Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A journey through beloved Zimbabwe..

To whom it may concern

I am not sure if this will be of interest, but I felt that I should put out there what I observed on a 5 hour drive through Zimbabwe today. I drove from Chimanimani near the Eastern border, through Mutare and then on to Harare.

The Chimanimani Arts Festival was on over the weekend and the whole 3 days passed peacefully and successfully by all accounts. On the 80 km stretch between Chimanimani and Wengezi, at one small village on the road there were a crowd of villagers, about 60 strong, who had been lined up in seated rows in a clearing under some trees.

They were being lectured to by a middle-aged man, in plain clothes, who appeared to be ranting at them. Church meeting? Village pungwe? Or ZANU PF re-education? I am not sure, but I know what it looked like.

Between Wengezi and Harare we also saw one ZANU PF pick up, with several males on board, and 4 other trucks with government plates with fair numbers of men aboard, 2 large army trucks filled with uniformed soldiers, 2 police pick ups with passengers and 4 new 4 x 4 vehicles with no number plates each with 3 to 4 male passengers.

There were around 8 police blocks altogther, mostly manned by police women and we were only stopped at one, at which the officer was very pleasant. Quite frankly the police did not seem to be interested in much but buses and trucks.

We travel this road every 4 to 6 weeks and the military traffic on the road was unusually high. But what struck us more than anything was the exceptionally high number of civilians waiting by the road trying to find transport, both in the rural areas and the towns.

In Rusape there were literally hundreds of people by the road side, all with large bundles.I have heard several first hand accounts now of beatings and torture, from people returning to work from the rural areas after the long
weekend. Apparently many of them opting for lifts in private transport after hearing accounts of thugs getting on public transport and berating or beating their, then captive, audience.

I have not personally experienced any of the horror being presently inflicted on the people of this country, but feel all those Zimbabweans with access to email and internet should be relating all they see and hear, to make as many people aware as possible of the tragedy being played out here.

The elections are being stolen again, whilst the country bleeds. Enough is really enough...

Thanks for the news

Best regards

Source: Zimbabwe Situation

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