Wednesday, December 3, 2008

4th December

Events are moving along – so much so that my relatives (some of them!) have suggested it is time to pack our bags and get out. And go where, I ask myself? Mumbai perhaps? Baghdad? New York? Johannesburg?

But jokes aside, I realise today as I passed some (black) schoolgirls skipping – literally – along the road on their way to school, that the reason this is the ‘Twighlight’ Zone is because we live in several different Twighlight worlds here in Harare.

There is the world of Budiriro 2, Chitungwiza, Glen Norah, Dzivarasekwa and all the other ‘high density suburbs’ where life must indeed be hell. Where there is shit (literally) in the streets and corruption a way of life for all. I visited Budiriro a couple of weeks ago and last Sunday I was in Mabvuku where the rubbish is piled high in the streets and the residents draw water from wells that are surely unsanitary, where the talk of the day is ‘who died yesterday – from AIDS, from cholera, from having been beaten by the police or the army or both’.

Then there is the world of Greendale, Highlands, Borrowdale Brook and Mount Pleasant where life is difficult but not hell – not yet anyway. Where the residents took action years ago and installed generators, then boreholes and/or water tanks, where the talk today is about ‘what I paid today for a bowser of water, who won the Test match between the Springboks and England, or which member of the ZANU PF hierarchy was found looting something from somewhere’

There is another world that can be seen and heard – it is the world of Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and ‘The Herald’, the latter being the ZANU PF daily press, where Mugabe and his cronies are still feted as heroes, where everything will be fixed tomorrow – and would have been fixed yesterday if it wasn’t for the western worlds ‘illegal economic sanctions’. But today for the first time there is a different tune. It is ‘please come and help us’. A plea from the useless Zimbabwe ‘Minister of Health’ (he’s not the Minister of Health, there is no Minister of anything right now) to the world aid community. We need 400 million for this and 500 million for that. Please give it to us.

And the aid community will help, of that there is no doubt. But please, whatever you do to help, don’t give any MONEY to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to re-distribute to the ‘needy ministries’. If you haven’t learned by now what the RBZ will do with it, you’ll never learn.

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