Saturday, December 18, 2004

Cathy's latest letter

Dear Family and Friends,
Christmas 2004 is an incredibly difficult time for most Zimbabweans as we
struggle to cope financially with additional burdens and emotionally with
families which are spread out across continents because of the ongoing
turmoil in the country. I would like to use this Christmas letter to thank
some of the people who have made life bearable, others whose leadership
and determination has been inspirational and yet others who, just by being
there in the background, day after day, week after week, have given me the
courage to go on.

Mostly I would like to thank Zimbabwe's opposition political party who
have managed, for five years, to stop our country from descending into
civil war. The MDC have fought with words, with court battles and with
dignified determination. Every single one of the MDC MP's have made
supreme sacrifices for the country. They have almost all been arrested;
they and their families have been harassed, abused and intimidated; some
have been tortured, others beaten and detained and some have even lost
their lives in the fight for democracy. MDC MP Roy Bennett will spend this
Christmas in prison and our thoughts will be with him because we know that
the sacrifices he and his family made were for us all and for Zimbabwe.
Some days I look at film clips of armed militants in Sudan, Ivory Coast,
the Congo and other African countries and think that if it were not for
the determined non violent stance of the MDC, that could so easily be us.

This Christmas I would also like to thank the growing number of people
inside the country who have formed and joined civic action groups and
raised their voices for Zimbabwe. I hesitate to list them for fear of
putting them at risk but they all lead by their bravery and example. Most
of them have suffered appalling indignities and outrageous injustices and
have put their lives and families on hold as they fight for democracy in

Lastly this Christmas I would like to thank the people outside the country
who continue to fight for Zimbabwe. The staff of Short Wave Radio Africa
who are banned from returning to Zimbabwe but who faithfully report to us
every night; without them we would be lost in a fog of propaganda. There
are MP's in country's all over the world who continue to lobby their own
governments to speak out about events in Zimbabwe. There are human rights
organizations and associations, writers, reporters and lobby groups who
speak out for Zimbabwe all the time now. There are groups who hold vigils,
marches, protests and demonstrations in the UK, USA and South Africa on an
ongoing basis. And then there are just the ordinary people, the men and
women all over the world, who care about Zimbabwe. The people who send
emails and letters, sign petitions and join marches. People who write to
their MP's, tell their friends about what's happening in Zimbabwe and add
their voices to the rising international discontent. There are many people
who take the time, every week, to read my letter from Zimbabwe and then
pass it on to others to read. I thank you all for your support and
compassion, and for your generosity to the people in need that I have
written about and been able to help because of you.

I will not write a letter next Saturday as it will be Christmas Day and so
I wish all my family and friends a wonderful, peaceful and happy Christmas
and thank you for everything you have done to help Zimbabwe. With love,
cathy. Copyright cathy buckle 18th December 2004.
My books on the Zimbabwean crisis, "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are
available from: ; ; ; in Australia and New Zealand: ; Africa:


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