Comment: Thank you, Cathy, for a very timely article! If everyone will think back to that distant time, a magical era, really, wherein existed a country named Rhodesia, when none of these present Zimbawean discomforts were even remotely imagined. But the people who were in control of the country then were really mean and bad because they were Whites, whereas the Black people are now in charge of Zimbabwe - no longer Rhodesia - and they are the rightful rulers, not true? So what is the complaint? Can't you put up with a few minor inconveniences  >like nothing to eat<  in order to prove to the world the equality of the races? Why are you so disrespectful of Black rule? And how great that Obama will rule in America so that we, too, can sacrifice just a bit to prove the equality of the races! Thank you, Cathy!
Zimbabwe - 28 Billion Can't
Buy One Squash

From: Cathy Buckle 
Dear Family and Friends,
In the main supermarket in my home town this weekend there were too many empty shelves to count. In the fortnight since Mr Mugabe was sworn in as President for his sixth term, everyday life has gone from struggle to complete crisis. No one is coping now and in the last two weeks virtually all foodstuffs, toiletries and household goods have completely disappeared from stores. On what should have been a busy weekend morning in our once thriving town, the car park was virtually empty and the only things to buy in the cavernous supermarket were cabbages, butternut squash, lemons, fizzy drinks and a few packets of meat.
"Where are all your goods?" I asked one shop attendant. "There is nothing," he said, "the suppliers say they have nothing to deliver." I stood while he weighed the butternut squash I had chosen and exclaimed in shock at the 30 billion dollar price sticker he fixed to the vegetable.
"Can I show you something?" the man said and before I could answer he took his most recent pay slip out of his pocket. For an entire month the shop assistant had earned just 28 billion dollars - not even enough to buy one single butternut squash. Eight hours a day, five and half days a week and his entire salary was not enough to provide even one single meal. He told me he had a wife and a child to support and said with remorse and shame in his voice: "I am failing them and if I do not jump the border to look for work this month then they are surely going to die."
They are simple words stating a simple fact - people are surely going to die here in Zimbabwe if this situation continues for much longer. Despite their desperate determination to stay in power and retain their 28 years of leadership of the country, Zanu PF have so far not even acknowledged the critical shortage of foodstuffs and basic medicines let alone done anything about resolving it.
Everywhere people have stories of such deprivation and suffering to recount and we are a nation in a permanent state of shock. Shock that our lives have been reduced to this. Shock that yet again the UN have been unable to find a common voice. Shocked that the violence and brutality continues and shocked that yet again we are hearing of talks about talks about talks. On the 29th March the MDC won a parliamentary majority, It is long past time for them to be sworn in and take up the reigns and lead Zimbabwe out of this hell.
Until next week, thanks for reading,
love, cathy.
Copyright cathy buckle .12 July 2008.