Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ELECTION EXCITEMENT IN HARARE !

Zimbabwe is suffering from an acute economic crisis. The country has the world's highest rate of annual inflation and just one in five has an official job.
Easter was good and we had a fun family gathering despite having no power some of the time and no running water almost all of the time.
We cooked our meals over an open fire and tried to minimise our trips to the loo!
My sister arrived bearing gifts: cheese and many, many other treats.
It was so GOOD to taste cheese!!
And my sister brought baked beans, bacon, mushrooms and even butter as well. I last ate bacon and mushrooms more than six months ago, so that was a real treat.
Even, my parents who grew up Catholic bent the rule of no meat on Good Friday to get a taste of bacon after so long.
Price hikes and mixed feelings
We are all groaning over the latest hike in prices.

There is talk that some in the army plan to vote for change.
But I have not heard anyone blaming it on elections - except Bob [President Robert Mugabe] at his rallies. Most people are blaming it on recent salary increases for civil servants and the armed forces. Hey, the Central Bank governor is on record for saying salary increases drive inflation.
With days to go till we can vote, our city, Harare, is full of mixed feelings.
There is high excitement in anticipation of an opposition victory.
But there is also despondency from quite a number of people who believe the election has already been rigged either in favour of Simba Makoni who may maintain the status quo, or Bob himself.
The last prospect is what really depresses people... no-one can see how we can possibly survive another term.
So many stories
On the whole though the mood is light, no-one will beat you up anymore for wearing an MDC t-shirt or attending a rally so people are doing that in their thousands.
And ooooooh I am hearing so many stories - people are really talking again these days.
For instance, this woman I work with has relatives in the armed forces and she has been telling us all about what is being said in those circles... how so many of the comrades are sick and tired of the present situation and how they are going to vote for change.
I am excited!
I think this year will see the dawning of a new political era in Zim.
And just based on rally attendance, Mr Tsvangirai has this one won hands down.

I missed Tsvangirai's Harare rally which I felt so disappointed about.
Esther feels sad she missed the opposition rally in Harare.
But my uncle in the rural area went to an MDC-Tsvangirai one and he says the numbers there were amazing - as had never been seen before for an opposition rally in the rural areas.
People appear divided on Makoni though. One man I know described him by saying in the local chiShona language: Mwana we nyoka inyoka chete - the offspring of a snake is a snake.
Many people are worried about rigging but I and everyone I know are being as encouraging as possible and telling people who are worried that they must vote anyway as this will make it more difficult to rig.
There are lots of posters all over vying for the attention of us voters.
But the best part is that the state controlled media has been ordered to print adverts for all the presidential candidates.
We never saw that in the last election... full colour, full spread opposition adverts in the Herald.
Wow!
BBC NEWS REPORT.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Bryce said...

This is a very interesting and informative blog.

I saw that you mentioned the chiShona language, and I thought I'd point out this great website in that language that I found. I think you'll enjoy it:

chiShona wiki browser

1:05 am  

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