Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

Urgent message for the President’s office

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Here at Kubatana, we are enough of politicians fiddling whilst Zimbabweans starve. Our current electronic activism campaign encourages people to get in touch with the offices of the President and the Prime Minister designate to urge them to stop stalling and start governing.

Getting contact information for the President’s office, though, was no easy matter.

First off, when I used the numbers in the telephone directory, as soon as I asked for contact information they’d transfer me to the Ministry of Information. No wonder Zanu PF wants to keep control of the Ministry of Information. It would be too hard to reconfigure all the telephone lines to separate them from the numbers for the President’s office!

When I finally got through to the right person, I asked for their email address. I could hear the receptionist shouting across the office to one of her colleagues –

“These people want our email address. Can I give it?” She asked.

“Which people?” Her colleague asked.

“These people on the phone. They’re calling from Harare. They want the email address for our office. Can I give them?”

“Who are they?”

“They’re on the phone.”

“What do they want?”

“They want our email address can I give them?”

“No. Don’t give them our email address. We don’t know who they are.”

The whole exchange reminded me an awful lot of trying to get Zanu PF’s email address.

She then came back on the line and told me they weren’t on email so she couldn’t give me the email address. So I asked for fax number. She said the fax was down. So if I have an urgent message for the President’s office? How am I meant to get it to them? She told me to phone the Ministry of Information.

It took four more phone calls and uncountable inter-office transfers for them to eventually give me their fax number – and to get them to give me a fax tone when it rang.

This is exactly what needs to change in the new Zimbabwe. As much as we need government to start governing again, this must be a New government, with a new attitude about itself and its responsibilities to the people, and a new approach towards listening to Zimbabweans and responding to what we want.

Fax the President’s office on +263 4 251641 and let them know that you want a new government – and you want it now.

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