Focus on Zimbabwe Independence Day

Just as you exit the Harare International Airport you are confronted by a billboard with the image of Martin Luther King Jr. It is not known if Robert Mugabe reads and understands the message. 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

A reminder of once-upon-a-time 28 years ago…Airport Road. 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Three weeks after the elections, a ZANU PF banner still hangs. Airport Road. 18 April. Picture: Chris Kabwato

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (building to the right) is well-known for running the “parallel” market on the streets of Harare where you can buy and sell foreign currency. Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Picture: Chris Kabwato

Fifth Street, Harare, is the centre of foreign currency deals by the ordinary public. 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Robert Mugabe’s entourage heads for Gwanzura Stadium in Highfield Township, Harare. Enterprise Road, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

ZANU PF youths chant party slogans enroute to the Independence Day event at Gwanzura Stadium. Mushandira Pamwe Hotel, Highfield, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Two members of the ZANU PF militia join the slogan-chanting youths. Mushandira Pamwe Hotel, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

ZIM 1 – Robert Mugabe’s official car arrives at the Gwanzura Stadium, Highfield, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

A guard of honour for Robert Mugabe. Gwanzura Stadium, Highfield, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

All the President’s Men. Gwanzura Stadium, Highfield, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Catch them young and use them to defend “the revolution”. Youths outside Gwanzura Stadium show their support for ZANU PF. Highfield, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

“Something change, somethings don’t…” This advert for a popular Zimbabwean juice seems to capture all. Simon Mazorodze Road, Mbare, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

“Muri bho-o here?” (Are you fine?). A now rather tasteless question from a brewer of traditional alcohol hangs across the skywalk on Julius Nyerere Street. Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Outside the MDC Headquarters the opposition sends a message well after the elections. Harvest House, Nelson Mandela Street, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

The sole daily newspaper in Zimbabwe is controlled by party and government apparachtniks. The Herald reads like a Graham Greene novel – very menacing like The Comedians. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Activists like Takura Zhangazha of MISA-Zimbabwe keep up the struggle for a democratic Zimbabwe but acknowledge the difficult times ahead. MISA offices, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Zimbabweans have lost faith in SADC and conversations and acres of print convey that message. Picture: Chris Kabwato

A state-owned company that has run the economy aground finds some money to send a message of congratulations on Zimbabwe’s Indepence Day anniversary. Who exactly is being congratulated and for what is unclear. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Student leader, Clever Bere (right), with Takura Zhangazha of MISA-Zimbabwe. Bere was leaving for a civil society meeting in Tanzania. 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Ambassador Hotel, Harare, hosts the Quill Club, a social meeting place for Zimbabwe’s journalists. There fact and fiction interweave until one is no longer so sure as to what is happening in Zimbabwe. 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

“Ain’t no sunshine until he is gone…”. At least that is how I felt as I took this picture at the Africa Unity Square, Nelson Mandela Avenue, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. Fading posters peel off the wall of this public toilet on Robert Mugabe Street, Harare, 18 April 2008. Picture: Chris Kabwato

A conversation with Zizi Kodwa, ANC youth leader, assured me that President Thabo Mbeki and a small coterie of hangers-on, was alone in believing that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe. Picture: Chris Kabwato

Rhodes University students demonstrate against the lack of freedom in Zimbabwe. Grahamstown, South Africa, 18 April 2008. Picture: Levi Kabwato

A Rhodes University demonstrator in Grahamstown, South Africa leaves no doubt of her opinion on President Thabo Mbeki. 18 April 2008. Picture: Levi Kabwato.

Zimbabwe’s leading graphics designer, Chaz Maviyane, has been circulating some critical graphics on his country’s politics (see www.maviyane.com)

Inquiries on use of images – Chris Kabwato, kumbirayi@gmail.com

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