The day before Zimbabwe’s election date was announced last week, incumbent president Mugabe’s main opposition rival, Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC party was arrested by police in a dawn raid.  (I wonder if some contenders for the US presidential nomination might sometimes wish they had similar powers?)
 

After months of speculation, Zimbabwe’s people have finally been told that they will vote on Saturday March 29.  (And Mugabe will be “re-elected” for another five years by 99% of the voters after a 125% turnout.)  If he survives this term, he will have been in charge of Zimbabwe for 33 bloody, disastrous years.
 

I doubt the Zimbabweans have the will to stage protests on the scale of the Kenyans, whose struggle escalated again last week.  The desperate Kenyans, led by Barack Obama’s Luo tribe, are protesting against corrupt rule since “independence” in 1963 by the majority Kikuyu tribe.  There’s an excellent report in the UK’s Daily Mail headed “Stone Age warriors” and “back to bow and arrow as Kenyan tribes clash”…
 

Back in Zimbabwe, life goes on (well almost). Cathy Buckle writes about the perilous state of Zimbabwe’s hospitals.  They are without water and electricity, so sterilisation is almost impossible – “for three days and nights the hospital had no running water”, so nurses had to follow the doctor around with a jug and trickled water over his hands after he examined each patient…  A local farmer has supplied water in a bowser (mobile tank) and the hospital staff boil water over open fires in the hospital grounds.
 

And a former (black) Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Bishop Abel Muzorewa seized a farm from a fellow Christian (Daily Mail).  The owner of the farm bought it in 1989, nine years after Mugabe assumer power; in 2001 he voluntarily gave up 700 of the 1200 hectares he’d purchased.  Yet that generous act was to no avail.  The evicted farmer, a devout Christian with two children said, “Ultimately the Lord will judge what has happened… But it does make a mockery of his (Muzorewa’s) position as a man of the cloth.”
 

Meanwhile, across border in South Africa, the first cracks are becoming evident… A National Emergency was declared last week due to “rolling” power cuts (CNN).  International prices of gold and platinum spiked because mines had to close.  In the “largest economy in Africa”, tourists were stranded, and fears were raised about South Africa’s ability to host the World Cup football (soccer) finals in 2010.
 

The South African power crisis has resulted in South Africa cutting power supplies to Zimbabwe…  You can’t blame South Africans for looking after themselves first, and Zimbabwe doesn’t have a good track record of paying its bills anyway.  But this is beginning to look like a regional problem…

END

Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email patashnix@btinternet.com.
 

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