Making a Point

I struck a blow against the Mugabe regime this weekend - I pruned my roses.

This may seem a bit facetious but you see - by pruning my roses and then giving them a shot of good goat manure from Beitbridge I am signaling to anyone who cares to look, that I am here for the spring and summer. If for no other reason than to simply enjoy the wonderful flush of blooms that will follow my winter care.

On the main road to Harare from Beitbridge - about 60 kilometers from the Bridge, there is a sign on the side of the road "Kleinbegin - Sam Cawood". Behind that sign is a road that leads to a farmhouse where Sam Cawood and his wife Janet live. Local Zanu thugs have invaded them, all they hold dear has been lost to them. Decades of dedicated cattle breeding has been swept away by the vandalism, but Sam took the time to go and put his sign back up after it had been knocked down. The name of the ranch "Kleinbegin" - "small beginnings" says it all.

What small thing did you do this week to show that you are not going to just lie down and give up to the thugs and bullies of Zanu PF? Yesterday 200 young Zimbabweans went to a meeting in Johannesburg scheduled to be addressed by Gideon Gono. They heckled and jeered and told him to "go home".

They told him that until their own rights at home were respected - they were not going to tolerate his presence, or that of the Zimbabwe Ambassador at a meeting in a hotel in Johannesburg. He and the ambassador had to be escorted from the hotel by the Police.

Today 70 women are in jail in Bulawayo - sitting, singing their songs on a cold concrete floor, 7 of them with babies, just because they wanted to march in support of World Refugee Day. They will be both hungry and cold tonight as temperatures drop to near zero, but their hearts will be warm and their courage and determination encourage us.

Last Monday the Kidd's, Birgit and Shane went down to the local MDC office, cleaned it up and painted the walls - then painted on the walls that this was the "MDC Chimanimani Office". For their trouble they were beaten - Birgit has stitches in her head and a dislocated shoulder; Shane was badly beaten about the head. Today they are back in their home - still determined to carry on with their legitimate support for Roy Bennett and the MDC in the area.

Last night a small team went out onto the streets and furtively began putting Zakwana symbols on lampposts - then quietly disappeared to the fury of the local Police.

Tonight the SW Africa team plus the team at Studio 7 and the Voice of the People will broadcast news and views to the people of Zimbabwe - small teams of people who love their country and are just doing what they can in their own way.

What will you do today and tomorrow to encourage others to fight on, to spread the word that change is coming. That Zanu is finished - those who are guilty must prepare for the worst.

Our men's fellowship from the Church is preparing to stand with one of our number who will be in Court shortly - facing charges which any one of us could be facing - we want him to know he is not alone - we want the authorities to also know that. His legal fees will be Z$25 million - we need to make sure he is not alone with that either, and we will.

It could be something very small - fix the potholes in your road, paint the sign of your house so that all can see it is not for sale - you are in residence and intend to stay so. Write a letter to your local Headmaster and encourage him or her to keep up the good work they are doing. Go to the rugby at Falcon next Saturday - take a packed lunch and shout support for the team you support. Take your surplus vegetables to the local old folk's home and ask them to see that they get to someone who need a bit of help.

Let me tell you - there is no power on earth so powerful as the combined weight of a united people, caring and working for each other and to change their country for the better. If you live outside Zimbabwe then do your part if you care - write to your paper, your MP, your Church leadership, demand action. Send a small donation to the nearest MDC Trust Fund or simply to an MDC office in Zimbabwe - small donations in hard currency go a long way here. Try to do something every week - every day if you can.

On their own each of these actions is small and insignificant, but together they will make a roaring torrent which will sweep away the tyranny and wipe the slate clean for a new beginning. I know we all want the grand finale - the quick fix, but often that route is not just dangerous but also destructive. Be on the side of those who are working for a better life for all Zimbabweans. Support change by changing your own universe.

Eddie Cross
Fri 6 Aug 2004