Yet Another Letter From Robert Mugabe

Hi again, loyal readers! I've been telling all my good fiends about what a blast I've been having getting the real word out to the world about Zimbabwe. (I suspect Kim and Hugo envy my mastery of the English language.) The last two letters have been very well received so I'll just keep writing them. Anyway, I have some more great news about my country I thought I'd share.

One of the areas we take very seriously here in Zimbabwe is the environment. It is one of the cornerstones of my regime, in fact. And I am proud to announce a grand, new initiative that is really helping to clean things up in the city of Bulawayo. You know, that city government has been taken over by opponents to my enlightened rule. But I am a big man and I hold no grudges. So when I heard they had a problem with raw sewage fouling the water table, I did something about it right away! And the cleanup is progressing really, really well. I must say, the residents of Bulawayo are really stepping up and drinking as much of the sewage as they can get since we cut off the other sources of drinking water! But see how twisted the reporting is on this popular and hugely successful environmental cleanup?

It did not smell too bad and her family had not become sick, even after drinking it for the past two months. “Some people say it is sewage, but they may be making it up,” she said as she heaved a 25 litre drum up the slope and into a wheelbarrow. In any case she, like many of the poorest people in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo did not have a choice: no water has flowed through the pipes in some neighbourhoods since July. A water expert who accompanied The Times to one of several boreholes in the impoverished Cowdray Park area of the city said that the liquid at the bottom of the pit was indeed sewage that had seeped through the soil from a nearby treatment plant. As the level of ground water sinks, the thousands who come to find water are forced to dig their impromptu wells ever deeper. All around were puddles and holes.

Critics of President Mugabe say that he is using water as a tool of political repression. In the early summer heat of the semi-arid western provinces of Matabeleland, the city of about 800,000 people is fast running out of water. Three of its five main reservoirs have dried up. The fourth is expected to be empty next month and the last one will be able to supply only 16 per cent of the city’s already tightly rationed needs. “If we have even a mediocre rainy season this summer we are faced with the spectre of Bulawayo literally shutting down,” said David Coltart, MP of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

See all those false accusations? I told you I don't hold any grudge against those people or I would have cut off the sewage, too! Sometimes, I am just stunned by my own beneficence. I'm a regular prince. So, hey, pay no attention to that British archbishop when he starts whining. He's obviously mistaken about how good things really are here in my little worker's paradise. Well, all for now. I've got to get back to planning my next environmental initiative. We're making great strides in reducing the rodent population!

Yours in Socialist Solidarity,

Robert Mugabe

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