Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Roy Bennett

Never heard of Roy Bennet? Some people want to keep it that way:

Sentenced to one year’s hard labour, Bennett’s already badly blistered from sunburn and covered in lice. The MP’s crime? Officially, it’s that he angrily pushed then apologized to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who had most flagrantly insulted his family. Chinamasa had called Bennett’s father and grandfather "thieves and murderers" and told him he’d never be allowed to return to his farm, taken by Robert Mugabe’s treacherous ZANU-PF government.
The 20th wedding anniversary of Roy and Heather Bennett passed as the courageous MP remained crammed with 17 other prisoners in a cell meant to hold four.

The heartbroken and anxious Heather is allowed to see her husband for only 10 minutes every two weeks.

When I recently discovered and read that Bennett subsists on half a cup of gruel and cabbage stew twice a day, memories came flooding back about my August 16, 2002 meeting with him, memories that brought me to tears.
Read it all. After the Islamic world has democracy, Africa must surely be next.