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Archive for November, 2007

Backlog for bucks

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Thursday, November 29th, 2007 by Catherine Makoni

I usually like the view from my office window, but not when all l can see is the human misery as people queue for hours on end for cash.


Make some noise for freedom in Zimbabwe!

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Thursday, November 29th, 2007 by Bev Clark

One of Harare’s most exciting and outspoken poets is Comrade Fatso. If you’re in Harare then go along to the Mannenberg Jazz Club in Fife Avenue Shopping Centre on 1st December or if you’re in Johannesburg on the 8th December give him some support at Bassline and make some noise for freedom in Zimbabwe!

Visit Comrade Fatso’s web site

Here’s a taste:

The Word Is A Bird

Some say silence is golden
But silence is shit
‘Cause words can hit
But they can heal
They can liberate us from what we feel
‘Cause mazwi acho akasimba
Anogona kutibatsira kwatirikuenda
‘Cause words are warriors
And their great gifts are glorious
But politicians wanna sell us words that are worthless
Creating a populace that’s wordless
Throwing curse upon curse on the word’s carcass
But the word is a bird and birds fly regardless
Flying above the durawalls of their so-called silence
The word still heard above their virile violence
‘Cause you can bomb the word but you can’t keep it silent

(cc) Comrade Fatso 2007

Marching? In a failed state

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Thursday, November 29th, 2007 by Bev Clark

I’m sitting at work on an overcast Harare Thursday morning drinking Brazilian coffee and eating South African Marie biscuits. My breakfast in a failed state. I liked the reference that Comrade Fatso made in one of his blogs calling Zimbabwean supermarkets “hardware stores” seeing as they’re just empty shelves. I mean I’d buy Zimbabwean coffee and biscuits if I could, but I can’t. It’s either imported, or nothing.

On Tuesday I went along to my favourite cafe called St Zita in Borrowdale Village to drink a flat white and do some work. They could only offer tea on account of a power failure (aka Mugabe’s mismanagement). The tea pot came without a lid. Apparently the lid had just been broken but one wonders whether they only have one tea pot in the entire establishment.

Tomorrow is the Million Man March which is meant to illustrate Zimbabweans support for the ruling party, Zanu PF. Free transport is being laid on and The Herald suggests that our capital city will see a convergence of Mugabe fans. Let’s see what happens.

Sunrise, sunset: Zimbabwe’s new currency

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 by Bev Clark

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the zeros
One currency following another
Laden with money counters and queues

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the bearers
Millions turn overnight to billions
Blossoming even as Gono gazes

. . . with apologies to Fiddler on the Roof (the musical, not Gono)

Welcome to Zimbabwe

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 by Bev Clark

I was at Harare International Airport yesterday. With Zambia Airways deciding to withdraw their services, our description of our airport being international is largely attributed to the fact that South African Airways and Kenya Airways still find it worthwhile flying into Zimbabwe. Anyway whilst I was waiting for my partner to come through customs I noticed this long queue of people trying to get into the airport. The crowd was being marshaled by the airport police. What were they after? Cash. Imagine that the desperation to get money makes you go to the airport to use a small banking agency in the arrivals hall.

Welcome to Zimbabwe, and please join a queue.

There was a time when returning friends and family would bring home luxuries. I got an email asking me if there were any last minute basics that I needed. These days basics mean items like toilet paper and toothpaste. I thought I’d chance my arm and say a peppermint aero which I got as well as some fabulous other bits and pieces to keep my pecker up. My partner tends to load her backpack as full as possible which makes her look like she’s about to topple backwards. Over correcting means that she looks like she’s praying which might be a good idea if you’re a returning resident.

Sickening allegations at Miss Rural Zimbabwe Pageant

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Friday, November 23rd, 2007 by Amanda Atwood

So I’ll admit my prejudices against beauty pageants make me perhaps a less than impartial commentator on the latest events reported on this year’s Miss Rural Zimbabwe Pageant. I want the blasted things abolished, not done better. But if you have to have a beauty pageant surely the very least you can do is protect the contestants from harm and look after them whilst they are in your care?

There are allegations of neglect, impoverishment, sexual abuse and harassment of the contestants by businessmen, high ranking politicians and diplomats (not that the professional occupations of the perpetrators really matter though – I don’t care if you’re a teacher or a vendor or an MP or a villager. Abuse is abuse and it’s inexcusable), with two women ending up seeking shelter with the Girl Child Network. Contestants were also reportedly left stranded at the pageant in Masvingo when organisers did not provide them with transport money to get back home.

The pageant has been wracked with controversy in the past. The emotional, psychological and physical abuse of contestants has been documented for years. Maybe it’s high time it’s disbanded altogether.