Sunday, August 09, 2009

Cathy Buckle's Weekly Letter from Zimbabwe

Ordinary Heroes

Saturday 8th August 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

As Zimbabwe commemorates Heroes Day in 2009 it again feels like a very partisan affair. For many of us who have suffered such trauma in recent times, it is appropriate to remember the ordinary heroes of our country who have died in the last decade. People who were not given state assisted burials and were not interred at Heroes Acre. Ordinary people who dared to work for change, dared to speak out and to stand up for democracy and who were murdered as a result. Ordinary people whose murderers still walk free amongst us in our cities, towns, villages and suburbs.

People like Morgan Tsvangirai's driver, Tichaona Chiminya, and his colleague Talent Mabika who were burned to death in a car set on fire by a gang in Buhera.

People like Patrick Nabanyama,an MDC polling agent in Bulawayo who was abducted nine years ago and has never been seen again.

People like 45 year old MDC supporter Milton Chambati, who was attacked by a mob, stabbed in the back and then beheaded in Magunge.

People like Tafi Gwaze, an MDC Polling agent who was abducted, tortured and beaten to death.

People like 22 year old MDC supporter Francis Chinozvinya who was shot in the chest during a Zengeza by -election and pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

There are hundreds more people who have died because of their political affiliations since 2000.

There are thousands who will forever bear the physical and mental scars of being beaten, burned, tortured, raped or sexually abused because they supported the MDC. There are millions who have endured the pain of being separated from their families and relations, their homes and their country as they had no choice but to live in exile in the diaspora. And of course there are all the heroes here at home - all of us who have lived with hunger, sickness, destitution, fear and oppression.

Perhaps next year Zimbabwe will also honour its ordinary heroes.

Until next week, thanks for reading, love cathy.



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