My husband Mike and I left Zimbabwe in 1984 to work abroad for the U.N. in rehabilitation. In the last twenty five years or more we have lived in Java, Indonesia, Lesotho, Mauritius, Iran, and the last 13 in Manila in the Philippines. It was hard leaving home. A young family came to adopt the lady beagle, and the ponies were taken to good homes, and off we flew to the other side of the world.
We found people in faraway countries so welcoming and interested in where we came from. We even learned to speak Bahasa Indonesia, and found some Afrikaans words in the language, like kantor and slang ember!
We carried around a bunch of postcards of Zimbabwe, and shared our beautiful country with everyone. Floating down a huge river in Kalimantan we were asked why we weren't black, and people exclaimed at the huge trees and The Victoria Falls. They only knew about Idi Amin and the famine in Ethiopia.
At last in Lesotho I decided to forsake my Zimbabwe passport and go back into the fold of the Mother Country, Great Britain. After swearing allegiance to The Queen and all her Heirs I was British again.
The next time we went to England on summer hols we went down to Kent to see the little seaside town my great grandfather left in 1841 for The Eastern Cape. Alas, the grave stones in the cemetery were all wiped bare by weather over the last 160 years, so no family names visible any more.
Bumping along in a country bus in Cambridgeshire I realised that not all refugees and migrants come to Europe clinging to rafts and dinghies. I was a white person with only a Zimbabwean accent to give me away. I had done British exams, so I knew Shakespeare and Milton. Now I can hold my end up in village quizzes, with a good general knowledge. I love finding out more about the British people and their beliefs and attitudes. As a child I thought that every man would look like Richard The Lionheart, tall and golden haired as the illustrations in the books, and was most disappointed to find they looked just like us colonials, only less tanned. Some regional accents bewilder us, so we have to ask people to repeat what they've just said.
My Mom had scrapbooks of postcards from Britain, and photos of the Royal family, and we recognise scenes from her old books. And so Time goes.
We'll always remember the wonderful childhood we had in Zimbabwe, but now will appreciate our old age in the Fens, with cool sunny weather, our bus passes and free concerts in Cambridge. We display paintings of Zimbabwe to remind us of you - a Wendy Roselli painting of clay pots and blue agapanthus flowers, my dear departed Mom and Dad's wedding present of a water colour of the conical tower at Great Zimbabwe and a jacaranda tree, an oil painting of the Hunyani River, and some silk screened cushions.
Thank you, Zimbabwe, for many happy memories.
ROAD USERS ASSOCIATION - In response to a collective demand from across Zimbabwe for ACTION
AN IMPORTANT UPDATE:
- Stanbic account numbers changed - the new account number: 914 000 298 3604
- David Coltart, Senior Partner of Webb, Low and Barry, is available to advise with queries related to the case, the need for evidence and issues concerning funds - full details below.
RUA is represented by a Bulawayo based firm. Under the Constitution of ZIMBABWE, every motorist in ZIMBABWE, current and future, will benefit from a successful challenge.
What is the Road Users Association
The Road Users Association (RUA) is an informal organisation that has been formed by interested parties, mainly from the motoring industry and legal profession, to positively influence the unreasonable behaviour of the ZRP at their numerous check points throughout the country.
It is RUA's belief that the police are acting unconstitutionally and illegally in their harassment of motorists, their imposition of unreasonable fines, their misinterpretation of the laws, and their use of 'legislation' that has not been promulgated. Furthermore, the number of roadblocks, sometimes within sight of one another, is excessive and unreasonable.
RUA considers that the actions of the ZRP are harming the economy, undermining public respect for the police, infringing the public's constitutional rights, discouraging tourism, and placing undue hardship on motorists. Instead of the 'spot checks' achieving a 'reduction in road carnage', their stated objective, ZRP is often compromising road safety.
Objectives of the Association
1. To co-ordinate legal action to ensure that road users are afforded their rights under the Constitution of Zimbabwe that was enacted by the Parliament of Zimbabwe, and assented to by the President, in 2013.
2. To co-ordinate community projects, including: the online capture of Admission of Guilt 'tickets' and a complaints-monitoring process; resolving 'hotspots' such as infamous intersections; and liaison with other motoring-based community organisations.
3. To co-ordinate a national effort by all stakeholders who are affected by the unfriendly environment on our roads, including those in the tourism, public transport and motor sectors.
4. To continually engage the ZRP at all levels, on a national basis, to seek a return to FAIR PLAY.
A Challenge at the Constitutional Court
It is anticipated that a challenge will be made at the Constitutional Court. This will be supported by a substantial dossier of supporting affidavits from motorists who have been on the receiving end of the excesses of the ZRP, which will, of course, require funds with which to finance the legal action. To this end, we are appealing for affidavits that may be sworn in front of our legal representatives, as well as for donations, however small, which will be deposited into the trust account detailed below, managed by Webb, Low and Barry, a reputable legal firm in Bulawayo.
A Bulawayo based firm, Webb, Low and Barry will work to protect your rights under the Constitution of Zimbabwe, and every motorist in Zimbabwe, current and future, will benefit from a successful challenge.
If you have experienced an incident in which your rights were undermined and you wish to play a supporting role, this is your opportunity to achieve a positive outcome for your fellow road users.
The lawyer handling the case is David Coltart, Senior Partner of Webb, Low and Barry, Bulawayo. Mr Coltart can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org should any person have any queries about the nature of the case, the need for evidence and issues concerning funds required to institute the proposed court proceedings.
Financing the activities of the Association:
RUA is reliant on your donations to fund its activities, starting with the legal action. The sooner the funding is in place, the sooner we will all return to enjoyable self-drive motoring in Zimbabwe.
Donations of $10, or whatever amount you are comfortable with, are requested as deposits to:
Account name: Webb, Low and Barry Trust Account
Bank: Stanbic Bank
Branch: Joshua Nkomo Street (Bulawayo)
Account no.: 914 000 298 3604 (US$)
Sort code: SBICZWHX
IMPORTANT: Please reference deposits 'RUA - 05/R031/001'
Alternative payment mechanisms such as EcoCash are in the process of being established.
How you can help!!
The Road Users Association represents you, the motorist. Feel free to raise any questions or make any suggestions. Although we will endeavour to, we can't undertake to reply individually.
A large endeavour cannot be achieved with small means. Help by SHARING this appeal for support and funding; let's spread the word. (Dear ZRP is a closed group. To share either cut & paste, or copy the link: Right click on the post's date, copy & paste).
We look forward to your positive and urgent support.
The Road Users Association