As I get used to being called Grandad, my mind goes back through the years to when I visited Zimbabwe on business. I was in Harare very briefly in the early 1980′s to submit a power station cabling tender, and I met with an old friend who had returned to Zimbabwe after the election which brought on majority rule. We sat at an shaded patio outside a restaurant, going over old times and good memories, and I asked him what he and his fellow ‘returned’ exiles thought of the new President Mugabe.
His reply did not startle me, because it confirmed what I had already gleaned from the newspapers in South Africa; “Mike,” he replied, “it really does feel as if we have one of the very, very few Black leaders who understand what we, as farmers, business operators and employers wish to achieve for this land. He is telling us that there will be no confiscations, he is saying that there will be the rule of Law, and no-one is higher than that same Law. Mike, I really hope that this is so.”
My last view of my friend was from the seat of my hire car, as I moved out to head towards the airport.
He died, in an attack on his family farm by ‘War Veterans’, some ten years ago this week.
As Cathy says, the grass grows above shoulder level in the cemetery, and when she asked if the grass could be mown so that relatives could visit the place where their ancestors of all colours and races were buried side by side, she was told not to be emotional!