Life is getting better in Zimbabwe

By | June 15, 2014

via Richard Eyre: life is getting better in Zimbabwe – Telegraph. 15 June 2014

Richard Eyre, the theatre director, who has just returned from Harare, says many Zimbabweans are now prospering.

I’ve just returned from Zimbabwe, where my daughter has recently gone to live with her family. Six years ago inflation was at 231 million per cent, there was widespread unrest and massive unemployment. But, at least on my brief visit, the city of Harare utterly failed to live down to my expectations. The US dollar is now the local currency and, in spite of forceful government and forced land redistribution, if you walk around the centre and the suburbs of the city you will witness no violence and encounter universal courtesy.

“Hello, how are you?” is the universal greeting to which the reply, “I’m fine, thank you. How are you?” is acceptable; “Sharp, sharp,” is even better. The city centre is, like many African cities, a mixture of decaying tower blocks, some colonial buildings, some smart international shops, some shacks and a host of street sellers. In the extensive suburbs there are long, sleepy, tree-lined avenues bordered by houses with walled gardens and security gates and, within the walls, lawns and pools, tennis courts and well-kept gardens. Drive down streets named Churchill Avenue or Chatsworth Road and, were it not for the red earth and the profusion of flame trees, bougainvillea and jacaranda, you’d believe you were in Weybridge.

Who lives here? Well, it can’t only be the rump of the white Zimbabwean population. There were never more than 250,000; now there are less than 40,000. But someone is prospering, even if it’s only those who are blessed by Mugabe and, if our visit to a safari park was anything to go by, tourism is reviving. A cosmopolitan group of us saw giraffes, rhinos, zebras and, as my four-year-old granddaughter predicted, elephants: “I’m not joking, grandpa, they’ll come to see us to have their lunch.” And sure enough they did.

The metaphorical elephant (in the room) in Zim (as I learnt to call it) is the question of how long Mugabe will survive and who will succeed him.Mary Soames, who died last week, became friends with Mugabe and his wife, Sally, when her husband conducted negotiations for Zimbabwe’s peaceful passage to independence in 1980 after the civil war. She felt Mugabe’s decline from democrat to autocrat as a personal hurt. When I saw her a few weeks ago she was frail and her memory uncertain, but when I mentioned that I was shortly going to Zimbabwe she said, “Ah yes, Zimbabwe. What a shame…” Indeed.



26 thoughts on “Life is getting better in Zimbabwe

    1. tkays

      He is a theatre director.Maybe this is what theatre production is.

  1. Angela Wigmore

    I wonder what Richard Eyre’s son-in-law does for a living? As for Lord Soames – what did he know about Africa?

    1. Doctor do little

      He is right.He only fails to clarify that it,s getting better for the thieves.What about the 90% of the unemployed.How would they find it better. What about those that were working for Mr Evans and now have no jobs. Yes it’s getting better for the thieves.

  2. Ex Ex Pat

    I lived in Zimbabwe for 18 years until the economic meltdown in 2007. I now live, surprisingly, in Weybridge. I would like to congratulate the Zimbabwe people on the remarkable development that has been achieved since I left.

  3. zanupf fear me

    This airy fairy pseudo armchair academic clown must have taken the wrong flight and got off in Switzerland. The soames are a soiled UK upper class disgrace like the others

  4. Ngoto Zimbwa

    Doc, you are right, its the thieves who are living it up in Zim.

    To give him credit, our man does concede that its only those under Bob’s patronage that are benefiting.
    However, writing a piece with such a title is a bit misguided.

    As for Ex Pat, congratulating the people of Zim for their present predicament, exposes you for what you are, an ignoramus, period.

  5. Wilbert Mukori

    This is irresponsible gutter reporting. The country is in the middle of a serious economic meltdown and some one say people are prospering!

  6. Mlimo

    Anything to do with the Soames is full of lies and b###s##t. These were the people that sold Zimbabwe down the drain. Friends with Mugabe is like dining with the devil.

  7. Kevin Watson

    Richard Eyre is a complete and utter idiot. It is a little like visiting England going to the west end of London and believing that this what England is all about, or flying in to Johannesburg catching the train to Sandton and thinking that what you see is the South African “truth”. The man is an intellectual fraud and apologist for a corrupt kleptocracy with no experience of Africa and Zimbabwe.

  8. Sean

    Another mislead foreigner, keep these idiotic comments to yourself. Zimbabwe is in economic meltdown you fool.

    Judging the book by its cover because we do still try to have standards,

  9. nyoni

    What am arse Mugabe Zanu Indoctrinated creeper. What did you come here for. To open a business or ridicule us because we are not butchering each other like those retards in Ukraine. Stay in Europe and sort your rascist problems there clown.

  10. DubboZimbo

    Must be a typo……Life SHOULD be getting betters in Zim would be a more apt heading. Take Bob back with you when you head home, you’ll be doing us a huge favour. I’m sure Disgrace would find the shopping wonderful in Weybridge.

  11. munzwa

    conceited asshole..go back to weybridge and don’t come back..

  12. Nduru

    What this Eyre fellow fails to appreciate is that life is getting rapidly worse for most people in Zimbabwe since the demise of the unity government. It might not yet have reached the meltdown status of 2008-9, but it is headed back there for sure. This pointless article ignores all the social, political and historical dynamics of the situation in Zimbabwe. And indeed, WFT did Lady Soames know about this country?

  13. stobbs

    Mr eyre please we are tired of that come on your holiday has no right whatsoever to give you the stomach to utter such trash,,, on a normal day id to go f..k yourself and never get carrief away when people are dying in hospitals and foid is gold,, you come here and be hosted by theives then in your food and drink induced moment of gratitude you say life in zim is better,,,, vending is normal in africa??go to hell man idiot

  14. Petal

    Mr. Eyre needs to be taken on a familiarisation tour of the realities facing the ordinary person, sure his daughter sees it

  15. Petal

    Mr Eyre is a theatre director so he must have been mingling with the elite

  16. Larry King

    Eyre is kidding himself with his ridiculous and premature observation of what life is for millions of Zimbabweans. If things were so good why do 3 million or so of our people live in the diaspora and hundreds of thousands if given a green light would escape the horrors of Mugabe’s concentration camp. These fly by night visitors only see the one side of Zimbabwe the one which is lived by the privileged few who line these guys with favors etc.

  17. kelly

    I wonder how much they paid him to write such nonsense!!!!!!!

  18. Chipikiri

    This guy is operating in delayed reaction or slow motion. May be he is in 2009/2010.

  19. Dhonodzo

    We need to realise that whites were forced out of Zimbabwe and for his daughter and son-in-law decide to relocate to Zimbabwe only shows there is something sinister. And if it where me visited by my parents I would never show them the dark side of the country I stay in so he is by all means correct in his shrewd/biased tour of Zimbabwe


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