25 December 2007

Bleak Christmas for Zimbabweans

As you enjoy your Christmas repast, remember vana vevhuu munyika inodiwa (the children of the soil in the beloved country).

Bleak Christmas for Zimbabweans

23 December 2007

African Roads I've Been Down

Here are a few of the roads I frequently traveled in Moçambique and Malawi. Click the above photo to start the slide show. Click on photos in slide show to view description.

A friend in Moçambique recently sent me his Toyota's autobiography. You can read it here:

He also developed a system for rating African roads. You can read it here:

Zimbabwe Innovation at its best

Zimbabweans have developed the ability to innovate using whatever resources happen to be available. Here is one example:

20 December 2007

19 December 2007

Forgotten Kingdom Part 5

Here is a National Geographic programme I found on MyZimTube (yes, Zimbabwe has it's own YouTube!). This is Part 5 of an exciting history of nyika inodiwa.

18 December 2007

Forgotten Kingdom Part 4

Here is a National Geographic programme I found on MyZimTube (yes, Zimbabwe has it's own YouTube!). This is Part 4 of an exciting history of nyika inodiwa.

17 December 2007

Forgotten Kingdom Part 3

Here is a National Geographic programme I found on MyZimTube (yes, Zimbabwe has it's own YouTube!). This is Part 3 of an exciting history of nyika inodiwa.

16 December 2007

Forgotten Kingdom Part 2

Here is a National Geographic programme I found on MyZimTube (yes, Zimbabwe has it's own YouTube!). This is Part 2 of an exciting history of nyika inodiwa.

15 December 2007

Forgotten Kingdom Part 1

Here is a National Geographic programme I found on MyZimTube (yes, Zimbabwe has it's own YouTube!). This is Part 1 of an exciting history of nyika inodiwa.

01 December 2007

The Leopard Can't Change His Spots -- BUT . . .

Follow the following link to see one of the wildest wildlife wonders you'll never see in the field:

Deja Vu -- All Over Again

It's been over a week since Ian Smith's death and I still don't know exactly what to say. Many comments have been in the press and on the web giving varying views of his place in the history of Zimbabwe. I have mixed feelings. I never met him. I never lived under his rule. I did once meet one of his farm workers. I did live in post-Smith Zimbabwe. A few observations:

I remember living in Harare in the early '80's and having to dodge the then Prime Minister's motorcades almost every time I went to town. It was dangerous to encounter one since the soldiers shot first and looked to see if your car was stopped or not, later. I remember friends being roughed up by soldiers in bunkers on the city's main golf course, guarding the presidential mansion grounds which were surrounded by barbed wire and closed circuit cameras. Old-timers told how Ian Smith rode to work with only his chauffeur and walked alone down the sidewalk from the car to his office. I was shocked that the beloved father of the nation needed such protection while during war-time, the architect of UDI didn't. That caused me to begin to look more closely at Smith as a man rather than as just the symbol of an unjust societal system.

I hold Smith responsible for thousands of unnecessary deaths due to his refusal to move toward a society where all men had full political and social rights. Had he been willing to compromise in the late '60's and early '70's, the war could have been avoided. Probably Mugabe would never have risen to power in ZANU and would never have come to rule Zimbabwe. This would have saved not only lives, but livelihoods. For this reason, I think Smith's overall legacy is negative.

However, I am convinced that Smith truly loved Zimbabwe. For that reason he eventually decided to surrender power rather than destroy the country by continuing to cling to power. It is at this point that he must be seen as far superior to Robert Mugabe. Mugabe is destroying the country rather than surrender power. The people mean nothing to him.

Perhaps, the best words as this time are "Wakafa wakanaka." In English we'd say, "Only speak well of the dead." May Ian Smith find God's forgiveness for the wrongs he committed and reward for what good he accomplished.

30 October 2007

Dignity and Freedom

The rains come to Zimbabwe. Now, if only reason would return, Mugabe would leave and healing would begin. Read Cathy Buckle's Letter from Africa:

25 October 2007

22 October 2007

A million in Zimbabwe adds up to one U.S. dollar

When I visited Rhodesia in 1971, one Rhodesian dollar was worth US$1.40. When I arrived in Zimbabwe in 1982, the Zimbabwe dollar had just fallen to a value of US$1.10. Now Mugabe has driven the Zimbabwe dollar to the point where US$1.00 buys one million Zimbabwe dollars. Now, who says he hasn't made Zimbabweans wealthy. It's now a country of millionaires.

21 October 2007

20 October 2007

Death in South Africa

Violence and crime in South Africa is continuing to grow and claim the lives of great people and artists. The latest music star to fall victim of senseless crime in South Africa is reggae star Lucky Dube. Dube was a spokesman for peace and justice. His death is a loss not only for South Africa, but the whole world.

This culture of violence must be changed into a culture of brotherhood. The government won't solve the problem. They will only exploit it for political gain. There must be a movement of the people to reject those who perpetuate this crime and violence.

Read about Lucky Dube's murder: South Africa carjackers kill a music legend

09 October 2007

Fruit flies

It's summer in Zimbabwe and the livin' ain't easy. Cathy Buckle describes daily life in her Letter from Zimbabwe.

Supermarket - spot the difference

See the difference in supermarkets around the time of Zimbabwe's independence and now. It's amazing how Mugabe has cleaned things up.

05 October 2007

Blaming a monkey

Zimbabwe's leaders blame everyone but themselves for Zimbabwe's problems. Read about what's going on and the latest scapegoat in

02 October 2007

I'm glad I'm not . . .

I'm glad I'm not a chicken in Moçambique. As you drive down the road here, you regularly pass people waving something at you as you pass by. At first glance, it might appear to be a very thick tattered flag or cloth. A closer look reveals that it is a live chicken, held upside down by the legs that is being waved furiously.

That's not the only indignity chickens endure. It is a common sight to see someone with a dozen chickens tied together by the legs and slung over the handlebars of a bicycle. People are always walking around carrying a chicken by the legs or wings.

Goats also have an "interesting" existence. You can hear them being pulled around town all the time. They often are uncooperative and resist going where their owner wishes. They make lots of noise in the process. Perhaps they know that they're to be the main course at dinner.

Some goats in Malawi, on the other hand, get first class treatment. We've seen goats riding bicycles in Malawi! I don't know how that they do it, but we've seen goats sitting on the bicycle seat with their front hooves on the handle bars as their owners push the bicycle to town. (I guess the goats haven't learned to pedal yet.)

[From the December 1999 edition of johnsons' journal.]

24 September 2007

A bad deal?

Cathy Buckle quotes something she heard regarding the bombing of Lebanon last year:

"A bad deal is better than war."

Read how she relates this to Zimbabwe's situation in

Cathy Buckle's Letter from Zimbabwe

Encore Celebration

It's too great a victory not to celebrate a bit more. Zimbabwe needs more of these causes for celebration.

Tatenda vakomana. Makatifadzisai zvikuru.

23 September 2007

Parable of the Loerie

Once in Southern Africa there lived an old man with three sons. One day the household was running out of firewood and the man sent his oldest son to the forest to gather wood. After a short time the son returned home without any wood.

"Why are you home so soon, my son? Why don’t you have any firewood?" asked the old man.

"When I got to the forest someone called out to me, ‘Go away!’" replied the son. "So I’ve come back home with no wood."

The father was very upset. He didn’t understand what had happened and was disappointed in the actions of his son.

The next day the father sent his second son to the forest to gather firewood. The father and his other two sons waited the whole day for the return of the second son. Finally, after the sun had set, the second son arrived at home. He had no firewood.

"Why are you so late, my son? Why don’t you have any firewood?" asked the old man.

"Well father, when I arrived at the forest I, too, heard someone call out ‘Go away!’" said the son in a hoarse voice. "So I replied, ‘No! I won’t!’ Then the voice again said, ‘Go away!’ and I said, ‘No! You can’t make me!’ And we argued until it was almost dark and I decided to come home."

The father was more upset and puzzled about what was happening. The need for firewood was now desperate. The next day, early in the morning, he sent his youngest son to the forest to gather firewood. Just after noon the youngest son returned home with a huge load of firewood upon his head.

The father and his two older sons gathered around the youngest son as he lowered the firewood to the ground in front of their house. They began to question him excitedly.

"How did you gather so much firewood so quickly?"

"Didn’t you hear the voice?"

"How did you get permission to enter the forest?"

The younger son replied, "Yes, I heard a voice call out ‘Go away!’ when I reached the forest. I looked to see where the voice came from and saw a 'go ‘way bird'* in a tree. I told myself, ‘I’m not going to be ordered around by some dumb bird. I’m going to obey my father.’ And so I just went into the forest and found plenty of firewood and here it is."

*The Grey Loerie of Southern Africa is known as the "Go away bird" because of its call that sounds like "go-WAY." Hunters hate this bird because it alerts other game when a hunter approaches."

(photo from Ian Sinclair's Field Guide To The Birds Of Southern Africa)

[This is not a traditional African story. It was inspired by birds and experiences in Zimbabwe.]

15 September 2007

Beautiful Africa -- Fourth Edition

The Fourth Edition of the Carnival Beautiful Africa is now out. It's got some great music as well as thought provoking posts. As always, there are also facinating photos. Stop by Beautiful Africa now.

Inside Mugabe's Zimbabwe

Read the BBC report Inside Mugabe's Zimbabwe and watch the video Inside Mugabe's Zimbabwe. These are very revealing of what's happening.

13 September 2007

Pamberi ne Zimbabwe Cricket!

Zimbabwe defeated Australia by five wickets in the Twenty20 tournament!
Makorokoto vakomana!

The Bearded Man made the following observations:

There were two others things that I really appreciated last night. First of all was Zimbabwe's fielding ability - possibly one of the best performances I have ever seen - and I watch a lot of cricket. The second thing was in the crowds. How whites, blacks, coloured and Indians were all together celebrating the win. And that is what Mugabe is trying to stop...

He is so right. Mugabe has done his best to deepen divisions. But the people of Zimbabwe will prevail -- all of them.

Unfortunately, today England defeated Zimbabwe by 50 runs. But the boys fought well.

We're proud of you.

07 September 2007

06 September 2007

31 August 2007

Sorcerer dies in failed underwater spirit stunt

A TRADITIONAL medicine man in Tanzania drowned after jumping in a river and promising to resurface three days later with relevations from ancestral spirits, police said Tuesday.
The local witch doctor, named as Nyasio Alfonso, staged his ill-fated stunt last week at the village of Masingo in the western Mpanda district near Lake Tanganyika, Rukwa regional police commander Daudi Siadi told AFP.

Dozens of villagers chanted and drummed as the fortune-teller dived to confer with the riverine spirits, he said.

"The incident was reported to us by the village leadership on Sunday, four days after Alfonso threw himself into the river," he said. "His decomposing body was fished out several metres downstream."

The police officer said the incident was the first of its kind in the region. "We are not aware of such practices although belief in witchcraft is widespread in Rukwa region," he said. — AFP

Reprinted from The Zimbabwe Independent

29 August 2007

Zimbabwe Out of Control

BBC has a very informative report on how Zimbabwe came to be in the state it is and what the future may hold. Listen to:

21 August 2007

Why I'm fleeing South Africa

This is one of the saddest articles I've read in some time. The widow of Alan Paton is leaving South Africa. To leave the land one loves because of fear must be one of the most difficult things in life. How can things be turned around? That is the challenge not only for South Africa, but for the rest of the world corrupted by greed and hatred. I believe the greed gives birth to the hatred. Read

by Anne Paton (widow of Alan Paton)

All for Sugar

Cathy Buckle reports another farm theft in Cathy Buckle's Letter from Zimbabwe.

16 August 2007

Beautiful Africa - 3rd edition!

A great blog on all of Africa is Beautiful Africa. It is a "carnival" and has regular collections of postings from all over Africa. Check out the latest:

02 August 2007

'Witchcraft' arrest in Mozambique

'Witchcraft' arrest in Mozambique

This problem was widespread in Zimbabwe when I lived there. It was less publicized in Cabo Delgado when I lived there, although the "wizards" of Cabo Delgado were reputedly some of the most powerful. These beliefs are a great problem in Southern Africa.

"Rural Life for All" Becoming A Reality

From ZimOnline

01 August 2007

Clear as Mud

Cathy Buckle's Letter from Zimbabwe

Cry for the Beloved Country. Will there be anyone to rebuild Zimbabwe after Mugabe is gone? Will anyone even try for fear that the next leader will be a Mugabe reincarnate?

I weep.

03 July 2007

Remember Me- Lucky Dube (in concert)

Lucky Dube is a great Reggae star from South Africa. This song tells the story of a child whose father has left home to go to the city to find work in order to support his family. The result is a fatherless home and a broken home. This is the story told by the child.

This song was born in the troubles of apartheid. It is also the story of many Zimbabwean families today as family members must go to South Africa, Botswana or beyond in order to support families back in Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

Listen to the words carefully. And cry along.

Take Them All Over

"Take Them All Over" is the latest Letter from Zimbabwe by Cathy Buckle

20 June 2007

Freedom Fighters

Mugabe claimed to be a "Freedom Fighter" during the struggle for independence. He actually became one, in the fullest George Carlin sense, after becoming ruler of Zimbabwe. (To be accurate, he gained power by being a George Carlin freedom fighter. He only perfected the art after becoming prime minister/president of Zimbabwe.)

Rock Bottom

Here is the latest Letter from Zimbabwe by Cathy Buckle. It is now a land of absurdity.

Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi - Neria

Oliver "Tuku" Mtukudzi is one of my favorite Zimbabwean musicians. This is an especially beautiful song in which he gives encouragement to a widow to be strong in spite of her troubles.

"Musaora moyo, kaNeria, Mwari anewe."

"Don't worry, little Neria, God is with you.""

18 June 2007

Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe

Thanks to "africansunset" at YouTube for this.

Zimbabwe, Land of Contrasts - Part I

Click to Play

Zimbabwe is a land of contrasts. Traditional and modern exist side by side. Unfortunately, today more and more people are being torn from traditional life and denied access to modern life.
(This video is a slightly improved version of one published earlier.)

16 June 2007

Henry Olonga - Our Zimbabwe

Henry Olonga was a cricket star in Zimbabwe playing for the national team. He had to go into exile because of his oposition to the oppression of the Robert Mugabe government. This song expresses the vision the young people of Zimbabwe had for a unified Zimbabwe prior to the path Mugabe chose for the nation at the turn of the millenium.

Let the vision be revived!

An Old-time Look at my Life in Africa

Some "aged" photos from Tanzania (in the early 1970's) and Zimbabwe (1980's and 1990's).

15 June 2007

Good News! ?

From the BBC:

Wildlife Discovery: Massive animal herds found in south Sudan

Now, if we can keep people from reentering the area and destroying these animals. Perhaps, it would have been better if we still didn't know they exist.

02 June 2007

Ilha de Moçambique

A Forteleza da Ilha de Moçambique
(The Fort of the Island of Mozambique)

The small island of Moçambique is connected to the mainland today by a long, narrow, single lane bridge. There are several wide spaces along the bridge where a vehicle can pull over to allow another to pass going in the opposite direction. The island was once a center of Portuguese power in northern Moçambique and an important center of the slave trade. Today it is a fishing village with growing tourist connections.

28 May 2007

Back to the Future III

We've seen the future and it's in our past.

The future of farming in Zimbabwe!The policies of the Mugabe regime are pulling the country back in time to the dark ages. Now the answer to fuel shortages is ox drawn carts! South Africa’s Business Day newspaper reports that Zimbabwe’s government has embarked on a plan to resuscitate agriculture. The plan involves the Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono setting up technical colleges to produce ox-drawn carts and ploughs to help communal farmers produce food.
Ox drawn carts and Mugabe take Zimbabwe back to dark ages

Here's a photo I found some time ago. It shows how things were and will be.

Thanks to the Professor

Here is a Letter from Zimbabwe by Kathy Buckle.

Mwindaji* -- The Last Hunt

The young hunter soaked in the scenery with wide eyes and an open heart. He would be leaving Tanzania in a few weeks and this was probably his last hunt. He must use this opportunity to absorb visions and memories to take with him when he returned to the U.S.A. He didn't want to go.

The young hunter and his elder hunting companion had obtained permission to hunt in a controlled hunting area bordered by the Manyara Game Park and the Tarangire Game Reserve. This was wild country filled with more exotic game than the areas they usually hunted. Even though their licences allowed them to hunt only more common species, and they were primarily after meat, encounters with members of the BIG FIVE were likely and would be exciting. Along on the hunt as observers were members of a family visiting from the U.S.A. who wanted to experience the chase.

The hunt was proving to be everything they anticipated. Almost. They encountered a rhino family. Father, mother and baby burst from the underbrush and after pausing to stare at the Land Cruiser full of exotic two-legged animals, charged noiselessly through the heavy vegetation. They came across leopard spoor and smelled the strong smell of lion. But one thing was lacking. The young hunter had a bad case of "buck fever" and couldn't hit anything he aimed at. His goal was to get a reed buck and a warthog. He had several shots at reed buck but missed every time. A huge warthog broke into the open, a warthog so huge that everyone thought it was the baby rhino returned, but the young hunter missed his shot.

As the day passed, the hunters decided they had to get meat. The young hunter had an impala on his license, so when they came across a small herd, he crept up as close as possible through the high grass and took his shot. This time he was successful. It wasn't a trophy buck, but it would put meat on the table.

The older hunter knew he would have other opportunities to hunt and chose to give his younger friend the best shots. As he drove slowly through the long grass, the Land Cruiser dropped into a hole. It took quite a bit of digging and moving planks around to get out.

As the day drew to a close, the hunting party began to work their way back to the road to Arusha. Suddenly, the vehicle began to go in circles no matter how the steering wheel was turned. A stump hidden by the tall grass had broken the steering rod. It was dusk and they were stranded in the bush.

The older hunter took a panga* and hiked out to the road. The young hunter stayed with the Land Cruiser and the young American family. He tried to keep the visitors from being afraid. This was more adventure than they had planned on and the wife was quite nervous.

The young hunter built a fire with the only dry wood available, some rotting palm tree sections. It wasn't the best burning wood, but it did make things seem somewhat more comfortable. He resisted the temptation to tell the Americans the old hunters' tale about how a fire will keep every animal away except the rhino which has an unexplainable urge to stomp out fires. That might not be too reassuring to them after seeing a rhino family nearby earlier in the day.

As the night passed and the unwilling campers had finished off their picnic basket from earlier in the day, the night sounds of Africa became louder. The chirping of bugs dominated the sounds. It was as if there was a bug singing for each bright star in the clear African sky. Then came the sound of monkey's screaming in the distance. That's not so common at night. The monkey sounds seemed to come closer.

Then the young hunter heard a muffled cough. He remembered the fresh leopard spoor seen earlier in the day. Leopard were in the area. Leopards liked to eat monkeys. Monkeys screamed when attacked by leopards. How could he sneak a rifle out of the Land Cruiser without explaining his uneasiness to the young family? Now he had to reassure not only the visitors that things were safe, but himself also.

He heard more muffled coughs. They were very close. They sounded like they were on the other side of the Land Cruiser. Then the mother opened the door to the Land Cruiser and the coughs got louder. She reached into the vehicle and brought out her son who was coughing. The young hunter relaxed, glad he had not said anything about his interpretation of what he'd heard.

Shortly after midnight a light appeared coming from the direction of the road. The older hunter had succeeded in finding a ride to Arusha and had borrowed a Land Rover to come to the rescue of the stranded hunting party. He loaded up the American family and the game shot that day and took them back to Arusha. The young hunter stayed with the Land Cruiser. The older hunter would bring a mechanic to fix it the next day.

Morning came and the young hunter thought he should use his time well while he waited for the mechanic by, what else? Hunting. He knew reed buck were in the area and he had another opportunity to get one. So, he began to work around the stranded Land Cruiser, looking for reed buck.

After some time, he caught the glimpse of an antelope darting behind some bushes. He didn't get good enough look to identify the antelope, so he began to stalk it to find out if it was something he wanted. Slowly but slowly he walked through the knee deep to waist high grass, his eyes locked on the bush behind which the antelope had vanished. Quietly, quietly he walked.

And then, suddenly just as he was about to put down his right foot, the grass under it parted and a yellow feline head with black spots streaked from under his foot to his right. The movement frightened the antelope and he sawa female impala leap and sprint to his left.

After the young hunter stopped shaking, he retreated to the Land Cruiser where he waited for the mechanic. He had almost stepped on a cheetah that was stalking the same antelope he had been stalking.

This was truly a hunt to be remembered.

*mwindaji -- Swahili for hunter

*panga -- Swahili for machete

20 May 2007

Mugabe's Accomplices

For a brief introduction to the men who keep Mugabe in power, go to Mugabe's Accomplices and view the slide show.

18 April 2007

Tsumo - Shumo

Mutoro unorema wasvika.

"The load becomes heaviest when you are reaching (the goal)."

-- Shona Proverb
From Tsumo - Shumo by Mordikai A. Hamutyinei and Albert B. Plangger

Much like "It's darkest just before dawn."

Happy Birthday?

Today Zimbabwe celebrates 27 years of existence. Rhodesia became Southern Rhodesia which became the Republic of Rhodesia which became Rhodesia-Zimbabwe which became Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980.

Robert Mugabe became the first president of Zimbabwe, the breadbasket of Southern Africa and as the only president of Zimbabwe has transformed it into the basket case of Southern Africa over the past 27 years.

Cry for Zimbabwe!

30 March 2007

Zimbabwe, Land of Contrasts

This is video of the Zimbabwe I knew and love. I'm sorry for the low quality of this old video. It does show the contrast of modern and old traditional life in the transitional period of the '80's and '90's. (Be sure to set view to "Original Size" for best picture.)

Who gets to count?

Cathy Buckle's Letter from Zimbabwe.

A Luta Continua

The Struggle Continues (A Luta Continua) in Zimbabwe.

From ZimOnline:

ZANU PF urges party youths to ‘silence opposition’
SADC tasks Mbeki to mediate in Zimbabwe
Mugabe spies get massive salary hike
Harare denies Mujuru resignation reports
Weapons discovery a ruse by Mugabe, says MDC
Police release Tsvangirai, 20 still detained
South Africa urges Mugabe to pursue dialogue
US warns citizens in Harare

From The Zimbabwean:

Mai Mujuru resigns

SW Radio Africa:

Breaking News
Riot police have descended on Sakubva Late Thursday we had reports that riot police had descended on the high density suburb of Sakubva in Mutare and were indiscriminately beating people. They are also reported to be raiding the homes of MDC officials. At least 5 homes were raided. MDC information officer in Manicaland Pishai Muchauraya told us that an Inspector Dhliwayo is spearheading the vicious campaign in Sakubva.

News stories for Thursday 29 March

Soldiers beat up Mbare residents

Uniformed soldiers on Thursday descended on the High-density suburb of Mbare in Harare indiscriminately beating up residents. The arrived in two army trucks and began assaulting people using the rifle butts. A member of the Combined Harare Residents Association, Mfundo Milo, witnessed the assault and said it was completely unprovoked.

MDC activists badly tortured in police cells

The MDC has claimed that most of its activists who were arrested Wednesday when police stormed their party headquarters Harare , have been badly tortured by police. 4 of the 9 activists appeared in court Thursday and have been admitted to hospital with serious injuries. They face charges of attempted murder stemming from recent petrol bomb attacks the government is claiming is the work of the MDC.

Free-Zim Youth confront Angolan ambassador in London

The Free-Zim Youth (UK) movement Thursday made their displeasure known to the Angolan ambassador in London over allegations that Angola is to send 2500 police militia to help quell rising discontent in Zimbabwe . About 25 youths demonstrated at the embassy and presented a petition to the ambassador condemning the reported agreement.

Students urge Zimbabweans to support ZCTU stay-away

University students in Zimbabwe have said the mass stay-away organized by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions is an event that will benefit the whole country and should be supported by all Zimbabweans. At a national meeting held last week they resolved to do everything in their power to make sure the ZCTU stay-away was a success.

SADC urged to take tough stance on Zimbabwe

While his ruthless state agents continued to abduct and torture opposition supporters and activists around the country, Robert Mugabe travelled to Tanzania Wednesday to attend an emergency Summit of Heads of State from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

A cry for Zimbabwe -- By Desmond Tutu and Madeleine Albright

Harare judges told to stand up to Mugabe by M.Monare

God Hears the Cry of the Oppressed-Catholic bishops letter

Sokwanele on Sky News blog - Inside Zimbabwe -- This blog has very good descriptions of daily life in Zimbabwe today.

28 March 2007

Dangers in the Bush

Charging elephant kills 2 Britons in Zimbabwe

Hwange, where this occurred, is heavily populated with elephants. Parts of the game park look like they have been bombed due to the destructive eating habits of elephants.

The article says elephants are second to crocodiles in the danger list to humans. Some authorities would rate hippos highter. However, elephants are not confined to the same proximity to water as hippos.

25 March 2007

Zimbabwe Wallpaper

Remember Zimbabwe during this period of crisis. Left click on the photo above to go to a full size copy. Right click it and choose "Set as Background" to make it the wallpaper on your computer so you'll always have the beauty of Zimbabwe before you.

24 March 2007

Political Humour from Zimbabwe

The results of Mugabe-style "land reform." -- Sokwanele-Zvakakwana

Zimbabwe playing cards -- BBC (AFP origin)

Zim OnLine!

Zim OnLine!

Moçambique Munitions

Photo from the BBC (AP origin) showing soldiers retrieving stray munitions after Maputo blast.

23 March 2007

Maputo Death Toll up to 93

Even after a war is over, it continues to kill. Northern Moçambique, where I lived, continued to suffer from land mines left over from the struggle for independence and the civil war that followed. Now the blast in Maputo is reported to be caused by stored weapons and ammunition left over from the war.

Mozambique fire blast kills 93

Mozambique armory explosion (Photo gallery)

Mozambique fire blast kills 72

This is on the opposite end of the country from where I lived.

Mozambique fire blast kills 72

The death toll from a fire and explosions at Mozambique's national weapons depot rose to 72, the country's health minister said Friday.FULL STORY

Mozambique: More Than 50 Dead in Maputo Blasts

Dozens Dead in Mozambique Blasts - BBC

Explosions Rock Maputo

Continuing Coverage of the Zimbabwe Crisis

I have just discovered a blog with extensive links to sites with news of Zimbabwe. It is The Zimbabwe Final Push.

Found this cartoon on the Sokwanele blog

From SW Radio AFrica:

News stories for Thursday 22 March

Grace Kwinjeh and Sekai Holland taken to SA for treatment

MDC officials Grace Kwinjeh and Sekai Holland who were blocked from leaving Zimbabwe last week by Zimbabwe security agents left Harare on Thursday for South Africa to receive special medical treatment.

20 MDC supporters arrested & police raid homes in Chitungwiza

On Thursday morning about 20 MDC supporters were arrested after they took to the streets of Harare to protest the killing by police of MDC member Itai Manyeruke. They say police tortured Manyeruke to death after the blocked prayer rally in Highfield, then stashed his body at a morgue without the family’s knowledge. Those arrested are being held at Harare Central.

Bakers close as government insists on controlled prices

The baking industry has announced they are operating at only 30% capacity as a result of the government’s price control exercise. Vincent Mangoma, acting chairman of the National Bakers Association, said many people have lost their jobs and serious bread shortages have developed around the country.

ACP-EU MPs resolve to investigate Zim rights abuse

A political committee of the Africa , Caribbean and Pacific – European Union joint parliamentary assembly, resolved Wednesday to send a mission to Zimbabwe to investigate the recent attacks on members of the opposition and civic groups. The Vice President of the Tsvangirai-MDC Thokozani Khupe, who attended the meeting in place of Nelson Chamisa who was viciously attacked by suspected state security agents last Sunday, said the ACP-EU parliamentarians also issued a resolution condemning the brutal attacks on the political activists in Zimbabwe .

ZCTU to go ahead with stay away

A stay away being planned by the ZCTU will go ahead despite government attempts to destabilize the union and its protest plans. The stay away on the 3 rd and 4 th April is meant to press government to address the economic meltdown. Secretary General Wellington Chibhebhe said a group of ‘so-called unions’ met with Zanu PF structures in Marondera Saturday and are trying to mobilize people in the rural areas who will be offloaded in Harare to intimidate people into going to work during the strike.

Police raid CHRA offices in search of leadership

On Thursday morning 8 uniformed and 6 plain clothed police officers are reported to have raided the offices of the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) in Harare. Staff members who were present said they were threatened by the police who came looking for CHRA’s top leaders in connection with a demonstration they conducted Wednesday on the steps of City Hall.

Mugabe's Brutality from Vanguard newspaper in Lagos, Nigeria

Statement From The Botswana Civil Society Coalition On Zim

SADC Council of NGOs statement on Zimbabwe

From ZimOnline:

Zimbabwe church leader calls for more street protests

Labour union presses ahead with protest plan

Mugabe killing off few remaining media, says watchdog

State agents dumped MDC activist’s body in mortuary

Church says this is not ‘the Zim we want’

And CNN has discovered Zimbabwe!

Zimbabwe bishop ready to face guns


Refugees stream into South Africa

Fiery interview with the Zimbabwean Ambassador to the U.S.

Trying times in Zimbabwe, as people fight for rights

Photo Gallery:

Zimbabwe in crisis


Mugabe fighting for political life

Zambia: Zimbabwe 'sinking Titanic'

African Union concern for Zimbabwe

Transcript: 'Your agenda is not noble'

Mugabe rival: 'I will soldier on'

Main Mugabe rival hospitalized

Beating turns Tsvangirai into symbol

22 March 2007

More News from Zimbabwe

Things continue to heat up in Zimbabwe. A country that was once the breadbasket of Africa is starving. People are suffering, yet, until now, the world says nothing. Could it be the lack of oil? Here are stories of the latest developments. Pray that a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict will be quickly reached.

For an excellent survey of how Zimbabwe came to be in this situation see these articles from the United States Institute of Peace: Zimbabwe and the Prospects for Nonviolent Political Change and Zimbabwe and the Politics of Torture. These are a few years old, but give insightful background to the current crisis.

From ZimOnline:

Zim opposition says Harare under virtual state of emergency

Judge orders police to return MDC officials’ passports

Mwanawasa likens Zimbabwe to a ‘sinking Titanic’

British premier launches blistering attack on Mugabe

US ambassador labels Mugabe a stubborn despot

Mutambara goes to court to have passport released

From SW Radio Africa:

Police brutality claims another life

One more person has died from police torture in Harare . 30 year-old MDC member Itai Manyeruke was abducted and severely beaten by police on 11th March during the disturbances that claimed the life of Gift Tandare . He was abducted in Highfields during the Save Zimbabwe Campaign prayer rally and must have died the following day from injuries sustained during the beatings.

MDC activists stage protest inside Zim embassy in London

MDC activists in the UK Wednesday staged an hour long sit-in protest inside the Zimbabwe embassy demanding an end to government’s crimes against humanity. They intended handing over a petition calling on the regime to stop killing and brutalising innocent civilians. When the group identified itself they were surprised to see embassy staff bolting away and hiding themselves in the building.

Anti-Mugabe chants at Human Rights demo in South Africa

Zimbabwe became the focus of a Human Rights Day demonstration in Johannesburg , South Africa Wednesday as hundreds gathered to mark this national holiday. On March 21 st every year South Africans commemorate the1960 Sharpeville Massacres, when troops opened fire on innocent civilians leaving 67 dead.

Zambia urges rethink on ‘sinking’ Zimbabwe

Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa broke ranks with fellow African leaders and urged Southern Africa to take a new approach on Zimbabwe . Mwanawasa likened Zimbabwe to a ‘sinking Titanic’ saying millions of people are fleeing the economic and political turmoil.

Court orders police to return Holland & Kwinjeh passports

A court has ordered the police to release MDC officials Sekai Holland and her colleague Grace Kwinjeh, who were being held under armed police guard at the Avenues Clinic. The two, who were part of the group of pro-democracy activists who were arrested and assaulted recently, were being blocked from travelling to seek urgent medical treatment in South Africa.

Press reports on Zimbabwe situation for Wednesday 21 March

21 March 2007

Continuing News from Zimbabwe

From SW Radio Africa:

MDC claims Mugabe pushing country towards civil war
The country’s main opposition party on Tuesday claimed that Mugabe is pushing Zimbabwe towards the brink of a civil war as a last ditch effort to obliterate the opposition. The MDC’s secretary for Foreign Affairs Professor Elphas Mukonoweshuro said Mugabe is happy to see the political crisis pushing towards a major upheaval because it will give him an excuse to crush any uprising.

Reluctant South Africa to allow UN briefing on Zimbabwe
In a sudden turnaround South Africa is reported to have decided not to block a report to the UN Security Council on the situation in Zimbabwe . Its ambassador to the UN, Dumisani Kumalo, had said he would use the country’s position as current president of the council to block a briefing requested by Britain 's UN ambassador.

Australian Aboriginal leaders condemn Zim police
Australian Aboriginal leaders have joined worldwide condemnation against the recent attacks on opposition and civic leaders by the Zimbabwean government, in particular against Sekai Holland who was a staunch supporter of the Aboriginal Land Rights movement. Holland is a 64-year old Zimbabwean, married to an Australian.

Harare residents march for fresh elections
Police in Harare were caught off guard on Tuesday when about 100 residents of Harare marched to the steps of City Hall demanding the ouster of the illegal commission running the city and fresh elections immediately.

From ZimOnline:

Mugabe seeks Angola's help to quell protests
Tsvangirai expresses concern over region’s lukewarm response
FEATURE: ‘It is as if we are now under a police state’

Letter from Zimbabwe

Letter from Zimbabwe by Cathy Buckle

Along the Shire River, Malawi

Click picture above for a quick video safari along the Shire River, Malawi
(Be sure to set view to "Original Size" for best picture.)

Crocodile swimming up the Shire River

Crocodile on the bank of the Shire River

Crocodile on the bank of the Shire River

Elephant on the bank of the Shire River

Elephant unhappy to be interrupted at breakfast along the Shire River

Hippos in the Shire River

Fish Eagle