Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Car regsitration in Zimbabwe

TOP del.icio.us

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

Comments are closed.