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

18 March 2007

Crisis in Zimbabwe Continues

News from SW Radio Africa:

News stories for Sunday 18 March

The spokesperson for the Tsvangirai MDC, Nelson Chamisa, is in hospital. He was due to fly out of Harare to attend a meeting in Brussels when he was stopped and beaten. Reports say his eye socket is fractured.

In other news, a government spokesman told a British newspaper last night that murdered activist Gift Tandare had been buried in secret and his family forbidden to attend.We have been unable to get further details.

News stories for Saturday 17 March

CIO seize Tandare’s body
Robert Mugabe’s notorious Central Intelligence Organisation allegedly removed the body of the late Gift Tandare from a funeral parlour in Harare, after forcing his father to sign a letter of consent. Alex Muchadehama the lawyer representing the family said it was in clear violation of the family’s rights to bury their loved one as his wife, mother and other relatives were unaware that the body had been taken.

Mutambara, Kwinjeh, Holland stopped from leaving Zimbabwe.
Professor Arthur Mutambara the leader of one of the MDC factions was detained at Harare International Airport Saturday. Maxwell Zimuto an Information Officer with the Mutambara led MDC said the opposition leader was about to fly to South Africa when he was stopped. It’s been alleged that he has been taken to Harare Central Police Station. Police refused to comment.

News stories for Friday 16 March

MDC unite for presidential race
Leaders of the opposition and civic groups who were brutalised by the police this week held a press conference as a united group in Harare Friday. They said they will continue with their campaign to force the Mugabe regime to accept that there is a need for democratic reforms, a new constitution and free and fair elections.

Cellphone conversation from The Avenues Clinic -- Listen to interview with Mike Davies of the Combined Harare Residents Association and Dr. Arthur Mutambara, leader of one MDC faction.

Images of police brutality 14 March 2007 -- Graphic images

From the Sokwanele Newsletter:

Nelson Chamisa attacked by CIO agents at Harare International Airport

Torture and violence in Zimbabwe (media extracts)

Tsvangirai’s torture described as attempted murder

16 March 2007

Quick Tour of Pemba, Moçambique

Click picture above for a quick video tour of Pemba, Moçambique.
(Be sure to set view to "Original Size" for best picture.)

13 March 2007

The Zimbabwe Crisis

ZimOnline has the following reports on events in Zimbabwe:

Mugabe mulls state of emergency
Tsvangirai says struggle continues as police defy court order
South Africa breaks silence on Mugabe’s brutality
EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT: The MDC’s ‘courtroom unity’ and Mugabe’s dogs of war
‘Tsvangirai assault was attempted murder’
Zimbabwe can’t take six more years of Mugabe rule: think-tank
Exiled Zimbabweans demand release detained leaders
Police raid labour union offices

SW Radio Africa reports:

Mutambara Dragged From Hospital Bed To Court

Listen to Newsreel archive

We Salute You

Cathy Buckle's letter honouring Jenni Williams, Women of Courage Award winner: We Salute You

Zimbabwean Unrest Intensifies

CNN has this story about the Zimbabwe situation: Lawyers: Zimbabwean opposition tortured by police.

ZimOnline has the following reports:
Judge orders release of Zimbabwe opposition leaders
Crackdown could galvanise Zimbabweans to rise against Mugabe
Civic groups demand release of Tsvangirai, Mutambara
Harare crackdown a wake up call on Mbeki: SA opposition

Zimbabwejournalists.com has the following:
High Court orders access to tortured Tsvangirai
Detention diary…day 3 - Two shot at activist's funeral wake

SW Radio Africa has the following:
Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU) Press Statement


2 activists shot and wounded at Tandare's funeral
It's reported police descended on the Glen View home of Gift Tandare, the activists who was killed on Sunday, and started shooting at mourners to disperse them. 2 activists shot and wounded.

Lawyers barred from detained clients despite court judgement
In-spite of the High Court judgment that was passed last night by Justice Bhunu, lawyers representing all the arrested opposition leaders are still being denied access by the police. Medical practitioners that attempted to access those in need of medical treatment following the granting of the court order were also denied access.

ZCTU offices raided
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) offices have been raided this morning and many of the staff are now being held against their will within the building.

MDC supporters arrested in Mutare
More than 75 MDC supporters arrested in Mutare and being kept in overcrowded conditions in Mutare prison where they are being fed by local citizens. They were invited to pay admission of guilt fines but refused and insisted on court proceedings. They are to appear in Mutare magistrates court on Wednesday. Those arrested include most of the Manicaland MDC executive.

12 March 2007

Malawi Bridges I Have Crossed

Concrete bridges tend to erode at the sides and approaches

Wooden bridges tend to have missing planks

Rural Malawi residents depend on firewood for fuel. Deforestation has created a fuel shortage. Bridges have become an accessable source of firewood.

11 March 2007

SW Radio AFrica - Turmoil in Zimbabwe

SW Radio Africa reports on current unrest in Zimbabwe:

Zimbabwean leaders of both MDC factions arrested in Highfields

SW Radio Africa has also published the following articles:

One activist killed & several injured

Sunday 11 March 2007 - Emailed update from Tsvangirai MDC

We now confirm at least one death by shooting, one other in a critical condition and 10 people admitted to a private Hospital. Others injured are believed to have been collected - location unknown at this point. Also confirmed that Morgan has been beaten in Police custody. MDC has called an emergency National executive meeting for Monday morning to be followed by a press briefing and then a briefing for Diplomats in the afternoon.

The whereabouts of Arthur Mutambara unknown

Sunday 11 March 2007 - Emailed update from Mutambara MDC

The whereabouts of the MDC President Prof. Arthur Mutambara who was arrested this morning in Machipisa, Highfield and later transferred to Harare Central Police station are unknown. His legal practitioner, Mr Harrison Nkomo was advised early this evening by the Officer Commanding Law and Order Section at Harare Central Police Station that he had been since moved to Southerton Police Station together with others. However repeated efforts by the lawyer have revealed that he is not being held at Southerton Police Station and what is clear is that no police officer is prepared to divulge exactly where he is being held. As a Party we are extremely concerned by this development as past experience has shown that it is normal police procedure to hide the whereabouts of arrested persons when they intend to engage in acts of torture and abuse. It is very worrying when the police deliberately refuse to disclose whereabouts of arrested persons even to their legal representatives. As a party we urgently call upon the police and all responsible authorities to allow us access to our President and persons arrested with him.

Hon Priscilla Misihairabwi- Mushonga

Zimbabwe protester killed, Tsvangirai, Mutambara arrested

ZimOnline reports on the unrest in Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe protester killed, Tsvangirai, Mutambara arrested.

Power to the People

This cartoon is from ZimOnline - Zimbabwe's Independent News Agency

Tsvangirai, Mutambara held as riot police kill MDC activist

Zimbabwejournalists.com reports on the latest turmoil in Zimbabwe. See Tsvangirai, Mutambara held as riot police kill MDC activist. See also, A New Zimbabwe is our mandate

Zimbabwe arrests opposition leader

CNN reports on the crisis in Zimbabwe. See Zimbabwe arrests opposition leader.

"Chamuka Nyama"

"Chamuka nyama."

"Whatever jumps up is meat."

--Shona proverb

[This refers to the occasion where a hunter is out to get meat without regard to the animal it comes from. In that case whatever animal he encounters will provide the meat needed and he will take the first thing he finds.]

An old man was waiting beside the road near Karoi for a ride to Harare. As he waited, a well-dressed young man with a briefcase joined him. A car came from the direction of Kariba heading toward Harare. The young man waved his arm up and down in the accepted sign used to ask for a lift. The car passed by without slowing.

After a while, a car appeared coming from the direction of Harare heading toward Kariba. The young man quickly crossed the road and from that side signaled to the car that he wanted a lift. This car, also, passed by without stopping.

This continued to happen for some time. A car would approach from either direction and the young man would go to the appropriate side of the road and signal for the car to stop and give him a ride.

Eventually, overcome by curiosity, the old man asked the youth, "Where do you want to go?"

"To Harare," the young man replied.

"Then why do you signal to every car that passes regardless of what direction it is travelling?"

"Chamuka nyama!" responded the youth.

10 March 2007

Village Life in Zimbabwe

Ox cart in Sesame

Lady carrying water and clothing in Sesame

Ladies carrying maize meal in Sesame

Family homestead in Sesame

Homestead in Chiwundura Resettlement Area

Danga (corral) in Chiwundura

Church under a tree in Chiwundura
(Note "bench" in foreground)

09 March 2007


"Mwana usingachemi, anofa mumbereko."

"A child who does not cry dies on it's mother's back."

--Shona proverb

[Used like the English saying, "The squeaky hinge gets the oil."]

07 March 2007

Zimbabwe Memories

My wife, Kathy (or as known in Zimbabwe, Mai Malaika), visits, dances and teaches.

04 March 2007

Karibu kwa Afrika

The slightly inebriated, raggedy dressed old man squinted at the sight of a young American in his bright blue pants and canary yellow shirt. This neighbourhood of Arusha was not the normal haunt of one with such a pale complexion.

"Jambo!" he shouted.

"Sijambo!" replied the slightly disconcerted young man.

The old man suddenly leaped at the youth and yelled, "Habari?"

"Nzuri," croaked the young man taking a step backward. Having reached the limit of his Swahili vocabulary, he shoved a tract at the old man, which invited him to a concert to be held in the neighbourhood.

The old man took the colourful piece of paper and staggered on his way. The men standing on the porch of a nearby bar burst into laughter.

"Karibu kwa Afrika!" "Welcome to Africa!"

03 March 2007


"Haraka haraka, haina baraka."

"There is no blessing in hurrying."

--Swahili proverb

[Used like the english proverb, "Haste makes waste."]

Tanzanian Wildlife

Mature male lions in Ngorongoro Crater

Lion in tree at Lake Manyara
(Lake Manyara is the only place where mature lions regularly climb trees)

"Shy" lion in Tarangire National Park

Curious elephant at Lake Manyara

Elephants in Arusha National Park with Kilimanjaro in background
(snow-capped Kibo peak on the left and jagged Mawenzi on the right

Leopard in Serengeti National Park

02 March 2007

Grandpa Kumabe

My father-in-law, Tamotsu Kumabe, visited us in 1983 and again with my mother-in-law, Umeno, in 1985. Here he is in our back yard in Harare surrounded by visions of sights he's seen.

01 March 2007

Missionaries attacked in Tanzania

Missionaries attacked in Tanzania. Moshi, near where this happened, is about 50 miles from Arusha where I used to live. It is at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. This is a beautiful part of the country. It is sad that crime and violence seem to be universal.