We are so pained – Cathy Buckle’s letter on Saturday

via Cathy Buckle News from Zimbabwe  |  August 10, 2013, 8:36 am

Dear Family and Friends,

Disbelief and shock turned to stunned betrayal as Zimbabwe emerged from the elections and still, a week later, no one can believe what has happened. Despite the ‘landslide’ victory of Zanu PF and Mr Mugabe, we haven’t just experienced a week of wild cheering and celebrating, instead an ominous silence has descended on the country. No one knows what’s going to happen; if there are going to be protests or violence or if we’re just going to hurtle back in time to the dark days of no food or fuel, no electricity or water and where everyday life is an intolerable struggle. Almost overnight we have reverted to whispering, looking over our shoulders, making sure no one’s listening and being very careful what we say and even more careful what we commit to paper. Self censorship has returned to Zimbabwe with a vengeance.

Rumours are running wild: the return of the Zim dollar is the biggest fear and despite assurances to the contrary  by the head of the Reserve Bank, there’s a distinct lack of trust by ordinary people. This is, after all, the same Governor of the same Reserve Bank who oversaw hyperinflation and the collapse of the Zimbabwe dollar just four years ago who is now telling us to: “stop panicking.”

Alongside our disbelief and the rumours  about fuel, food and money, there is also confusion. At first the MDC said this was a fraudulent, illegitimate election and declared it ‘null and void.” Then they said that none of their candidates who had won in their constituencies or wards would take their seats in government.  Zimbabwe nodded silently; that made sense because you can hardly  declare an election illegitimate and null and void and then sit in parliament and engage in business as usual. Then, three days later came the dreaded back-track. According to the press, news came from “impeccable sources” within the MDC that winning candidates would take their seats in parliament after all , apparently in order to :”Guard the party’s zones of autonomy.”

Zanu PF say they are going to actively pursue their policies of indigenisation and empowerment while the MDC say they are guarding their party’s zones of autonomy. Whatever these grand words really mean,  they do nothing to comfort the father of a twenty year old girl who sent me a text message about his daughter while the election results were being announced.  The message simply said  “She has passed away.” The girl, barely a woman, had just been diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS but treatment came too late. She was born thirteen years after Mr Mugabe came to power and died as a young mother two decades later while Mr Mugabe was still in power. She had just come of age but had been too sick to vote for her first time. She leaves behind a baby just one year old. The political statements also do little to comfort the whispers of another young mother who asked why we had even bothered to vote when there was so much cheating and said: “we are so pained” by the outcome.

Which way now for Zimbabwe is what we all want to know; the legal challenges have begun and so again, we watch and wait, hope and pray. I am taking a break for a while so until next time, thanks for your support of Zimbabwe and for reading my letters for so many years, love cathy

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 22
  • comment-avatar
    Annie 7 years ago

    Cathy,
    I pray that one day, Zim will be free from this liviing nightmare. As an American, I cannot imagine living this way. My heart aches for you and it is frustrating that I cannot do anything to end this long suffering. It’s going to take a miracle from God.

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    Teresa Clatworthy 7 years ago

    Firstly the impending loss of an incredibly informative news site managed by two, then one, wonderful women at zimsit saddens me and now even the ever stalwart Cathy Buckle seems to have little hope or faith for the country in which we took so much pride. I shall miss these ladies who have between them given us such insight into the happenings of our country we left behind.

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      Teresa…we haven’t come through all these years to leave anything less than the legacy we’d all planned. We continue.

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      Janet 7 years ago

      I have valued Cathy Buckle’s writing, analysis and insights, including letters to the editors of the newspapers I read in Harare on a recent visit. She is the voice of reason, not stooping to the black and white thinking so many others seem to be trapped in. I hope she returns to her writing soon.

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    Shepherd 7 years ago

    Thank you!

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    Tawanda 7 years ago

    no man lives forever, thankfully. change will come.

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    chimusoro 7 years ago

    Until Zimbabwe can field quality opposition there is no chance. Sorry but MDC just got outfoxed,

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      Gareth 7 years ago

      Chimusoro

      Outfoxed? Really?? Our moral standards have been forced so low by ZANU PF as to assign words which imply intelligence such as outfoxed, cunning, wily to acts of coercion, threats, fraud, intimidation, patronage, improper use of resources for personal and political gain and downright cheating. The list is endless. Have we really had our moral compass twisted so badly as to think that this is acceptable? No, not just acceptable but in some sick and twisted way, smart.

      Surely self sacrifice (achieved by the liberators who have sadly become enslavers [Absolute power corrupts absolutely]), public service, magnanimity, honesty, integrity, hard work for the public-good are what we should expect of public office-holders. If they do not deliver then they should be voted out of office and the system for this vote should not be corrupted and violated by these very people. This vile cocktail has all served up under the guise of grand words such as ‘indigenization’ and ’empowerment’ when everyone knows this is a front for patrongage on an obscene level. George Orwell would have been so proud that his work Animal Farm came to be acted out so well by real life.

      Surely, surely, we as a nation aspire to greater expectations from our leaders than self-serving dishonesty and total disregard for the newly created constitution.

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        chimusoro 7 years ago

        Gareth-this is the sad reality. Morgan allowed himself to be manipulated till he became worthless-like a ball of gum going round and round till it has lost all its flavour then consigned to a dark corner under a chair for the rest of its days. This is how history will judge him!

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    Promise Chitsidzo 7 years ago

    Cathy
    Thanks! Have it on good authority that God has not abandoned us. Not at all! We are privileged to get to know Him & His ways earlier… while everyone says why don’t you do this or that… we are in His presence. He is just sorting things His way… watch this space. We as people, need to understand we have God, the almighty who presides over and above all these minute ‘kings’ of this earth. Again I say, watch the space.

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    Kevin Watson 7 years ago

    Cathy,
    My sister who was a successful candidate for the MDC on the proportional election for seats reserved for women in Bulawayo says that the MDC will not be taking their seats in parliament.

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      Knowthetruth 7 years ago

      zimbabwe is doing well,Mugabe is Gods plan. except if ur saying zimbabweans dont know God.the fact tht some people don like Mugabe doesnt mean all people dont. go around africa,no leader has done so much for his people as mugabe did. even people in the mdc right now are benefiting from mugabes policies,so people don jus hate for th sake of hating.there r lots of problems in america than in zimbabwe,

      • comment-avatar

        This is a lame excuse. All we want is a country that works. You are asking us to find value in mediocrity.

        • comment-avatar
          Humba 7 years ago

          No he is asking you not to expect all of us to share your hatred of our leader…..there are millions of us who support the Mugabe

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    Duncan Griffiths 7 years ago

    I fear very much for Zimbabwe’s future – like every other sensible person. The real facts are Zanu PF is a “Mafia” style gang running the country with a political front. Mugabe is not really the Godfather but the heads of police, Army, CIO etc are the ones “running” the country and it is useful for them to keep him as the acceptable front. A bit like the ANC and Nelson Mandela. These people are in cahoots with dubious foreign companies such as those recently identified by the world press from China, Russi and Israel. Their main (only?) agenda is to plunder Zimbabwe of the various natural commodities such as diamonds. This was identified by Tendai Biti in the last “Parliament” when he highlighted the lack of diamond revenue coming through the treasury.
    In short these people are nothing but crooks, pillagers and murderers and must be treated as such. No amount of normal methods such as using the courts, voting etc will remove them as they have a stranglehold on all these institutions. Biti etc are correct that the only way forward for Zimbabwe to a free and happy Country is through mass strikes etc (passive) to test the crooks resolve or lastly a violent struggle. I fear this is the only way. May I suggest a good anthem for this would be the old song sung by Joan Baez (among others) “We shall overcome”.

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    Dr Who 7 years ago

    Zanu PF could easily rule for the next 50 to a 100 years of the opposition continue to be littered with half asleep, wannabe clever women chasing fools like Morgan Tsvangirai. The first thin the MDC need to do is to get rid of Tsvangirai. He’s been there long enough and he’s already violated the MDC constitution of two 5 year terms for it’s president. If he vows to stay on, what’s his moral argument for trying to topple Mugabe who also overstayed his welcome. MDC needs to get real. Get rid of it’s corrupt members and start looking credible. Then aim for the election 10 years from now because they won’t win the next one.

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    TRINOS 7 years ago

    Yes KNOWTHETRUTH is right to say , ‘go around africa,no leader has done so much for his people as mugabe did”. I do not know any country in Africa where everyone, employed and unemployed became Billionaires.Oh, my apologies i have a short memory,forgive me, i forgot that it was because of the West, their sanctions (What an EXCUSE !!!!!!)

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      Collin Mackenzie 7 years ago

      Oh my God when u read some of posts and comments, you can tell clearly were they coming from and need I say more the Rodies who still think and believe David Longstone discovered the Vic falls.

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    jongwe power 7 years ago

    Okay, so the political fanatics in the MDC have pointed out over and over and over again that the elections have been rigged since 1979. And they have clearly stated that Zanu-PF is a Maoist/Stalinist blood cult based on Orwell’s Animal Farm. Fair and fine. No use denying what will eventually end up on Youtube, Wikileaks and Muckracker.

    So the question to the MDC supporters is, what is the way forward then?

    a) More candlelight vigils in London and Johannesburg? Yeah, that will show Zanu-PF for sure.

    b) More prayers to God? Apparently, God (if he truly is the deity our priests and pastors talk about)clearly seems to wholeheartedly support Zanu-PF, Nikuv, SADC, the AU, China, Mbeki, and all the South African locals who are aching to put more burning rubber tyres around our necks if we dare visit their country?

    c) Obviously, protests are a non-starter because we allowed our glorious leaders to buy the latest and finest riot-control, surveilence and assault weaponery that the Americans and Chinese just can’t seem to get rid of. For our safety and protection against the British, Americans, Australians, Illuminati, Tokoloshe, French, and shape-shifting extra-terrestrial Reptiles, of course.

    d) Oh, I know. Let’s just all flee our country like scared little sheep, endure the shame (or joys) of being a foreigner, avoid getting deported daily, sell bootleg DVDs at taxi ranks, and not bother coming home during voting time (but voting against Zanu-PF in spirit).

    What might be the way forward, oh disciples of Tsvangirai, Ncube, Mutambara, or whichever MDC faction of the week is popular right now?

    Seriously, I’m trying not to be sarcastic here.

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    Lesley 7 years ago

    There seems to be a disturbing insinuation in this article that Zimbabwe can only work (again) if Mugabe is out of power and when Tsvangirai becomes president. What crap and nonsense? This is the big brother attitude and problem that Cathy has. There are many educated and well up people who agree with ZANU PF out of conviction. To try to use this suffering and God-card to justify one’s identity with the MDC-T is appallingly galling. He is not the God of the MDC-T neither is He the God of ZANU PF but the God of all. Pray and hope for Zimbabwe’s best without looking at personalities. God has his own way of addressing issues. Cathy, ou honestly need God to heal you of the bitterness that you are carrying against President Mugabe and ZANU PF and I believe thereafter God will genuinely hear your informed prayers.

    • comment-avatar
      Gareth 7 years ago

      Dear Colin

      You are a funny guy. Thanks for the entertainment, I have enjoyed your trolling. You must be one of the 5% who genuinely needed to be assisted to vote though judging by your spelling and use of the English language.

      Keep up the good work, I look forward to your next instalment somewhere on the forums. Oh, and have a good time dancing.

      Kind regards,

      Gareth

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    Hwese 7 years ago

    Cathy is right there has been a lot of suffering to millions. The land issue was hijacked to gain political mileage. Look at Zim now with one biased television station comeon guys. In this day and age give people variety its a globall vilage. No amount of crookadeness will change what what people want except for the few pisent farmers who dont even know what they are doing. They have gone back to hunter garthers now that they have finished all animals and bird spicies they will turn to stealing. Wait and see. Zimbabwe is for all Zimbabweans