Dear Family and Friends,
Front page headlines midweek screamed the shocking news that President
Mugabe’s trip to Brazil was costing the country seven million US
dollars. The President had gone to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to attend
a UN summit on Sustainable Development. He was accompanied by a
delegation of ninety two people.
The next day I attended a meeting along with perhaps forty others at
our local Municipality. Called an ‘All Stakeholders’ meeting the
idea was for local council officials to tell us what they were doing
with our money every month and to give residents of the town a chance
to publicly air their views. This was a meeting that had been
requested by residents months ago and was finally happening. Only
about twenty chairs had been provided for members of the public and
for the first hour and a quarter people shuffled in and out. At the
start of the public part of the meeting residents were asked by the
council to ‘keep emotions down’ but when it came our turn to talk
there was an explosion of fireworks .‘You are failing to meet your
obligations’ was the message repeated again and again by residents
to the council officials. Roads are falling apart; litter is piling
up; refuse is everywhere; the street lights haven’t worked for
years; sewage blockages are everywhere; water is only available for a
couple of hours a day, trees are being chopped down in every
direction. Month after month residents pay for services that they
aren’t receiving and this is one angry town. Even the representative
from the War Veterans Association spoke for almost half an hour and
said aid that our beautiful town had become a filthy growth point.
Most dramatic of all, however, was one statement which stuck in my
mind. The Chamber Secretary said he was pleased to announce that the
town’s budget for the year had been approved by Government. The
budget for the whole year is 6.1 million dollars. The contrast between
a towns entire annual budget being less than the cost of the President
and his delegations trip to Brazil is dramatic. Less is more.
Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy. 23rd June 2012.
Copyright Cathy Buckle.
For information on my new book “IMIRE”, about Norman Travers and
Imire Game Park, or my other books about Zimbabwe: “Innocent
Victims,” African Tears,” “Beyond Tears;” and “History of
the Mukuvisi Woodlands 1910-2010”, or to subscribe to
Cathy’s letter, please visit the website or contact [email protected]
See other recent posts from Cathy Buckle
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