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Archive for May, 2012

Why not?

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 by Bev Clark

While we wait: an exhibition of photographs

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 by Bev Clark

On the occasion of World Environment Day

Alliance Francaise
in partnership with
The Food and Agricultural Organization and
The Delegation of the European Union to Zimbabwe

request the pleasure of your company at the opening of

an exhibition of photographs by

and featuring a video work by
Nigel Hulett

Tuesday, 5th June, 2012 at 5.30.p.m.
gallery delta
‘Robert Paul’s Old House,’ 110 Livingstone Avenue and Ninth Street Greenwood Park
Tel/Fax +-263-4-792135 artdelta@mweb.co.zw


Exhibition duration until 20th June

Zinara needs basic maths lessons

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 by Bev Clark

We got this and we thought it well worth sharing because it so clearly illustrates the incompetence in Zinara:

This week Zimbabwe Post Offices finally started issuing the new required vehicle license discs.  The new system was instigated as according to the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) their ministry lost US$15 million last year alone to counterfeit discs.  They reckon there are at least 800 000 vehicles on the country’s roads.

Sadly the Post Office computerised system encountered some major glitches, so the majority only opened for service on the 21 May, giving them 11 days, including weekends and extended hours, to issue the 800 000 or so discs.  A large Post Office can issue about 100 discs per day, using at least 3 tellers.  So, I will be generous and use that as a national average for the 50 designated venues, plus the 10 mobile service providers.  Here is the maths:

No. gazetted post offices (including 10 mobiles): 60
No. licenses issued per day on average: 100
National Total per day: 6000
No. days from opening of service to deadline: 11
Total potential discs to be issued: 66000
No. vehicles in Zimbabwe: 800000
% possible of 800 000 vehicles in 11 days: 8.25

There is pandemonium at our Post Offices, tempers are frayed as members of the public are spending up to 8 hours in the queue and still not being served, returning the next day for another massive loss of potential productive work.  The Post Office workers are barely able to type as they have only ever worked on manual systems previously, now they have to capture screeds of information per disc.  The form is long and complicated and the amount of paperwork required cumbersome.

What is amazing is the ingenuity of Zimbabweans in latching on to the potential for lucrative business.  Some Post Offices resorted to issuing place numbers to help alleviate time spent in queues.  I know one elderly person who queued for 4 hours to get his number and who ONLY had to spend 2 hours in the queue the following day.  But, a few particularly enterprising individuals quickly saw the opportunity for profit, spent the day queuing, were issued several numbers for their hard work going from the front to the back of the queue and the next morning they sold places for US$10 a number!  Alas, the Post Office officials quickly caught on and stopped the number system!

Yet another friend hired a queue sitter.  This individual obviously received priority service as he is a member of the police, and for $25 my friend was the proud owner of 3 new discs for his small fleet of vehicles.

Now you have to remember there is one variable that has not been taken into account – the fact that the new system is entirely dependent, of course, on electricity, the scarce commodity that is needed to run the state of the art equipment.  Need I say more?

The new disc plan is a good plan, and nobody can deny it, but oh dear Zinara has really aimed far too high in announcing the programme would be complete within the deadline period of 1 June and no grace period will be awarded.  Perhaps the Zinara head of information, communication and technology Mr Gift Kanotangudza and his colleague, head of corporate communications, Mr Augustine Moyo, should sign up for a few basic maths lessons, for through their insistence that there will be no extension, they have created a mathematical impossibility.

Car regsitration in Zimbabwe

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 by Bev Reeler

This  month, Zimbabweans were told that every car on the roads was to be entered into a computerized data base.

To re-register our cars, we had to go to Designated-Post-Offices with the following:
-the car registration book – plus photocopy
-a new insurance receipt starting from June – plus photocopy
-a new computer form (available at Post Offices) – plus photocopy

-the 8 or so Designated-Post-Offices were only ready 7 days before the end of May(2 days of which were weekend and 1 day a public holiday)
-the Designated-Post-Office–Staff appear to have been missed out from any computer training and take up to 20 mins. per car
-the Designated-Post-Offices had no Photocopy machines
-none of these Designated-Post-Offices had alternative power sources – and ZESA had no schedule for power cuts

Long patient queues of people built up over 5 hour power cuts – often to be turned away and told to return the next day with a number

Today, 2 days from the promised expiry date

I arrived at a Designated-Post-Office at 7 am  – the time of promised opening
by 7.30 the post office was still closed –Ipana ZESA (no electricity)
ahead of me were over 60 people who had their numbers from yesterday and another 60 or so hopefuls like myself
there was lots of muttering and wry humour (Zimbabweans laugh at themselves with easy resignation)

At 8 am someone appeared on the door step and assured us that a generator was being brought and set up
we stared in disbelief – generator from where? set up where? how long?
At 8.15 a member of the crowd stood on the railings and told us that his brother at ZESA assured him we would be ‘on’ in 15 mins

We cheered. . .

At 8.30 the doors opened and the tide (now at least 350 strong)surged into the Designated-Post-Office
up to the two single counters that were open at the end of a one way passage
the crowds were crammed into a tight, urgent, loud crush
there was a good deal of commotion as everyone sorted out their personal body space (zero)
lots of shouting on the edge of anger, and a good deal of laughter
the  Designated-Post-Office-Manager eventually was called to stand on the counter and demand that those at the back, backed out the door. (There was no turning round in the squeeze.)

then we waited – the computers were not programmed yet
a harassed man moved between the 2 computers helping the assistants get started
the air was filled with ironic commentary
and then – we finally began to move

You might ask how I – 120 back in the queue – managed to witness the chaos

A cry had gone out down the queue – ‘Pensioners come first’
a few of us with appropriately grey hair and baggy faces were singled out
and shifted through the body-press
as Moses parting the Red Sea
treated with utter respect and no sign of the rancor that I would have felt
to the front of the counter

I was out at 9.35 feeling rather dazed

Of course, I am still wondering about the word ’Pensioners’
this being a country where there is no such thing as a pension.
perhaps ‘elders’ would feel more comfortable!!!

But I am definitely not complaining
it’s now 3.30pm and those poor ‘young’ people are still standing
in mile long queues outside the Designated-Post-Offices

The Pensioner

Kleptos and maniacs

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 by Marko Phiri

For a long time the complaint here in Zimbabwe has been the thievery of state resources by politicians from a party that still claims relevance three decades after proving it has no business steering this ship. And the thievery has virtually become an official exercise.

One will recall a time when local papers splashed the now Defence Minister’s wealth valuing it at billions of dollars, a time when the Zim dollar was considered useful. Of course it was asked where the hell he got that kind of money considering the salaries of government ministers were – and still are – public knowledge.

Time was the Kumbirai Kangais grabbed news headlines with allegations of sweeping clean the national silos (and we saw him not a long time ago on national television being toasted on his birthday by Simon Khaya Moyo who “celebrated” the man’s integrity!).

Time was when senior government officials claimed incredible disability gratuities, some claiming up to 80 percent disability, never mind they continued to occupy such lofty positions as government ministers and top cops. Talk about equal opportunity and the spirit of “disability is not inability!” If only that were true.

And then it took the woman who bashed lawyer Gugulethu Moyo, screamed profanities about then opposition gadfly Morgan Tsvangirai’s manhood, to be scorned for Zimbabweans to get a look see into the wealth amassed by Constantine Chiwenga. Of course Jocelyn deliberately and vindictively made the public claims in order to shock and awe and prompt us to us where the heck all that wealth came from, considering the scorned woman knew the kind of bread the soldier brought home on his salary.

And then the VP Mujuru’s point man Sylvester Nguni’s domestic troubles also became what let us in on the kind of wealth that has been amassed on what would be a measly government minister’s salary.

And then Chombo who seeks to rival real estate don Donald Trump and his stupendous wealth that only became public after a bitter woman who all along enjoyed the same trappings at the drooling of “ordinary” Zimbabwean.

And then Obert Mpofu, who does not need hostile domestic waters to have his wealth splashed ostentatiously, owning prime Bulawayo real estate and big business (acquired on the advice of Saviour Kasukuwere to borrow from banks, he says), feeding 10,000 people on his “birthday bash” and seeks to put to shame the wealth of your typical amoral African politician.

Of course there are many more.

And then Finance Minister Biti complains about the kleptocracy that has become rooted in the diamond fields.

One would think these are issues that would inform voters and determine how they use their franchise, yet Zimbabwe offers many bad examples about how the politics do not necessarily have to reflect the people’s sentiments. A politician can go on looting the people’s wealth and still expect those same people to vote for him! Crazy ain’t it?

If the people decide they have had enough and show this through the ballot, these same people are accused of being influenced by external forces who are imposing Western models of democracy that are not applicable here! But you still have to ask what culture under the sun has ever accepted thievery, what kind of voters gleefully embrace the embrace kleptocracy of their leaders when this kind of behaviour is impoverishing millions.

It should be quiet a simple exercise really to connect the dots, and it does not need any racking of the brain: if people complain about lousy amenities, faeces on their doorsteps because of archaic water and sewer mains, living with the threat of disease everyday, school children failing to be looked after by the State, pensioners being abandoned by the State, if the people see the brazen posh lifestyles of the political elites, surely the only way to address these and other issues must be to vote for someone else. But then for some reason, it does not work that way here.

A politician is a devil’s quilted anvil. He fashions all sins on him, and the blows are never heard. John Webster, English dramatist (1623)

Work for Trocaire in Zimbabwe

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Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by Bev Clark

Administrator (including IT Support) – Zimbabwe Office: Trócaire
Deadline: 11 June 2012

Trócaire is a Development Agency of the Irish Catholic Church.  The Agency works in Zimbabwe under an MoU with the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference.  A vacancy for an Administrator (including IT support) has risen within its Zimbabwe Office. The successful candidate will work in close collaboration with Finance and Admin Manager as well as the Country Director. The key deliveries for the position include managing the reception and admin duties for the office as well addressing any IT needs in a very timely manner.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:
-All reception duties to include management of  the reception area of the office, dealing with all visitors, operating the switchboard and maintaining the incoming and outgoing mail register.
-IT support, troubleshooting and management of internet accounts in liaison with outsourced support and  IT unit in Head Office.
-Managing support staff to include the driver and cleaner/gardener.
-Managing logistics for visitors from Head Office to the Zimbabwe office.
-Managing all office stationery and promotional materials including purchasing and issuing out of such materials.
-Managing the First Aid needs of the office.
-Maintaining the inventory lists for the office and expatriate accommodations.
-Supporting the Trócaire Team with logistics and administration needs as required.
-Supporting Programme teams in uploading documents on Trócaire’s web based Management Information System and auditing of same.
-Ensuring timely preparation of meeting rooms and refreshments ahead of meetings with staff, partners or external stakeholders as agreed with the chair of such meetings.
-Typing correspondence and reports and taking minutes as relevant and/or requested.
-All filing relevant to this role
-Any other related duties assigned by Country Director or Finance and Admin Manager.

The ideal candidate will have:
-A relevant administration diploma or degree and/or a relevant IT qualification.
-Minimum 1 years experience in an Administration and/or IT position – preferably in and NGO
-Experience  in line management.
-Expertise in Word and Excel
-IT troubleshooting skills
-Commitment to Trócaire values.

In return we offer a competitive salary and package commensurate with education and experience.

Full job description available on request from ntaderera [at] trocairezw [dot] org

To apply: Email your cover letter and detailed CV to ntaderera [at] trocairezw [dot] org with “Administrator (including IT Support)” in the subject line.

Deadline for submission of applications: Monday 11th June.
Interviews will be held on Monday 18th June with a start date of Monday July 2nd 2012
(start date negotiable).