Walk with me in Zimbabwe…

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The press is already heating up with stories about Zimbabwe in advance of the March 29th elections. The question is – are you getting the whole story? If you are tempted to go deeper than the mainstream press on this important issue, we invite you to journey with Africa Action and TransAfrica Forum to the region through our new blog JustZimbabwe.

You can follow the lead up to the Zimbabwean elections, read about Election Day and examine the aftermath of the elections with us through the blog. We hope that you will check in regularly and comment on the postings so that we can generate a national dialogue at this historic moment.

Africa Action has a long history in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe. In the 1970s this solidarity took the form of supporting the liberation struggle and standing with Zimbabweans against the human rights abuses of Ian Smith.

Today, Africa Action has joined with our ally TransAfrica Forum to revive into this legacy of solidarity and reach out to support Zimbabweans as they seek to continue the unfinished business of the liberation struggle in this historic election. Briggs Bomba, Africa Action’s Program Associate in our Department of Public Education and Mobilization and a citizen of Zimbabwe, is traveling to the region with two representatives of TransAfrica Forum.

The delegates will spend time meeting up with allied organizations in Zimbabwe and then split up to go to three regions of the country to reach out to ordinary Zimbabweans. Collecting stories and testimonies and analysis from the field, the delegates will absorb the full environment surrounding the March 29th elections. On Election Day, the three delegates will informally and un-officially observe the proceedings. Through the blog, they will be able to report directly
from Zimbabwe about the lead up to the elections, Election Day and the aftermath. When they return to Washington, DC, they will de-brief their journey at a reception on April 10th hosted by TransAfrica Forum. If you are in the area, we hope you will join us. Please visit Africa Action’s website for future details of this event.

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4 Responses to “Walk with me in Zimbabwe…”

  1. Gerri Michalska Says:

    Briggs,

    What election observers’ impartiality are you concerned about and why?
    I tend to think that international observers are definitely impartial.

    I would be interested in knowing if any regular Zimbabwean thinks that the election will be fair and free. That is the real question, I think.

    Thank you.

  2. Pamela Collett Says:

    Thanks for what you are doing. Please focus on comments from a cross section of people in Zimbabwe. We are eager to hear their voices.

  3. Mark Grashow Says:

    For those that are interested, our organization: U.S. – Africa Children’s Fellowship presently ships 40-foot containers full of textbooks, children’s books, school supplies, art supplies, toys, sports equipment, toiletries and other needed items to Zimbabwe three times a year. The program supports 75 rural schools with a student population in excess of 35,000. We are about to ship our 7th container. Thee is a waiting list of 300 schools.

    My wife and I travel to Zimbabwe with the arrival of each container and help break it down by school. We then visit our participating schools and speak to headmasters, teachers, parents and community leaders. Our program has been remarkably successful. For more detail see our web site: childrensfellowship.org

    Each visit seems to bear witness to greater hardship and misery. We are in awe how people manage to survive under such difficult conditions. A pair of student shorts costs 160,000,000 ZD. School fees have risen 600%. Last visit we met a teacher who at the times was making 3.5 million ZD a month. It cost her 2 million ZD to take the bus home to visit her children. If I lived in Zimbabwe full time, I think it would hard just to open my eyes in the morning.

  4. Erica Eden Says:

    Thank you for all your information about your trip to Zimbabwe. Too bad the power outages prevented you from making all the contacts you had planned on. I think the questions you will ask the citizens will bring some interesting answers. I look forward to hearing them. I have never been to Africa. Read one of Nadine Gordimer’s books. As you know she is from JoB. Also, the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. Both gave me a look at some history of JoB and the Congo. Now reading Minnie Mandela’s biography. Very revealing. My husband has been to Zimb twice several years back on tour with a choir. They stayed for awhile at the Methodist Ranch. He said it changed his life. I wish I could be with you. Blessings and good health. I send prayers and hope to all the people in Africa.

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