22, September 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
In the eerie glow thrown by a thin orange crescent of the setting
moon, sausage flies and flying ants filled the evening sky this week.
The orange moon sinking into a dark, dusty horizon along with the
sudden reappearance of gossamer-winged insects is a sure sign that
summer has arrived. Clouds are starting to build up, Jacarandas are
turning purple and wherever there’s a mulberry tree the ground is
carpeted in fallen fruits and purple bird droppings. First thing in
the morning you can track the flight path of the fruit bats, the
purple splats spread far and wide from the bountiful fruit trees.
Irresistibly you are drawn to the Mulberry tree and it is impossible
to resist feasting straight from the tree, paying the price later with
purple fingers and feet. Purple is the colour of early summer and this
year it has brought both bad news and good news for Zimbabwe.
The bad news came in the form of a half page newspaper report
headlined ‘A.G. wants tough action against white farmers.’ Despite
the fact that only an estimated three hundred commercial farmers are
still on their properties and that the government has seized 95% of
the country’s farms without compensation in the last twelve years,
the Attorney General isn’t happy. A.G. Tomana says the remaining
white Zimbabwean farmers are clogging courts around the country with
what he calls ‘frivolous appeals.’ Tomana says that the penalty
for white farmers refusing to vacate land the government has gazetted
for compulsory acquisition is two years imprisonment. ‘Prosecution
should have been the easiest way to deal with the issue,’ Tomana
said. ‘It is strange that people continue to violate and break the
law in open day and nothing is done,’ the Attorney General said,
bemoaning the reluctance of officials to enforce the law. While
talking about an absence of law enforcement , it was sad that the
Attorney General said nothing about the thousands of perpetrators of
crimes in the last twelve years who still walk freely amongst us.
Their crimes, ranging from arson and rape to torture and murder were
committed under the guise of ‘political violence’ and their
victims have waited for over a decade but still justice hasn’t been
Later in the week, good news came from the South African Supreme Court
of Appeal. Nearly four years after the SADC Tribunal ruled that
Zimbabwe’s land reform processes were racist and that farmers ought
to have been compensated for their farms, the South African Supreme
Court of Appeal upheld that ruling. A press release from the SADC
Tribunal Watch said: ‘Despite the Zimbabwe government’s claims to
the contrary, the Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed in its judgment
that, according to the SADC Treaty, the decisions of the Tribunal were
final and binding.’ The Court dismissed the appeal made by the
Zimbabwe government against the attachment of Zimbabwe
government-owned property in Cape Town whose sale will be used to pay
Zanu PF’s Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa said:
“After this judgment, which is legal, we should let it go and we
speak to the ANC and take a political
decision. I hope that is possible.”
A legal ruling overturned by politics is something we’ve become
familiar with in Zimbabwe, but in South Africa?
We are watching, holding our breath; do we dare to hope?
Until next time, thanks for reading,
love cathy .
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
[addw2p name="Letter from Zimbabwe"]