Is Zimbabwe the jewel ‘loaned to us’ in 1980? – Cathy Buckle

via Is Zim the jewel ‘loaned to us’ in 1980? – DailyNews Live by Cathy Buckle 23 APRIL 2014

There is a saying that you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

Often referring to the loss of a loved one, this saying is also true for the current state of our country which is shrinking in front of our eyes.

Addressing a rally in 1980 Robert Mugabe said: “Zimbabwe is a jewel being loaned to us by the future generations who should hold us accountable if we fail to pass it over to them in an improved state.”

Thirty-four years later, we must look at the state of our country and ask if this is how we found Zimbabwe in 1980.

Have we improved this jewel that was loaned to us in 1980 or have we let it fall into ruins?

In the 1980’s and mid 1990’s, were our roads a maze of gullies and potholes?

Was water a luxury? Was litter dumped under every tree and on every piece of vacant land? Did the street lights work?

Was 80 percent of the food in the shops imported? Were the national airline, railways, broadcaster and other State enterprises in a state of bankruptcy?

Sadly, the answers to these questions are known to us all.

This is not how we found Zimbabwe in 1980 or even 1990. The deterioration has happened in our watch and has escalated to full speed in the last 14 years.

Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, every day Air Zimbabwe traversed the tourist triangle that was our metaphoric gold mine: Kariba, Hwange, Vic Falls.

The flight left Harare in the morning as the UM 228 and returned in the afternoon as the UM 229 and was almost always full of tourists.

Visitors from all over the world couldn’t get enough of Zimbabwe.

They came to see the astounding natural beauty of the country and our magnificent wildlife.

They delighted in our wide open spaces and clean towns and cities. They loved our wildlife and came from all corners of the world to see the big five, especially the rhinos and elephants.

Now Air Zimbabwe is again on the slippery slope towards collapse. On one flight last month they carried just 30 passengers on the 180-seater aircraft from Johannesburg to Harare.

Locals and tourists no longer book Air Zimbabwe because it is no longer a reliable, trustworthy option anymore.

Urban deterioration, collapsing infrastructure, food insecurity and agricultural collapse have happened while we watched.

Companies have closed down and investors been scared off due to the covert threats of indigenisation laws and insecurity of property rights.

Now we must question what is happening to the tourism facet of the Zimbabwean jewel before it is too late.

Conservancies are under threat, long standing conservation projects are at risk, hunters are going to other countries all resulting in more lost jobs and income and the continued sinking of Zimbabwe’s reputation in the international tourist brochure.

In the last week, we’ve heard of the shutting down of the Presidential Elephant Conservation project.

This herd of wild elephants that President Mugabe gave his patronage to in 1990 and reaffirmed his commitment to in 2011 was meant to symbolise “Zimbabwe’s commitment to responsible wildlife management”.

Project founder Sharon Pincott announced the end of the conservation project due to a protracted ownership fight over the land known as Kanondo where the herd of elephants range.

A fight in which even Cabinet directives about occupation of the land have been ignored.

This too is happening while we watch. How will we, 13 million Zimbabweans, explain to our children that we stood by and watched as the jewel loaned to us was smashed to smithereens?



  • comment-avatar
    Godfrey C 9 years ago

    Can only say, “Cry the beloved country” No one ever thought it would get to this and I am sure even Mugabe never imagined this state of affairs in 1980. Okay he is rich very rich and all his friends too but what about the majority ku maruzevha uko? Its really really sad. I can almost cry I tell you. God forsake us by giving us Mugabe. Surely he must have otherwise it just do not make sense.

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      Godfrey dear, the indigenous peoples of Zimbabwe with support from the rest of the world, put Mugabe where he is today. Yes, you have yourselves to blame, be careful what you wish for!

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    John Thomas 9 years ago

    With respect Mr C, a war was fought to resist ZANU because it was well known in advance that this is exactly how it would be.

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    harper 9 years ago

    History repeats itself. After the Roman Colonialists left, Britain suffered 800 years of the Dark Ages – so you will just have to be patient. If one very well known, and oft repeated, prediction is correct you have had 34 years so there is only 966 years to wait for true majority rule.

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      Mena Bona 9 years ago

      The problem in Zimbabwe is that it does not have time to recover. Recovery would need to be happening right NOW! The appalling truth is that this will not happen. The Yellow tide is flowing in faster than ever. They have collapsed what little food security the country had left. They have at least sixty thousand small scale farmers growing tobacco for their insatiable demand. A noxious weed that is creating thirty thousand hectares of deforestation a year. Ninety percent of wildlife has been slaughtered on game farms that were, just a few years ago, the envy of Africa. The game reserves and National Parks are been ravaged by Mugabe cronies selling hunting quotas to slime ball South Africans Trash. Talk about the Vikings raping and ravaging villages they overran. ZANU PF under Mugabe’s rule have made them look like amateurs. He and his thugs have stuffed the country up so badly that if the pillaging stopped, right now, it would take a hundred years, at least, to recover to what it was just ten years ago. A court should be set up to charge these creatures with, ” Crimes against our Planet ” Just to disgusting.

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        Mena bona believe you me the crimes against this planet are going to be judged. The Book of Joel tells us that all nations will be called to give account for their actions and Zimbabwe will be no exception.

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    Mlimo 9 years ago

    The phrase ” we told you so” comes to mind. Where is responsible government? Well that stopped in1980. We handed our beautiful country to a murderer, thief and gang of thugs. The rest is history.
    We had a saying then ” come to Rhodesia to see Zimbabwe ruins. Now it’s come to Zimbabwe to see Rhodesia ruins. How very apt. You were all warned and failed to listen.

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      Mlimo, perhaps you need to be more specific about ‘who told who so’, who shouted loud and clearly of the dangers of installing Mugabe where he is fastened to his seat today. If you haven’t the courage to say it, I will. The Prime Minister of the previous government – the late and honourable Mr Ian Douglas Smith warned Rhodesians/Zimbabweans and the rest of the world and it was the British government who lead the rest of the world in its onslaught to bring Mr Smith down and install Mugabe even after a very flawed and farcicle election result.

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        MikeH 9 years ago

        “and it was the British government who lead the rest of the world in its onslaught to bring Mr Smith down and install Mugabe” ….. CORRECT !!!

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    roving ambassador. 9 years ago

    Thank you Cathy. A very good reminder.

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    Yes! A good reminder!

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    There is plenty of blame to spread around.

    If Smith and all those that supported him were so clever, they should not have pushed the nationalists into opting for guerrilla war, which in turn led them into embracing “scientific socialism” and an economic dead-end. In the 80s and into 90s, the majority of us black Zimbabweans voted for Mugabe and gave him unlimited and unquestioned power. In the 80s, most of the world thought (hoped?) Mugabe could do no wrong; witness the awards and honorary degrees he was given. And so on.

    Harper has a point. You cannot impose democracy and development. They are both works in progress. And nations that choose the wrong leaders are destined to learn some painful lessons.

    Most times, we get the leaders we deserve. If we are arrogant and short-sided, we get Ian Smiths. If we are proud, selfish and cowardly, we get Robert Mugabes.

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      In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Rwendo, the Zimbabweans did not vote for ZANU PF. The British government engineered and financially supported the vote in favour of ZANU PF then and every time afterwards. How do you exactly imagine that a secret ballot was not tampered with?

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    Well said Cathy however we should put everything in its proper perspective.
    1-Our government achieved very little since it came into power. The first 10 years of independence it was controlled by the Lacaster House Agreement so things were cooled down to appear that everything was normal and the resources left behind by the Muzorewa government were excessive that services were being dished out with success.After that period the true colours of our government started showing when their policies were being gradually being implemented resulting in gradual lowering of standards. I know this because in 1997 I flew back home from Harare to Bulawayo in the evening in a Boeing 707 with only three[3]passengers.I remember this day because the flight was terrible due to a storm between Norton and just over KweKwe.This to me indicated poor planning by Air Zimbabwe because they could have used a smaller plane like the Boeing 373 which is economical on short range routes not a Boeing 707 which is good for long range routes.
    2-Things went really bad after the formation of the so-called strong opposition in 1999 which latter proved to be weak and with no proper political direction.The masses at that stage were still naive and hopeful that they had at last seen a strong opposition which in my opinion was a terrible mistake because they started worshiping these young and untested leaders instead of respecting them. Why did things go really bad?It is because the ruling party was caught unaware of sudden change against their violent strategy,and they really believed that these new young guys were determined to change things ,so when the opposition won the parliamentary majority it worried them heavily so they had to lure them to a useless dialogue to neutralise them,which they did with great success.
    3-The only way things can be changed to improve our lives in this country is to embark on serious education of our majority brothers and sisters from the east of our country to be politically aware and vote or qualitative politicians not on simple partisanship based on tribal or racial evil basis.This nation has spent many years on useless politics based on racial and tribal bases to ignore the real problems facing us.We as the public we should hold these elected councilors and mps to account but we try to use patronage and partisanship appeasement policies which normally backfire at the end.Zimbos should know their human rights and refuse to be pushed around by these elected officials who never got there due to their paper qualifications but through our free votes.These are are our servants not the other way round.This policy has worked for me whenever I have a complaint the officials,they know the truth that we are their masters who are weak to exercise our rights due to corruption by us.

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    In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Rwendo, the Zimbabweans did not vote for ZANU PF. The British government engineered and financially supported the vote in favour of ZANU PF then and every time afterwards. How do you exactly imagine that a secret ballot was not tampered with?

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      suziq 9 years ago

      hey jay don’t forget jimmy carter put Mugabe where he is today…so jimmy carter also must share the bloodshed in the early 1980-‘s

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    Activate His Wisdom In You · Thursday, April 24th ·

    But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

    What Paul communicates in our opening verse is different from saying “Christ Jesus has made me wise.” Through the Holy Spirit, he communicated a deeper truth, which is that Christ Jesus is made unto you wisdom. He didn’t just make you wise, He’s your wisdom. How big this is! It means your capacity is now the wisdom of Christ; your wisdom reservoir is Christ, so you could never lack wisdom. The question then is, “how do you activate the wisdom of God in you?”

    First, you have to study the Scriptures. If you don’t know the Scriptures, you can’t activate the wisdom of God. The Bible says, “Deep calleth unto deep…” (Psalm 42:7). So, the more of God’s Word you have in you, through intense study and meditation, the more connection you’ll have with the wisdom of God. If you don’t deposit the wisdom of God in you (and the Word of God is the wisdom of God), you won’t know how to tap into it when there’s a need.

    1 Corinthians 2:12-13 says “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” To have the wisdom of God released in your life, you must declare that you have, and operate in, the wisdom of God. You must speak the wisdom of God. If you ever find yourself in a fix, then say, “Lord, thank you for your wisdom that’s in me to handle this situation.”

    Life will be easy and sweet when you take advantage of the wisdom of God for every situation. When you face challenges, ask yourself, “What’s the wisdom of God concerning this matter?” and then go into sessions of meditation on the Scriptures and praying in tongues. As you do, wisdom will come to you, and propel you to say or do what is exactly right to put you over in that situation. Christ has been made unto you wisdom to excel, reign and win every day in life. Have this consciousness.

    Dear Father, I thank you for Christ who is my wisdom; as I study and meditate on your Word, light floods my spirit; my path is illumined to take steps in wisdom, such that I walk consistently in your will, plans, and purpose for my life. My life is a harvest of divine joy, peace, prosperity, health and promotions, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

    f u r t h e r s t u d y: James 3:17; James 3:13

    : Luke 20:20-21:1-4 1 Samuel 20-22

    : Romans 15:10-19 Psalm 129-130

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    Petal 9 years ago

    Think Bob was referring to CHARCOAL not JEWEL!!

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    Rwendo 9 years ago

    jay c. If we tell ourselves that ZANU PF never had popular support, we fool ourselves and we’ll never learn from our mistakes. In 1980, there was some intimidation of rural voters who were told that the war would resume if ZANU lost but overall the first 2-3 elections were fair reflections. There was no need for rigging. Mugabe was very popular those days, everyone wanted to see Zimbabwe succeed. Then the effects of economic mismanagement began to hit us, the Gukurahundi massacres, Willowgate, Paweni, the bid for a one party state thwarted by Tekere, etc.. all surfaced, as Mugabe began to show his true colours to the nation.

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    Mlimo 9 years ago

    When Walls objected to thatcher about the massive intimidation being undertaken under the stupid noses of the monitoring force she ignored him so did Soames. Smith raised it as well and it was ignored . An estimated 50percent of the population were under threat if they did not return a favourable vote for Mugabe the thugs would be back. Not only that Mugabe said he would continue the war if he lost the vote. Thirdly the blacks were not allowed to vote for white candidates. That was the farce of the 1980 election. Mugabe sent the youth mujibas as and the scum into the holding camps keeping his best terrorists out in the bush so as to enforce the vote in his favour. The British couldn’t do the right thing by declaring muggers vote null and void as per the terms of the Lancaster house agreement as they were hell bent on petty spite fullness against Rhodesia for declaring independence.