The status quo remains

ELECTION UPDATE FROM BEN FREETH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MIKE CAMPBELL FOUNDATION

5 August 2018

Dear Friends and supporters

We are so terribly sad to report that the status quo has been retained in Zimbabwe following the Presidential and Parliamentary elections on Monday 30 July.  We had hoped for change and a new beginning for our country under a new and principled leader but this hasn’t happened.  President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his ZANU PF party remain firmly in control despite widespread reports of election rigging and manipulation of the vote.

The deployment of the army on the streets of Harare on Wednesday 1 August after the Parliamentary election results were announced was a strong indication that nothing has changed.  The soldiers were clearly under orders to shoot innocent and unarmed civilians and this they did – brutally.

 

Protest action: a show of force as tanks pour into the streets of Harare to quell opposition protests Photo published in the Zimbabwe Mail

 

A soldier fires shots towards demonstrators Photo credit AFP/Getty Images

The day after the demonstrations, friends went to see the son of an old lady, a shopkeeper, who was shot in the back and died. She was one of six people shot and killed by army personnel.

 

This man, who was wounded by soldiers, managed to shelter in a stall at a market in Harare

Photo credit AFP/Getty Images

The military presence is still very apparent. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, alongside former President Robert Mugabe, has been instrumental in bringing the fear of death to his people throughout his long career.

We were very much hoping to at last have a time of investment and building in Zimbabwe but this sadly, barring a miracle, does not look possible.  The long faces of the people everywhere say it all.  Even the soldiers are glum and unhappy and, as you can see from the photo below, prefer not to be identified by the people.

Military patrol the streets of Harare on 2 August 2018 following widespread protest action

At the MCF we will continue our important work.  We have had many major setbacks and disappointments over the past traumatic 18 years, but we have persevered and will keep doing so.  Hope has been dealt another major blow but it will not be destroyed.  We will rise again from this unjust election and will focus on our initiatives to bringing hope to the hopeless.  Justice will come in God’s time and we want to be part of that through our various justice projects. 

Even a little light in a dark place can make a big difference.  The light will shine.

At the end of 2017 we distributed 24 tons of open-pollinated seed grown on our pilot plot to struggling and very grateful rural Zimbabweans

Right now the open-pollinated maize seed that we grew last season is being readied to give out to 8,000 hopeless families, with the knowledge as to how to feed their families with zero dollars.  Seed is the embodiment of hope.  With your help we will continue to multiply that hope by supporting those in greatest need. 

God bless you all,

Ben

Ben Freeth

Executive Director

“I will walk in faith, even when I cannot see.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

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The Mike Campbell Foundation seeks justice for victims of torture and abuse in Zimbabwe; Works towards the restoration of the rule of law; Assists those forced to live in extreme poverty with survival skills; Brings hope where there is only despair.

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