Apparently the joy of banging your head against a brick wall is the relief it gives you when you stop! Relief can be exquisite and I am really praying for some. I will travel next week to the University College Hospital in London where the doctors will perform a celiac plexus block in an attempt to give me some relief from pancreatic pain. I am looking forward to it with great anticipation, as you can imagine.
My relief, however, will be as nothing compared to the great sigh of relief that would go up from millions of Zimbabweans if Mr Mugabe should actually stand down this week. After 28 years of misrule he has finally reduced his country to ruin. Despite the riches of the goldmines and the millions of acres of lush arable land that now stand idle, Zimbabwe has been transformed from being the bread basket of Southern Africa to being its begging bowl. We pray for relief for that land and for its people. It will take generations to undo the damage that he and his cronies have done.
I can only speak for the Shona people, never having worked among the Matabele (though they have suffered even more under Mr Mugabe who is a Shona). They are a wonderfully warm and kind people, well-mannered and not easily provoked, who deserve so much better than the rulers they have had in the past. We must pray that the new government, if it is gven a chance, will show a new face in African politics and turn away from the choking stench of corruption and hypocrisy that has sullied the leadership so far.
Now that would be a relief.