The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Zimbabwe and Digger and Tosca… Again
Posted Tuesday, 18 September 2007 at 10:35

A while ago I blogged from my friend's beautiful garden and wrote about how difficult blogging can be whilst balancing a lap top on your knee and playing Jack Russell Jenga at the same time.

I have been asked more questions about my friend's dogs than I have about any other blog I have written – much to the disgust of my own dogs I might add.

Nadine, Digger & Tosca.

Last night I found myself once again paralysed by Digger and Tosca and as they appear to have a fan club all of their own, I thought I would post a photograph. What you can’t see in the picture is the huge log fire to my left and the glass of red to my right, hence the glowing cheeks!

Watching the news reports last night from Zimbabwe was depressing.

When I worked and lived in central Africa, I went shopping in Zimbabwe - I popped down the continent to buy supplies for the school I ran; flour, you could only buy  mealie meal (ground maize) in the rest of Africa, material and baby clothes.

You could buy cosmetics, shampoo and toiletries that you couldn’t buy anywhere else without going down as far as South Africa.

I used to think Zimbabwe was known as the 'bread basket of Africa' because at that time it was the only country in which you could buy flour to make bread.

It was a farming paradise - a country ran in a well ordered and structured way. The bread basket of Africa overflowed, but even then, the number of soldiers hanging around carrying AK47’s was slightly alarming.

The people in Zimbabwe always seemed happy and were overly helpful.

I will never forget the kindness of Mr Chitembie, who ran a meat packing company in Zimbabwe - one very hot day, on an expedition into Zimbabwe, the fan belt went on my Fiat.

I carried on going, keeping the revs at a consistent rate, until I reached some kind of civilisation. I stopped at a small roadside town - Mr Chitembe, who had also stopped for fuel, found a fan belt in the boot of his own Fiat - a rare thing to own a car, never mind carry useful spares - and fitted it onto my car for me. This allowed me to drive the last 300 miles across the bush safely - I really don’t know what would have happened to me if he hadn’t been there.

You meet angels in all sorts of places.

I hope that if such a kind man is experiencing difficulties, he will meet an angel on the road as I did. Neither he, not the rest of the people in Zimbabwe, deserve to go through any  more with Mugabe, and I can’t help wondering would there have been the same level of public disapproval if we had declared war on Mugabe, in the same way as we did on Saddam?

You only have to look at how well fed and uniformed Mugabe's henchmen - members of the ruling Zanu-PF Party - in the guise of a police force/army are, and compare this to how thin and undernourished the rest of the people are to understand the level of corruption that is taking place.

Andrew said:
Responded: Tuesday, 18 September 2007
See this blog post which shows how unbelievable the governiming elite in Zimbabwe are - claiming that there is not a famine but that the people are fasting:
John said:
Responded: Tuesday, 18 September 2007
What would you have done with a broken fanbelt? Do what I did when it happened to me. Take off your tights/stockings (or other suitable items, e.g. bandages) and tie them round the pulleys to act as a temporary belt.If you get a leak in the radiator, crack an egg open and put in top of rad. It finds its way to the leak and as the water heats up the egg solidifies thus sealing the leak.A blog about the school you ran would be very interesting.
Philip said:
Responded: Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Nadine, If you haven't yet checked out Newsnight's excellent report about Zimbabwe by Sue Lloyd-Roberts [who had to report 'undercover'] do so now. It really is worth viewing. Good to see that Archbishop John Sentamu is picking up the torch as well - though whether the politicians do any thing remains to be seen..
Jane said:
Responded: Wednesday, 19 September 2007
In my younger days, when cars were much more unreliable than they are today,I seemed to attract the boyfriends whose cars were always either running out of petrol or whose fan belts broke (and always in remote spots). It was not uncommon to be asked to remove one's stockings to effect an emergency repair.Those were the days! Then the AA and roadside assistance emerged...and spoilt it all.
Michael D, Flitwick said:
Responded: Wednesday, 19 September 2007
I had not noticed the comparison until I read this, and then watched the news. You are right, the police force are big strapping men beating thin undernourished people. They look as though they could be from a different race. Thank you Andrew for the link. This has to be stopped>
Peter Thornton said:
Responded: Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Nadine Did you get as far as Bulawayo? There used to be a department store there that was exactly like our local "Musgroves" in the 1950's. It is a marvellous country and it's very hard to watch from outside as it goes through the present crisis. Peter
'Nuff said:
Responded: Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Of course, the big difference between Saddam and Mugabe is that Mugabe's weapon of mass destruction - starvation - is being used exclusively on his own people. Even the arch-spinmeisters in the Government wouldn't be able to concoct a story based on an 'imminent and present danger of starvation in the UK within 45 minutes'. And, of course, Zimbabwe isn't in the middle of a region that supplies much of the world's energy needs. Without oil as a motivating factor, what's the chance of the United Nations passing a resolution to march on Zimbabwe and force regime change? Almost zero is my guess. Even if that obstacle could be overcome, sadly I think the Iraq debacle has exhausted the electorate's appetite for any more examples of an interventionist foreign policy.
Katie (aged 12) said:
Responded: Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Why do the most nasty, evil,corrupt men in the world always end up controlling nations of people?
Nadine said:
Responded: Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Katie, That is a very good question, if only we knew the answer. Jane, Your comments ALWAYS make me laugh - thanks for your thoughtful comments everyone else.
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

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