Rear view mirror – Cathy Buckle

via Cathy Buckle News from Zimbabwe Rear view mirror January 4, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Zimbabwe’s Christmas present came in the form of rain. Day after day for the last three weeks the heavens have opened, giving us a wonderful, wet, soggy Christmas and New Year. Low purple clouds, towering thunderstorms and torrential downpours have soaked the land. Hailstorms in some areas, long gentle soaking rain in others with the end result being the glorious green of renewal and an extravaganza of beauty in the bush. Mushrooms of every shape, size and colour; black and white puff back shrikes; yellow and black weaver birds and bright red bishop birds; bright green and slate grey snakes; monstrous ants and fearsome rhino beetles; flying ants, sausage flies and dung beetles; moths the size of side plates and figs nearly as big as tennis balls filled with sweet, sticky, pink delight. And of course Christmas in Zimbabwe wouldn’t be the same without the gorgeous red flame lilies which keep beckoning you to come and admire, luring you ever deeper into the bush.

It’s hard to turn our attention back to everyday life in Zimbabwe and 2014 has started with the usual crop of absurdities. First we heard that after learning of the end of their diplomatic missions, Zimbabwe’s MDC Ambassador to Germany, Hebson Makuvise, has applied for asylum there. Then Zimbabwe’s MDC Ambassador to Australia, Jacqueline Zwambili, applied for asylum in that country apparently fearing political persecution if she comes back home. Then, saddest of all, came the news that ex MDC Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife of just over a year has moved out and the couple are living apart, the marriage in trouble.

Aside from the personal problems of people in positions of authority and influence, Zimbabwe is rushing headlong into what looks like very troubled waters this new year. Already we are hearing that even more companies are on the verge of collapse and going into liquidation. There are reports of big companies retrenching workers including Zimplats, Unki, Bindura Nickel, Mimosa, Spar Supermarkets, Dairibord, Cairns Foods, Olivine Industries and PG Industries.

Despite these perilously loud alarm bells for Zimbabwe’s fragile economy, the government seem determined to continue with their indigenisation policy compelling all non indigenous Zimbabweans to give up a 51% controlling interest in their companies. Every day their statements and contradictions leave us more confused than ever but according to the CEO of the Indigenisation Board, Wilson Gwatiringa, people are apparently queuing up to ‘indigenise’ 51% of their companies. Two hundred indigenisation ‘compliance’ forms a day are being submitted, Mr Gwatringa said.

Just as farmers faithfully complied with the requirements to get government Certificates of No Interest for  their farms back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, only to have everything seized a decade or so later, now businesses are apparently rushing to get Indigenisation Compliance Certificates.  It’s like looking in a dusty rear view mirror and seeing the undoing of Zimbabwe happening all over again. Won’t we ever learn?

Until next time, thanks for reading this letter and supporting my books, love cathy.


  • comment-avatar
    Apolitical 8 years ago

    “personal problems of people in authority.”????????
    How long will take for Cathy to realize and face reality that the persons she refers to have no authority or position in Zimbabwe – they are actually superfluous to the countries needs.
    Its a new Zimbabwe now, without the political rhetoric taking priority for the last 5 years the country has a chance of moving forward, in fact I predict a very good year. It just needs an improvement in security to lock up all those damaging the economy with anti government/anti-Zimbabwe in effect rhetoric and propaganda. They need to be a lot more efficient.

    • comment-avatar
      Jrr56 8 years ago

      Yes Apolitical I think it is great you wish to send the government (this new impartial one you seem to have seen)to attack everyone that is deemed “damaging the economy” by spreading propaganda (or what you deem to be propaganda)or having views that differ from the ruling class. I think you should go read George Orwell’s books to see the madness you preach

  • comment-avatar
    ZimJim 8 years ago

    Good point, Cathy.

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    Murimi Wanhasi 8 years ago

    Apolitical is spot on.But no need to arrest them,u know how that will raise a stink.Instead,let them stew while we r on the up

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    Just let the economy bring the terrorist criminals down now so they go to the snakepit at our new chikurubi having been stupid tsvangirai mdc rescues of the common thieves again

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    Mdc til death! 8 years ago

    Anatha wel written article cathy,and it seems the gvmnt thnks or hve adopted a al shal be wel mentality wen tings are not wel,surely wen big companies close its an obvious sign tings are not wel!n we got idiotes commenting ey c a brighter 2014,rily???

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    Cathy, your fears for the near future are well founded and documented by many international financial institutions. Businesses do not go bust to get revenge on political parties. To date the government have not come up with any clear or even radical ideas on how they are going to deal with a negative economy. The only answer they will have, and I fear they will use it, is the resurrection of the Zim dollar, blaming international sanctions and foreign businesses who are intent on re colonising the “free” Zimbabwe. Then your rear view mirror thoughts will take on an ominous and depressing image.
    However I still hope to come out for a holiday in March to see again the beautiful country.
    Good luck and wish you well for the future.

  • comment-avatar

    Re apolitical’s comment, it doesn’t need any anti- government rhetoric to damage the economy, the government/ZANU(PF) does that all on their own with amazing success.