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February 14, 2018

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A New Year brings New Hope.

February 14, 2018

 

It’s an incredible feeling to say Our Sub-Project has reached its goal:

 

"BE PART OF OUR DREAM TO HALT RABIES IN MANICALAND" raised £1 162.

 

You understand, we write a project, (heart in our mouths,) we cross our fingers, and then we press Send, and we wait...

 

It was the most reassuring feeling when we got a very generous first response. Then another, and another. Very quickly, we attained our dream....and we could get out into the bush and start vaccinating dogs....which I spoke of before.

 

Then we were very excited to get together another roadtrip, but we were stopped in our tracks when we could not buy any vaccine in the country. It was a helpless feeling.

 

We have recently managed to get more, so please know we are desperate to get on the road, but we have some important commitments that will prevent us getting away till 24 March. We are packed up and ready to go, so please know, (those fine donors who fulfilled our dream,) that we are eager to do our side of the deal. A huge debt of gratitude is due to one particular family, from NYC, who funded almost the entire project themselves. But we are thankful to you all. You have made one group of volunteers delighted and motivated.

 

Although, whilst we are not out vaccinating, we have been busy......

 

Towards the end of last year, say early November, it was hard to look ahead, to read that opaque ‘crystal ball’, and to plan the future, (in our case, the future of SPCA Mutare.) Our governing regime, a greedy dictatorship, had lost the plot, and had forgotten that base principle that they were employed by the people, for the people.

 

On the contrary. The Peoples’ money was their personal wallet. You put your fundraising or salary into your bank and it mysteriously disappeared into the ether, and you could not access your own funds. Well, you could retrieve some, but at about $20 or $30 per day, after queueing for 2 hours, and then in coins not notes. We were paid in US$, and were given from the bank a fanciful unbacked currency called Bond Notes. The ultimate crypt-o-currency?

 

Cash machines were closed completely. You endeavoured to survive that same ethereal monetary illusion, just as Grace and Robert Mugabe and their close allies and families lived on our hard won gains as if they had the budget of Bill Gates, The Donald or the Queen of England. What a sad oxymoron.

 

Let us make no mistake. Zimbabwe should not be a poor country. We may not have oil, the lifeblood of rich African countries, but we do have the biggest diamond fields discovered in the world in recent times, Platinum and other valuable minerals, fertile soils, and we have wilderness the value of which is beyond priceless. While oil may fuel the world, diamonds seem to be as critical to the rich perhaps to advertise their richness, and we are happy to oblige. But the diamonds are tainted with a sinister provenance, as they propped up this sad situation, with a Dictator in Robert Mugabe and a wife whose avarice was relentless and where, with their enormous wealth, grinding poverty was his true legacy for the poor majority. Our once flourishing economy failed. Majority, use your vote, you say? Well, thanks to external assistance, our election ballots are already cast long before they are even held. So now a hovering China steps into the ring. Shylock-style, the promises and offers come with wicked and devastating clauses, and our entrenched way of life is warped and re-invented.

 

They take our hardwood forests, they alter our soft footprint nature game parks, they build an abattoir for donkey fat and skin, they get allocated farms and diamond fields, they offer the poor nominal sums for young dogs, tortoises and other wildlife (to eat) and perhaps worst of all, they are paying paupers to bring them pangolins, now considered one of the worlds most endangered animals, for perceived medicinal ingredients. Pangolins are already thin on the ground