I listened to a rather silly but sad story about the fear of God that has been instilled on Zimbabweans since independence concerning how ordinary folks associate with soldiers and the President of the Republic.
It is common knowledge how members of the public have been treated and continue being treated by soldiers guarding State House, how elderly people have been humiliated for “daring” to walk past the President’s residence, how motorists have been brutalised for using the same street with the President’s motorcade.
Yet the fear of these soldiers does reach ridiculous levels.
A guy told the story how a kombi suddenly jammed in front of State House in Bulawayo.
The driver and the tout quickly jumped out the vehicle and started pushing the vehicle full of passengers!
When asked by passengers what the hell they were doing endangering their lives, seeing of course that the steering was unattended, the driver replied that the soldiers would beat up any motorist who “parked” in front of the revered State House!
So, because of that dread they had to leave the steering unattended push the kombi just to escape the wrath of the president’s men?
Crazy country we are living in.