African folktales are replete with profound wisdom weaved in stories, idioms and fairytales. One such has to do with an owl. For years he had terrorized his bird family; that if anyone fooled with him, he would fork him to death with his horns. Then one day someone discovered that the feathers projections ,on the head of an owl were fake horns, THE OWL HAS NO HORNS.
The same proverbial statement is now making rounds in Zimbabwe following the announcement of the presidential results. To many, it’s not an issue that Morgan Tsvangirai did not win the presidency, but what matters most to them, is that he has defied legend, that the unconquerable Robert Mugabe , could be beaten after all.
I do believe Tsvangirai polled more votes than those announced. Enough time has been given to ‘figure Smith’ the numbers, so as to minimize the disgrace. If that was not the case, why then would the opposition not be allowed by the electoral commission , to fully participate in the verification process of the Presidential results. Everything having been said, none of us expected it to be an easy walk to the new political dispensation. It would take the prayers of the saints than sheer negotiations to dislodge this regime. I believe God still has his hand on the situation and how he will sort the quagmire, I have no idea, but Jer29:11 is true that His thoughts are for good, for posterity and wholeness, not for evil, to give us the end and the expected, (as the Hebrew rendition puts it).
We appreciate all the mail that has poured in with words of encouragement, prayer promises, prophetic statements, every moral support during this stalemate. All I can say is ALUTA CONTINUA (the struggle continues).
As the run-off has been announced, the political climate is not stable. The recount on the parliamentary did not help anything, in-fact, other opposition MP’s gained more votes in the recount. ZANY PF is determined to retain the Presidency by all means.
Many rural areas are now no-go areas. When I was in Capetown recently, a bad incident nearly happened. One of our staff members, Pastor Linos Nyuke took my ministry pick-up truck to Gutu for a funeral. A ministry colleague lost his wife and they drove in the backie together with other Pastors for the burial in the rural homestead. Zanu PF militia were mounting road blocks in the villages. The pick-up was impounded and declared as state possession. All the occupants were frog marched to a Zany PF rally, detained for a full day and one after another requested to chant Zanu PF slogans all day. The funeral was delayed until late when the Provincial Chairperson for the party released them with strict orders never to mention anything to anyone or the newspapers, otherwise their rural families will pay for it.
This kind of state terrorism is now the order of the day in rural areas and other high density townships. Houses of MDC activists have been burnt. Many MDC councilors who won the election are on the run. People are wrapped in polythene bags and torched. In Mutoko, one of our office staff member, brother Fungai returned back to the city in a huff, after being warned that he had no place in his own rural homestead. He watched some supporters for the opposition whose hands had been decapitated, as the perpetrators boasted “we want to see how you will vote in the run-off without hands”. Heartless crimes have been committed in a retributive fashion to most activists of the opposition. Property destroyed, relatives victimized and possessions looted.
As all this happened, Zany PF seems to be aware that people may still vote for Morgan Tsvangirai. They have above all atrocities vowed that ‘even if you vote him in, he will still not rule the country.
A nationwide indefinite ban has been imposed for all public meetings and evening assembly, a total infringement to the freedom of association, in gross violation of all known human rights. This has deeply affected all ministry activities, even regular weekly home cell groups in churches. There is more police and military persons in uniform than we knew existed in the country. Road blocks are a common place at every street end and corner. Riot police in full gear are on 24hr patrol. It’s the law of the gun, shamelessly displayed to intimidate people by a regime that has lost support of the masses. How can you vote for someone, because he beats you so much??
There are three major concerns right now. If the elections are held under the current atmosphere, they cannot be free and fair. Secondly it looks like Zanu PF may want to create mayhem in order to displace people of opposition support; if this happens it’s a loss to the opposition because they cannot vote since our electoral process is ward based. You are not allowed to vote outside your ward registered in the voters roll. Thirdly, the verification of the results in the absence of a neutral observer team will be a problem; today’s government paper was saying ‘Its a foregone conclusion – Mugabe will win whether he wins as a result of the ballot is another question.
Just when you thought you have seen the worst, the worst happens. Two days ago the Federal bank issued new notes in response to the inflationary pressure on our money. It’s the largest of all time (250 000 000.00) two hundred and fifty million dollars) it’s the mother of all monetary bills. Like I said in the past, inflation in fiscal history will be defined by Zimbabwean standards.
The confusion in the economy is unbelievable with the prices of basic commodities beyond the reach of the masses. I tease with many that ,in this country, many of us who have a culture of fasting; it will be manageable because we now have to prepare ourselves for a single meal a day. The distortions in our fiscal policies are bordering on madness.
Consider this , that as a foreigner staying in a Zimbabwean hotel, your accommodation may be pegged at USD$120.00 a night but as a you go down into the restaurant to have a coke at the official exchange rate, the price is USD$3,300.00 for a glass of soda. It’s now scary to start a car when you imagine what you have to pay for fuel.
As people prepare to go for the rerun of the presidential race, Mugabe’s biggest opposition remains the economy. Its’ so ugly and has now gained a life of its own and will not be easily harnessed , in the absence of massive balance of payments support. It costs billions to buy a pillow to rest your head. In the face of all this, government is splashing resources to certain individuals and weaponry , to guarantee re-election instead of injecting resources to needy sectors of the economy. Hospitals have no beds, the other day I watched some fractured from a car crash, lying on a bare floor in a hospital, no mattresses, even a stop pain is a luxury. We need all your prayers and support in these challenging times
We appreciate your friendship