Saturday, May 27, 2006


Dear Family and Friends,

They say that there is no smoke without fire and if that is true then there isa big bonfire burning somewhere very close to home this week. It has been a veryconfusing few days in Zimbabwe with a number of different media reports aboutdiplomatic manoeuverings that are going on to help us. First we heard that UNSecretary General Kofi Annan was putting together a plan to rescue Zimbabwe fromits political and economic crisis. Then, insinuating that something was alreadywell underway by Kofi Annan, South African President Thabo Mbeki said "We areall awaiting the outcome of his intervention"
Then came reports on South African television that Kofi Annan was going tovisit Zimbabwe and that international aid would be given in exchange forPresident Mugabe's retirement. Those reports on SABC TV even went as far as tosay that President Mugabe would be given immunity from prosecution for humanrights abuses. As the days passed the reports seemed to become more speculativethan factual and the atmosphere got smokier. Things got confusing whenZimbabwe's state owned TV announced that both Zanu PF and the MDC would acceptKofi Annan as a mediator. Whew, I must have missed something, where did thequestion of mediation come from all of a sudden? A few days later the mediationtheme popped up again but this time it wasn't Kofi Annan's name being frontedbut that of former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa.
Just as things had started getting interesting someone must have poured abucket of water on the fire. The smoke got thicker than ever and from all sidescame denials, back tracking and classic claims of "I Am Not The One."Ibrahim Gambari, the UN under secretary-general for political affairs said : "Ithink it is premature to talk about any package, and certainly even morepremature to talk about that package including the possible departure ofPresident Mugabe." Zimbabwe then said that the invitation extended to Kofi Annanto visit the country was no longer valid or applicable. Full stop. End ofmanoeuverings? Who knows, as they say there's no smoke without fire.
In the midst of a confusing week, and to make everything seem even moredelusional, there was another earthquake. Most of us can't ever rememberearthquakes in Zimbabwe or at least not for the last thirty years but now all ofa sudden we've had two series of quakes and aftershocks in the past threemonths. At around midnight on Sunday two earthquakes measuring 3.9 and 4.0 onthe Richter scale shook eastern parts of Zimbabwe. This time the epicentre ofthe quakes was much closer to home and near the Nyamudzi River in Wedza. Somepeople are saying that all these earthquakes are a sign that God is coming.Others are saying that they are a sign from God. So from the country of smokesignals and shaking beds and mysterious signs,
until next week,
love cathy.

Copyright cathy buckle.27 May 2006 http://africantears.netfirms.comMy books "African Tears" and "Beyond Tears" are available


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