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Dear Family and Friends,
Happy New Year from a very wet and soggy Zimbabwe. Everyone said that our rainy season was six weeks late and now it’s making up for it with downpours of at least 25 mm (one inch) every day for the last ten days and in between times producing the odd 75 ml (three inches) storms too. As a result we’re afloat. Monster potholes are everywhere; there are lakes across roads whose storm drains haven’t been cleared for years and mammoth piles of uncollected and dumped garbage float along the verges and grow larger by the day at food and vegetable markets. We’re also awash in flying ants’ wings and muddy footprints, roofs that leak and water stains on walls and ceilings.
Zimbabwe exploded into 2013 with an orgy of fireworks that were available for sale from any street vendors for absurdly cheap prices. Everything from firecrackers to rockets were being hawked on the streets; all appeared to have come from China and if they had safety instructions, these were also in Chinese.
While seemingly every house in every road was letting off fireworks, thirty thousand people gathered at an evangelical church in Chitungwiza. They had come to hear Prophet Makandiwa’s New Year service and his predictions for Zimbabwe for 2013. And everyone liked what they heard! “As I was praying I saw a wind blowing and I saw gold coming to the surface. People are going to be picking up gold without any drilling,” Makandiwa said.
Meanwhile other religious figures were accusing the new flood-tide of multi- millionaire evangelists of using ‘juju’ to perform questionable and dubious miracles to attract customers. One quoted an incident where a woman apparently purchased five hundred dollars worth of goods in a Mabvuku shop and after she had gone her bank notes in the till turned into Avocado leaves. And people apparently believe this!
So with uncontrolled Chinese fireworks, people looking for gold nuggets lining the streets and money that turns into leaves, we entered 2013. We’ve got very high hopes that 2013 will see an end to our absurd, thirteen year old ‘Zimbabwe Situation.’ We’re all so very tired of it: the politics, propaganda, intimidation, violence and fear. As high as our hopes are for freedom and democracy, early signs do not bode well. Hardly had the new year begun then the jamming of SW Radio Africa broadcasts resumed. No sign of freedom of expression here then and with a loud groan, but ever hopeful, we ask ourselves: will this be the year when Zimbabwe finally finds freedom. To the sound of thunder and insects hitting the lights, thanks for reading and caring about Zimbabwe, until next time, love cathy.
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