Archive for the 'Letter from Zimbabwe' Category

Letter From Zimbabwe 04.08.14

Author Cathy Buckle writes: It is with great sadness this week that I say a final goodbye to Gerry Jackson and the team at SW Radio Africa, who two weeks ago stopped their shortwave radio broadcasts to Zimbabwe but continue on the internet until Sunday.
The silence they have left is a crushing blow. For me Gerry’s voice takes me back to doing stock take in my little farm store in 1997. With goose bumps I listened to her historic broadcast on Radio Three, when for many of us this crisis all began. War vets demanded and received huge $50,000 payouts; the President sent our troops to war in the DR Congo and we exploded into food riots.

Letter From Zimbabwe 18.07.14

In author Cathy Buckle’s Letter from Zimbabwe she writes: “Since February 2000 nothing has been normal or predictable about Zimbabwe but one thing has been constant and that is the shortwave radio broadcast at 7pm every night from London. For the last thirteen years, since the 19th December 2001, SW Radio Africa has been our nightly companion. Through bouts of deliberate jamming and interference; often by candle, torch or firelight and with solar powered, battery or wind up radios, we have followed them as they have told our story for us, been our voice to the world.”

Letter From Zimbabwe 04.07.14

Cathy Buckle writes: “A whole new batch of A1 Permits are going to be issued, no doubt weeding out some forgeries, some corruption and some double dipping but undoubtedly opening the way for another wave of corruption, pocket filling and renewed land invasions on the few original commercial farms still operating. And so it goes on and on and on, year after year, leaving a swathe of insecurity in its wake.”

Letter From Zimbabwe 20.06.14

Author Cathy Buckle writes: “Recently the Minister of Lands whet our appetite for the truth with news that even 10 year old children had been allocated plots on seized farms. Apparently a full land audit of acquired farms is set to take place next year at a staggering cost of US$35 million. What many of us wouldn’t do to be a fly on that wall as those farms are visited and the real truths uncovered. How eager the nation is to know who got what, how they’ve treated the farms they were given and what they’ve been doing out there all these years that’s left us importing 80% of our food.

Letter From Zimbabwe 06.06.14

Author Cathy Buckle writes: “Companies continue to close, employees continue to be laid off, while services and prices creep ever upwards making the lives of ordinary people more and more difficult. As tired as we are of living in the never ending decline, so our long time friends and supporters have grown tired of hearing about them. ‘Struggle fatigue,’ is the term Zimbabwean economist and writer Vince Musewe uses to describe the feeling in civil society after fourteen years of striving for change. Vince writes: ‘Unfortunately most adult Zimbabweans who have lived through terror and loss have run out of energy and motivation to fight.”

Letter From Zimbabwe 23.05.14

Cathy Buckle writes: When you get to the border to come back into Zimbabwe, reality returns. How long will it take before someone is holding their hand out for a bribe you wonder? It doesn’t take long at all. Barely have you closed the car door when a crush of men are offering to get you to the front of the queue and ‘rush’ you through immigration and customs formalities.”

Letter From Zimbabwe 02.05.14

Cathy Buckle writes: “What happens to the MDC now, or to the expelled ‘rebels’ who dared to criticise, to call for new leadership, remains to be seen.
As much as we don’t want to go back to the dark days of 2000 – 2009, ordinary Zimbabweans know only one thing: we don’t want more dictators; we need true leaders who will work tirelessly and selflessly for all of us, regardless of our tribe, our skin colour, our connections or our financial means.”

Letter From Zimbabwe 18.04.14

Cathy Buckle writes: “It’s the time of year when people who have jobs, get to go home and spend a few days with their families. Asking a man if he was going to his kumusha for Easter he grinned and said he was, but there won’t be much resting time. He plans to spend every minute out in the fields harvesting two acres of maize planted five months ago. ‘What about Independence Day?’ I asked. ‘No time for that,’ he replied ‘I’ll be too busy, but I’ve paid what they told me.’ This year one US dollar and a large enamel cup of ground maize is the price every rural family in my area has to pay for Independence gatherings. And they pay.”

Letter From Zimbabwe 04.04.14

Author Cathy Buckle writes: “After a crazy week came the other news we hoped was an April Fools joke, but wasn’t, and it came from SW Radio Africa. They’ve been forced to reduce the length of their nightly short wave radio broadcasts to Zimbabwe by half and cut all their weekend radio broadcasts. For so long SW Radio Africa have been our voice; they’ve listened to our struggles, heard our views and kept us up to date on news and developments. Now their coffers are shrinking and although their programming continues on the internet, the vast majority of Zimbabweans don’t have access to that technology. For the people in Zimbabwe who sit around battery powered, wind up radios in urban and rural areas, there’s a hole in our lives. We hope it will be temporary.”

Letter From Zimbabwe 21.03.14

Cathy Buckle writes: “As disgusted as we are by the gargantuan salaries that have been exposed so far, everyone knows it’s the tiny tip of a massive iceberg. We also know that by slashing someone’s salary from say forty thousand a month to six thousand is going to generate another huge set of problems: law suits, even more corruption and asset siphoning and perhaps even a renewed brain drain from our teetering country.”

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