A Letter: Part Two

Magical Buffet readers will remember in July of last year, just after relaunching the website, I mailed a letter to then President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer and at the time, Senator Barack Obama in regards to the situation in Zimbabwe. For those of you who missed it, feel free to click here to catch up. I am saddened to say I never received a response. That’s right, not a one.

Never one to take indifference lightly I am at it again. Today Barack Obama had his inauguration to officially become President of the United States, and so today I put a new letter in the mail. Aren’t I the spunky gal? What follows is my rock ‘em sock ‘em sequel to ignored Zimbabwe letter one.


Dear President Obama,

First, let me add my voice to the surely millions of congratulatory messages you’ve been receiving. Like so many Americans I too hope that you can truly deliver real change for our country. I don’t envy the to-do list that sits on your desk as you step into your first days in the Oval Office. I wish I could say this letter was merely one of well wishes, but it’s not.

Mr. President, today I write to you on behalf of the people of Zimbabwe. On June 7, 2008 I sent letters to then President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer and yourself, then Senator Barack Obama. I have attached this previous letter for your reference. In that letter I argued that it was our moral duty as Americans to help the Zimbabweans achieve the dream of democracy. That because the people of Zimbabwe were suffering from the very thing that our Founding Fathers feared, and thanks to the presidency of George Washington avoided, it made Zimbabwe more than an African country in need, it made them our brothers. I asked for someone to please tell me there was something our country could do to help Zimbabwe. I received no response.

Since my letter the situation has only worsened. To say the power-sharing deal is on hold is being generous. All of Africa knew Robert Mugabe was incapable of sharing. There has been a total break down of infrastructure in the country. The last time I checked, according to the BBC, inflation was at 231,000,000%. Zimbabweans are starving and dying of a cholera epidemic that President Mugabe denies the existence of. Those who aren’t laid up with illness or starvation are facing violent repercussions for backing the MDC party during the past two questionable elections held in the country.

In fact, Time Magazine, the very publication that named you Person of the Year, named President Robert Mugabe a Person Who Mattered this past year. They say, “It’s hard to remember now, but Robert Mugabe was once a heroic figure in Africa. Because of his work to end colonial rule, he spent more than a decade in prison in the 1960s and ’70s. But now he presides over a vicious kleptocracy in which the wives of political opponents are gang-raped, eight in 10 citizens can’t find work, and much of the country is on the brink of starvation or cholera infection — even as Mugabe’s wife declares that her narrow feet can fit into nothing but Ferragamos. Because of Mugabe’s policies, this once-fertile land produces almost no food, and even in the capital, Harare, the water system doesn’t function. Still, Africa and the West dither, Mugabe stays in power, and Zimbabwe spirals into chaos.”

I say again, please, tell me there is something our country can do to help Zimbabwe.

Rebecca Elson

Attachments: 6/9/08 letter

If I receive any response I’ll be sure to let you guys know. If you want to stay up to date on the situation in Zimbabwe visit www.bbc.com/zimbabwe.