Zimbabwe

Hello everyone,
Today I leave for Zimbabwe and the other day I received the following, written by a lovely lady who, for the moment at least will be nameless, but she knows who she is and that I honour her and this piece of writing.
Prepare to feel stirred… tread wisely but be courageous…
And tomorrow and tomorrow
Zimbabwe
5th August 2013

Well
the AU and SADAC have endorsed this strange charade!
Congratulations pour in from the region:
Zuma, after all his posturing, positioning and promises
of a position of morality and justice
welcomes the old liberation father back with open arms
 
A complete denial of the voices of the people
who lined up in trusting, peaceful queues
often patiently joining new lines in other places
as their registration areas had been changed
resignedly being turned away
unable to get transport
 
unwittingly validating this farce of freedom
lending a complete mockery to the democratic process
 
today is the tomorrow of our outrage:
how dare they ?’
 
seeking places to point our blame:
‘why haven’t ‘they’ done something?’
‘taken to the streets?’
‘demanded a re-run?’
 
voicing our self-condemnation:
‘ we Zimbabweans are always like this – we are so  passive’
‘we don’t stand together’
‘we can’t fight’
‘we should have known’
‘this time we had hope’
‘we are too tired to do this again’
 
and our fear:
there will be reprisals’
as we hear the first reports of displacements of people from their homes
 
In the face of such a blatant daylight robbery
we easily slip back to where we started
a sense of despair
a place of fear
and fight and blame of team A versus team B
winner and looser
the good and the bad
 
back to seeking solutions from an old reactions
which birthed the source of the problem
a frustrated  call  to the young men and mothers and fathers
back into the fray
to once again be beaten and assaulted and imprisoned
 
 
but as tomorrow becomes tomorrow
we begin to see that situations around us have changed………………………………
we are NOT the same
we are not back there where we were before
 
we have learned so much in this time
 
we have finally understood that political leaders and parties are not the source of our redemption
(for the abuse of power and abandonment of the people comes from the best of our heroes)
 
we have learned that poverty and violence, and witnessing of violence, is destroying our lives
and most particularly those of our children
inflicting on them the battle wounds of yesterday
 
today is the tomorrow
when we learn that it is us
who must take responsibility
no longer to wait for our recovery to come from the hands of unknown redeemers
to mend our spirits/our places/our spaces
 
and today
we remember that this work has already begun
everywhere………………………
 
this time was different
we have recorded every step of this unlawful process
we have voiced our findings and spoken our frustrations
we have used public media
we have written of the inconsistencies and travesties
spoken our truth
been heard across the world
 
this time,
we are different
for in the yesterdays of enduring the hardships of unemployment and displacement
we began to come together again as ordinary people
began witness our own stories
and heal ourselves and our communities
 
we have been to workshops learning of our civic rights/human rights/women’s rights/food rights
learned the language of conflict resolution and sustainable dialogue
 
we have begun to take care of our own AIDS victims
begun circles of support to take care of our orphaned children
begun community gardens growing organic vegetables
 
we have begun the work in small circles of disabled women recycling plastic into wonderful bags
and in large community circles with our leaders from across the ‘political divide’
circles where headmen no longer sit outside/above his people – but on the rim of the same circle
we have held dance days and community days
and  days with the youth from both parties
and we have seen that we have been able to cross the cracks and gaps and deep divides
that have disabled us
 
and seen ourselves grow into wider people
able to look at things from a longer perspective
 
perhaps today is the tomorrow we have been waiting for
as we walked  through the interminable grey cloud
learning there is no real A and B
but a mixed blessing of dark and light
 
looking for a way to live the responsibility of empowered people
 
looking for a way to walk into tomorrow.