protests and subsequent exile from Zimbabwe of his colleagues, and our country’s most famous cricketers, Henry Olonga and Andy Flower.

Where were the voices of these 3,000 white Zimbabweans when millions of Zimbabweans, black, white and brown, were going to bed hungry, crawling under razor wire  border fences, running from violence, hiding from persecutors, being beaten, burnt, raped and tortured.

This Zimbabwean is ashamed. Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.


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43 comments on “Utterly shameful – Cathy Buckle’s News from Zimbabwe
  1. Mixed Race says:

    Its not worthy commenting in details about these selfish and misguided individuals who are just protecting their few farms.I nearly killed myself laughing at these clowns making an incoherent video tape with elephants pictures around them.Their ignorance is beyond redemption.
    I liked your description of our natural environment.The checks on ZIMRA are in my opinion necessary because the personnel in this department could easily enrich themselves.This should not be a justification for poor services to the public.

  2. Cathy Buckle I have been talking about the hidden hand. I was wrong. It is the hidden hands. Lady you are touching a lot of us. Like Woza you have no fear. Cathy do not worry. One day soon this will just be a bad memory. God sees our suffering and has not forsaken us. If he had we would of all been dead with all we have been through. All the best good person.

  3. CHINDUNDUMA says:

    Cathy Buckle whilst i cannot disagree with most observations in your article i wish to point out for the record that Henry Olonga is not Zimbabwean but alien and a former sympathizer of this regime. As for the white Zimbabweans you mentioned they are just protecting their interests there is not much they can do given the brutality of Zanu Pf. I know for a fact that their companies are employing Zimbabweans and helping many families.

    • CHINDUNDUMA what you say is a matter of opinion. Henry represented Zimbabwe at the highest level of sports so he is Zimbabwean. Are you saying Robert Mugabe is not Zimbabwean? A lot of people were Zanu pf supporters before they saw the true Zanu so he was not a sympathizer. Henry Olonga is just a Christian that lived up to his convictions and said “this is wrong”. I HOLD THE OLONGO’S IN HIGH REGARD. Their farther saved a lot of lives in Zimbabwe including my child without any serious monetary reward.

    • Mupurisa says:

      Check your facts about Henry Olonga shamwari, becoz you will in fact find out that he is no less a Zimbabwean than what Obama is an American. Apa wataura zvakapusa chaizvo!! And what about this nonsense that he was a sympathiser of the regime, how is that even remotely true?
      Anyway, regarding the point of this article, and the ‘white lobby’ group of ZANU PF puppets, I say shame on you!!! A classic example of ‘if you can’t beat them, then join them!! It does beg the question; If a group of predominantly white Zimbabweans were to team up and raise their voices against ZANU, they would be castigated, most likely physically harmed and torn to pieces without consequence in no time at all, e.g ; In 2000 when white farmers were shown on ZTV signing cheques and making donations to Tsvangirai at the birth of the MDC! We all know what the consequences were after that fiasco, in fact those consequences are still very much with us!! It’s so funny kuti Bob & company have no problem with these patronizing puppets (Mathew smith, heath streak & co) !

  4. chimusoro says:

    Stick to cricket Streak!

    • Tawanda says:

      I don’t understand why the word ‘white’ has to be accentuated by these twits. Are they hoping to develop a political constituency?

  5. chimusoro says:

    ma Puppets!

  6. Dadirai says:

    This is what you get when people have lost their conscience. Thanks Cathy.

  7. John Thomas says:

    About this white lobby group. If these numbers are true I am shocked. It’s like Jews voting for Hitler. It is not natural.

    On second thought, if it does not smell right then it is not right. This thing is bull from start to finish. Streak what have you got yourself involved in?

  8. Jimbo says:

    Heath Streak, Mathew Smith and the rest of these white Zimbabweans should be ashamed of themselves. They have absolutely no moral compass and if they had any intelligence at all they would look further than Zimbabwe for examples of where indiginization and nationalization has worked. For the record it has not worked in any country in the world and to blame sanctions for Zimbabwe’s woes is simply idiotic. They are mearly feathering their own nest to the detriment of the millions of starving Zimbabweans. The only thing that will get Zimbabwe out of this mess is a truly democratic government that encourages investment through the private sector with less government involvement. Education should also be a priority. Unfortunately Zanu PF has destroyed the country and now has the support of 3,000 whites. How ironic!
    Great article Cathy.

    • Mupurisa says:

      And when, not if we get what we have been fighting for in terms of democracy, these people should be held to account for these shameful acts. Ill gotten gains are ill gotten gains regardless of who the beneficiaries are!! We wont forget!!

  9. annie says:

    You are so right Cathy, it is utterly shameful….

  10. Zim Reeper says:

    All on the same zanupf gravy train.When the majority of africans are suffering in a country , the only people that feel no change are the ruling government elite and the stinkingly rich white elite that are the main forces of corruption by paying bribes to government officials to get anything done. The rest of the population continue to struggle.

  11. Fanwell says:

    These people are an embarrassment, to all Zimbabweans.They have compromised whatever integrity, morality, or principles they may have once had in exchange for personal gain. The thing about burning your bridges behind you is that the world is round and at some stage you will get back to where you started.

  12. Nzou says:

    These people are white filth. They are enemies of the people. They are lying their backs for the dictators.

    Well spoken Cathy.

  13. Daniel says:

    Well said Cathy.When change comes I expect these 3000 with Smith and Streak leading them to repeat what they believe and have said.Bunch of idiots!!!If they are really sarious publish all the names.

    • Mupurisa says:

      Yes that’s a great idea, publish all their names please. It needs to be recorded for historical purposes. They may be thinking about & serving themselves at the moment, but unfortunately their children will feel the consequences when democracy finally arrives on our doorstep! Pasi nokuhura!!

  14. Nimrod Mupanesengende says:

    Shame on you all at “The Zimbabwe Situation” for always blocking my comments. I tell the truth, which is that these whites have now realised that sanctions do not discriminate on the basis of skin colour and that Europe, the United States and others who imposed sanctions did it, not because they wanted Zimbabwean whites to regain power, but that they did it for themselves- to enable them to rule Zimbabwe and plunder its resources later. I commend the 3000 whites for being courageous and admitting, at last, that they were naive and foolish in calling for sanctions in the first place. The stupid idea that sanctions were going to affect only black people and get them to surrendar power back to the few whites was naive and all, including white people, now realise that sanctions – yes, sanctions, not the so called restrictive measures, hurt all of us in Zimbabwe!!!! Hats off to Heath Streak and others. I only wish they could have done this years ago. One other thing. The British do not give a damn about white Zimbabweans. In fact, white Zimbabweans are loathed everywhere, in Europe, the United States and other white-rulled countries, for having lived naive lives – servants, housemaids, garden boys and nanies- something long forgetten more than 100 years ago by those stupid enough to have lived that kind of life. There is the truth, “Zimbabwe Situation”, there is the truth, Cathy Buckle!!!! But then, the foolish people at “The Zimbabwe Situation” believe that by blocking something known by every Zimbabwean – an open secret as far as they are concerned, I suppose, then everything will remain obscured in the manner they hope for-shame!!!

    • John Thomas says:

      Nimrod! What a silly name.

    • Nimrod you are one of the most amusing individuals to grace this forum. Why would anyone block you? You never make much sense anyway. You don’t even have a mind of your own. You are just a CIO operative that has run out of Ideas. Sorry that never had any Ideas of their own anyway.Just another parrot for Zanu pf.

    • Kevin Watson says:

      Hey idiot there are no sanctions on Zimbabwe and never have been. The only sanctions have been travel and investment restrictions against the people who destroyed Zimbabwean democracy, looted its economy and then destroyed the rest of the economy with their arrant stupidity. The only company against which there are sanctions is the arms procurement company, making more difficult for the illegal regime to buy weapons which are used to terrorise Zimbabweans. You Sir are unread simpleton with not a single redeeming feature. You and your ilk are the fools who have allowed the ZANU PF thieves to destroy Zimbabwe.

    • Zim Reeper says:

      ONE OF THE 3000??????? nIMROD

    • Mark Talbot says:

      Nimrod, perhaps you mean being cut off from cheap loans when you mention sanctions. Deadbeats usually get cut from loans by the bank. If you don’t pay your mortgage, you lose your house. Too bad there was no collateral for them to repossess from ZANU-PF.

  15. Iceman says:

    A classic case of boot licking shame

  16. Chidumbu says:

    How soon they forget, have a look I am sure you will see a big yellow Streak running down his back

  17. Clive Sutherland says:

    I can only think that this white group are doing this with a gun to their collective heads, “every man for himself” must be their attitude as they have surely been threatened with dire consequences
    if they do not cooperate, if this is not the case, may they rot in hell!

  18. joe says:

    Facts are brutal. Cathy speaks the truth. The idea of these people supporting ZANOIDS is contrary to any normal sane way of thinking. There has to be an ulterior motive. How the hell do you guys sleep at night? Must be sociopaths just like Mugabe himself that he needs to have a 1 million dollar birthday party when people around him are starving. Sick sick I spit you you. All of those who support Mugabe have no , zero conscience.

  19. Roland Pollard says:

    Cathy can you verify where you got that information from? I cant seem to find anywhere else where they state that they support compulsory 51% indiginization? From what I gather they were simply calling for the lifting of Sanctions?

  20. Mixed Race says:

    @Nimrod Mup….Technically your claim does not make any sense unless you are using very abusive language ,then the venting or moderation filters would block your offensive words, this could lead to the blocking of your statement to keep peaceful debate.
    I suggest you use simple language when debating if you do not want to be blocked due to your strong offensive language.

  21. Collin Mackenzie says:

    Shame when people like Streak who I know has always stood up for what he believes in, you cry foul.
    As for Henry Olanga that boy was not even the best in Zimbabwe cricket
    I could never understand how he even played for Zimbabwe.

    His brother Victor is one man who one should reflect and talk about,starting the all blacks Highlanders rugby team .
    Henry should stick church and praying and leave the rest, talk about Kenya.

  22. ike says:

    What’s wrong with blocking zanu pf vomit!!! Nimrod even if they don’t block your bubbling I will not waste my time going through trash.

  23. Isu Zvedu says:

    My 2cents: Yes 2 cents’ worth of contribution.
    1. Cathy, please confirm you read the comments of so many Zimbabweans like me, who wish never to miss any of your letters. Please keep writing. You are a heroine in your own right. Salute!
    2. Cathy, please do not be ashamed at all. Why? These people white or black exist in large numbers and are willing to do whatever it takes to guard their loot.

  24. farai says:

    Why are the ZAS group being so viciously vilified for genuinely expressing themselves and why are divergent views being rabidly condemned and blocked on this forum? Is this the alternative democracy we should expect should the alternative to ZANU-PF ever get the chance to rule? In as much as it is not correct to assume that everyone who is anti-ZANU-PF is a former Special Branch operative, not all who are pro-ZANU-PF are CIO. Accept this simple fact, it’s okay to see things differently and it’s also okay to be pro or anti ZANU-PF without being abusive or violent. To those who accuse ZANU-PF of violence, accept that you established the culture and you taught them well. The difference being they are a lot more humane by comparison!

  25. Glen Dott says:

    Zimbabwe and Cathy Buckle equals bad news. The detail irrelevant. Does that make me an ostrich or a wise man for moving on?

  26. ZimJim says:

    I’m sure there is more to this than meets the eye.
    Surely its not beyond possibility that Bob is employing dirty tricks and intimidation to achieve his goals?
    It wouldn’t be the first time…..

  27. chinana says:

    Cathy, why do you despise matthew smith and heath streak for airing their own views? Or is it only your view that should be correct? Who lied so to you?

  28. mike paterson says:

    A turncoat is more despised in Africa than the enemy.

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