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Zimbabweans break records at COP26

06 Nov 2021 at 06:18hrs | Views
The COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, saw a number of records being broken.

This was a conference which saw a number of Zimbabweans attending to give solidarity to their President, and this was the conference where 12-year-old Zimbabwean Matidaishe Mavaza attended and was harassed by fellow Zimbabweans who were calling for sanctions to remain on Zimbabwe.

This is Matidaishe's story:

"We have had some lessons on climate change, and we were told that climate change is caused by us as humans. This made me very sad – many animals are dying because of what has been done by us as humans.

My teacher at Prince William High School where I am a year 8 student spoke proudly of the COP26 which was to be held in Scotland.

I started having this urge that I would want to be at this conference.

You may never believe my luck when my father asked me if I wanted to accompany him to Scotland. He was going there to support his country, Zimbabwe.

He told me that I was going to get to meet President Mnangagwa and I was going to get the opportunity to work for my country by showing solidarity for the President and for Zimbabwe. I was excited and from that moment I really wanted to go to Scotland.

On the 28th October we woke up early in the morning and got ready for the journey, it was the journey of my life.

We were going to be staying at a hotel in Sterling which I was told was only 30 minutes away from Glasgow.

I will have another day to tell you about my journey, my hotel stay and some uncles I met who were working with my dad.

The following morning, we travelled to Glasgow from Sterling, we met some more people, and the atmosphere was electric.

My dad was busy preparing for the President to come. We went in the city centre where we met a group of white Scottish who were so excited to talk to us. They told us they are in Glasgow to meet the President of Zimbabwe and to welcome him.

They started dancing jumping up and down. They had T-shirts written some welcoming messages, they paused for photos, and they were very jubilant.

They told us what they have heard about the President of Zimbabwe, and I felt a sense of pride that I was going to meet the President.

As we walked in the streets of Glasgow, many people came to us and were keen to know more about Zimbabwe. For the first time, I felt Zimbabwean. We retired to bed very late, but it was a day worthy it.

On Sabbath, we did not go to church as churches in Glasgow were closed or not open for worship.  We spent the day in our hotel room. Sunday was coming and each day was an electric day.

Many more people came from England, they had all come to welcome the Zimbabwean President and I had gone to meet him and support him and his cause for my country.

Then came Monday, which was the big day, but a very disappointing one day for me.

In the morning we went to the venue where the conference was being held. After some time, we left to take a walk in the streets of Glasgow.

There were flags flying all over the streets, on this day I was carrying a Zimbabwean flag and a scarf with the picture of the President. I cherished my scarf.

We came along a group of Zimbabweans singing and dancing, denouncing sanctions.

I asked one uncle who was there who they called Comrade Douglas Chibaya, who told me sanctions were the curtailment of economic freedom and they were making Zimbabweans suffer.

I was very sad that in this day and age we still had people who are behaving as bullies by making other people suffer. It made me so angry when I was told that the people suffering more are my people in Zimbabwe.

This was the down moment at the conference. I was assured by my dad that the President was coming to persuade the bullies to remove their sanctions against my people.

We then walked down the river as we headed towards the dome where the conference was taking place.

We noticed from a little distance that there were Zimbabwean flags flying and some drums being hit. We went towards that direction. When we arrived there, I was shocked.

There were people who were holding poorly written placards requesting the world to punish Zimbabwe.

I counted them, they were about 10.

They were so noisy and they said they belonged to a party called the MDC. They sang songs which were derogatory to the nation of Zimbabwe. I was horrified by such idiocy and arrogance.

One of the ladies who I later knew to be Alvina Chibhamu shouted unprinted words against the President, my President, my father's President.

I felt so angry, but my anger was turned to fear when another lady called Vongai Mufara grabbed the scarf from my dad's neck and started stomping on it.

Almost all the people who were there started shouting, singing loudly.

I was so horrified and seriously angered.

The police then came to our rescue, they escorted my father and me to the dome since we were going to the conference.

I asked my father who those people were and why were they so angry with the scarf.

I was told they are called MDC and their leader is a boy whose slogan is let the boy in. I realised that if that boy who has his 10 supporters begging the world to starve Zimbabweans is allowed to be President of Zimbabwe, he will starve many people to death.

I still have nightmares when I remember the incident, it was scary and deeply depressing. I still do not understand why fellow Zimbabweans would come all the way to Scotland just to ask for more suffering on their people in Zimbabwe.

I was expecting the President of Zimbabwe to disown those losers who almost killed me and my father.

I felt so disturbed and terrified. The most horrific thing was that they were flying Zimbabwean flags while insulting Zimbabwe.

Later that night, I went to the hotel where the President was, but he was busy. I met two ministers and since it was night, they promised to take photos with me the following day at a business breakfast meeting which was held in Blantyre Scotland, some few minutes from Glasgow.

Just like the disappointment I had with the MDC thugs the previous day, on this day I was disappointed by a man who was the master of ceremony at the event at Crossbasket Castle Blantyre.

My dad went to tell the minister that I was around for the photo shoot, since I failed to meet the President I was going to settle for the minister.

This man, who was the master of ceremony, blocked the minister, he even shoved my dad away.

I left the breakfast meeting hoping to meet the President and shake his hand and to tell him how much I admire his work to save and serve Zimbabwe.

I wanted to tell him about the people I met in the streets of Glasgow, especially the ones who wished Zimbabwe well.

I wanted to hug him and tell him that I love Zimbabwe and that I was proud of his fight against the climate change effects.

Even though I did not get that close to him, I still want to fight against sanctions and make sure Zimbabwe is allowed to fight against the effects of climate change.

Speaking honestly, with COP26 ending, I've felt my motivation falter.

The world leaders will say we'll do this, and we'll do this, and we will put our forces together and achieve this, if they do not put their hands together to remove the sanctions against Zimbabwe and stop killing the poor Zimbabweans then they are not serious.

I still want to tell the President that I choose a life focused on protecting our planet, and our country Zimbabwe because my first experiences in nature which made me value life on earth was when I was in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls.

I have learnt from my teacher that the world needs every hand available for it to survive.

We are all needed to save the world, and the President came to Scotland to save the planet. Unfortunately, there were 10 people called MDC who were there to destroy Zimbabwe.

One day, Zimbabwe will be free from these sanctions and will be able to concentrate on one thing without a problem. Zimbabwe needs people who are prepared to serve and save.

The few I saw in Glasgow are an embarrassment to the people of Zimbabwe."

Source - The Herald
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