Robert Mugabe died on the day I arrived in Harare. The news people made a lot of it. The people of Zimbabwe largely ignored his death. That in a way says it all. He left the country a political and economic mess and his successor has made things worse. Corruption continues; Government members get richer. Everyone else gets poorer. Yet the people of Zimbabwe are amazing. They find ways to survive. The schools still run and the young people we support mostly do well.
I said mass in all sorts of places: at the Tariro House to pray for the departed parents, known or unknown of the young people; at St Phillip’s Tafara, a township on the edge of Harare; for Sisters at Penhalonga, Shurugwi and Gweru, and at St Luke’s Greendale in Harare where I had grown up. The churches are thriving with good bishops, good priests and wonderfully committed people. Churches are a major factor in people’s survival in such a hard economic climate. The Christian faith also gives them hope so they can resist the evil around them.
For me, it is the young people who really give me hope. Here are two of our newer kids: Angela who is nine and who was being badly looked after by her mother. She is now happy in a boarding school. And Tadiwa who is sixteen though he looks much less. His mother is dying and can’t pay his school fees at St Augustine’s, Penhalonga. It would be tragic if he had to leave school as he is very clever and hard working, so we are now supporting him with school fees, extra food and the warmth and friendship of the Tariro family. CR’s great work in Zimbabwe continues in these Tariro young people. Robert Mugabe is the past. Mnangagwa will soon be the past. These young people will be the future Zimbabwe.
Fr Nicolas CR
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