Roving bandits and trumpets in the wind 

Simply after we thought winter was performed, a giant freeze crept into Zimbabwe; the nights and early mornings dropped to a few levels in my residence space and we struggled into the low teenagers throughout the day.

A gorgeous full moon lit up the evening sky and thick frost carpeted low mendacity areas at daybreak, the ice crystals glowing and glistening within the early morning solar. A good friend and I went strolling to see the spectacle of this late winter blast, jackets, gloves, frozen ears and fingertips.

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As we walked, an approaching hotter climate entrance was blazed throughout the sky in a spectacular straight line, pushing the chilly and moist clouds away; vivid blue solar on one aspect of the road and white cloud on the opposite.

It’s a stunning time of 12 months as we look forward to the heat of summer season to get right here; the bushes are dropping their leaves, Mukwa bushes are lined in bristly fried egg pods, and laborious inexperienced cricket ball fruits adorn the branches of the wild orange bushes (Matamba).

As I write, one other chilly entrance is shifting in and with jackets and scarves again on we get out of the wind and atone for occasions in Zimbabwe this previous fortnight.

Down within the vlei (wetland) close to the place I reside the sound of a trumpet and drumming catches and carries on the chilly wind. There’s one other funeral underway and there’s a ache in my coronary heart as daily we rely the horrible price of Covid.

Crimson Zone

Specialist doctor Dr Tinashe Gede described the scenario within the Covid-19 Crimson Zone of the well-known non-public St Anne’s hospital in Harare this week:

“Immediately has been a really troublesome day; actually since morning there had been dying upon dying.”

Dr Gede described the scenario as a “disaster” and an “absolute disaster”.

“We don’t have surge capability at hospitals as our amenities have been chronically under-funded for a very long time,” Dr Gede mentioned. “Possibilities of folks going into ICU and popping out alive are very slim.”

However Covid isn’t the one disaster in Zimbabwe.

Two weeks in the past, whereas we have been all watching an orgy of looting and burning throughout the border in South Africa, our former finance minister Tendai Biti was exposing what he calls a “Pandemic of Corruption” in Zimbabwe.

Learn: Oh South Africa

Lest his phrases get misplaced, it’s acceptable to repeat a number of the highlights right here as they could assist clarify the dire scenario we’re in.

Biti described corruption as “an enormous menace to the existence of our nation as a nation state”.

He spoke about US$1.5 billion price of gold being smuggled out of Zimbabwe yearly; US$3 billion by cigarette smuggling; US$5 billion by illicit monetary flows and “hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands of carats of diamonds yearly”.

Biti mentioned for the reason that coup of November 2017 corruption had turn out to be entrenched and deep-rooted, affecting each sphere of life. He mentioned it was being perpetrated by “roving bandits” in gasoline, procurement, transport, mining, the Reserve Financial institution and finance ministry.


“Zimbabwe has primarily turn out to be a prison enterprise, a mafia state and a kakistocracy,” mentioned Biti, his phrases sending me to my dictionary to find {that a} kakistocracy is a authorities by the least appropriate or competent residents of a state.

He added: “Zimbabwe’s roving bandits depart nothing for the abnormal particular person, they depart nothing for Zimbabwe … Zimbabwe is extraordinarily poor but it’s producing billions and billions of {dollars}, it’s solely them and their youngsters who’re consuming.”

Biti defined it so nicely when he mentioned: “The distinction between a roving bandit and the stationary bandit is that the stationary bandits will milk six barrels of milk, steal two and depart 4 for the inhabitants. The roving bandits will extract six pitchers of milk, steal these six jugs and in addition steal the cow in order that there is no such thing as a cow to be milked.”

And so whereas we look forward to summer season and for accountability and the day when Zimbabwe’s riches will profit all of the folks, we watch helplessly because the looting of a nation’s property fill a couple of pockets whereas the remainder of us battle to outlive. Oh Zimbabwe.

Cathy Buckle is a Zimbabwean author and blogger residing in Marondera, Zimbabwe.

Copyright © Cathy Buckle

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