Two years ago, my father died. From the age of 16, he had worked in various government departments of what was then Rhodesia. In all that time, he earned a small salary and had a second-hand car.
When he and my mother attended functions at Government House, my mom wore dresses she had sewed herself.
When my father worked for the department of trade and industry, it was common for representatives from visiting nations to offer "gifts" - anything from a tie to a bottle of vodka or more. My father always told us that he would not accept any "gifts" on principle. His reward, like most civil servants, was to receive no pension in his old age.
It is amazing to compare his "shoe-string" budget to that of current "fat cats" in Harare. They seem to be eating any and all the food and after so many years, Robert Mugabe still refuses to take his hand out of the cookie jar.
He seems to believe he has a constitutional right to help himself - and his wife, children and ministers - to any money they want for overseas holidays, houses, universities and other luxuries, while begging the world for financial aid.
It is truly heartbreaking to see so many suffering poverty, starvation and disease, with a currency that has become a global joke. Is South Africa planning to offer financial aid and if so, where will it go? Into Grace Mugabe's shoes?
Ingela Richardson, Gonubie