Hats off to those in beautiful Zimbabwe who haven’t given up hope

We have to take our hats off to those living in Zimbabwe – where there is no electricity for 18-20 hours a day and where the water and food supply is intermittent – who can still appreciate its natural beauty and who continue to live in hope. What a tragedy has befallen this land once known as the bread basket of Africa. – Sandra Laurence

Christmas in Zimbabwe 2022

By Cathy Buckle

Christmas in Zimbabwe 2022 is:

Towering purple clouds and torrential downpours. Hail stones rattling on the roof. Green, the colour of life, growth and production. Mushrooms emerging to nourish and decorate the newly wet ground. Streams reappearing and rivers starting to move. Silver trickles of water running down black granite rocks and kopjes. Puddles and mud, millipedes and beetles. Mangoes, big and orange, sweet, sticky and juicy. Huge watermelons, red, sweet and irresistible.

Christmas in Zimbabwe 2022 is:

The roar of generators everywhere as we run out of electricity. Farmers using 800 litres of diesel a day to irrigate crops. Power that’s off for 18 – 20 hours a day, every day. Industry that is ‘dead.’  “We are dead; we are not functional, we are not managing…. 18 hours [a day] of no power is not sustainable.” (CZI President). Water that comes out of taps once every ten days if you’re lucky. On-call doctors who sleep in their cars at the main government hospital in Harare. Hospitals with chronic shortages of basic medicines and ‘sundries’ such as cannulas, syringes, cotton wool, gloves, antiseptic, catheters, urine bags. Hospitals with leaking roofs, broken machines, patients dying from “preventable illnesses.” (ZHDA) Farmers selling fertilizer given to them as ‘free inputs’ by the government.

Zimbabwe is still listed in first place on Steve’ Hanke’s annual Inflation Dashboard at 397%, miles ahead of the next contender Venezuela (185%) and Cuba (158%).

Six months before elections, with medical services on the blink, electricity on the blink, the water supply on the blink and with the highest food inflation in the world, the Zimbabwe government is giving cabinet members US$500,000 each, deputies US$350,000, MPs US$40,000 and calling it a ‘loan.’ Who’s fooling who?

I end my Letters From Zimbabwe this year with a message of sincere thanks to you, for reading and sharing these letters, for your emails and your generosity, for supporting my books and caring about our country. I have little to give you in return except for my words and pictures and hope, always hope, that things will get better. Please visit my website blog page over the next fortnight to see the 12 little stories and pictures I am publishing every few days in the fortnight before Christmas, to share with you some of the wild, weird, frightening and beautiful things in Zimbabwe.

There is no charge for this Letter From Zimbabwe but if you would like to donate please visit my website. Until next time, thanks for reading this Letter From Zimbabwe now in its 22nd year, and my books about life in Zimbabwe, a country in waiting.

Ndini shamwari yenyu (I am your friend)

© Cathy Buckle: https://cathybuckle.co.zw/

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