I didn’t ever think I’d see the day…. Mugabe is gone. I feel a slight connection to Zimbabwe as I did a Book Sprint there about 4 or 5 years ago with a local activist organisation. It was an amazing experience and gave me something of an insight into how beat up and broken the country is. Activists have to be very careful in Zimbabwe, they can be in serious trouble easily and are at the whim and mercy of the powers that be. We did the Book Sprint at an old game ranch so it was off the radar… we had a generator as there was no electrical infrastructure, and the wonderful cooks made everything in wood stoves by candlelight. It was a pretty amazing experience.
A few snippets come to mind from that visit… walking into the airport under a huge picture of Robert Mugabe….finding porcupine needles on a path through the bush…it felt like treasure…rare (to me) and beautiful… also tramping through an old abandoned game ranch with friends from South Africa and Zimbabwe…finding out as much about the country as I could… making a stupid joke about not being scalped by a leopard (they scalp people) only to find out that the husband of one of the crew suffered exactly that fate not 6 months earlier…
Also the animals… beautiful… and the stories of mobs with sticks that would come through a town and beat everyone… the 5 billion Zim dollar note I still have on my bookshelf. Victoria Falls. Careening down rapids on the Zambezi in a kayak, hippos straight ahead. The wait we had at the airport as Mugabe commissioned the one and only Air Zim plane to go for a little ride, leaving us bewildered while our fellow passengers just saw it as sort of expected… the horror stories we heard from people that lived there, the horror stories I read about later in many books.
I don’t hold much hope that things will dramatically improve. But I am glad Mugabe has gone. One less evil bastard. One more that didn’t get away with it. It might be a late victory, but I’ll take it.