Of Coffee, Democracy, Voting and Elections

Of Coffee, Democracy, Voting and Election Results.

voting

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you it’s been a nail-biting roller-coaster of a week, waiting for the results of the harmonized election results held on Monday the 30th of July to be announced.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you not be alarmed, I am safe and sound, and have had to answer the “Are you safe question?” to several people via phone calls, messages, emails, and DMs but to be honest the past couple of days have been hair-raising. You might have seen Zimbabwe, headlining the news, when the army clamped down on opposition party protesters in the city capital, demanding immediate release of unadultered election results by the electoral commission claiming the commission was delaying so it could “massage” the figures.

MDC Protest

The protest turned violent as protesters destroyed property; looting shops, setting fire to vehicles belonging to the ruling party and the military resorted with deadly force. Firing live ammunition into crowds leaving scores of people injured and several fatalities.

Military

If you were having coffee with me, this is the part you would ask me if you heard me correct that military personnel in a nation not at war opened fired on its civilian population. It’s hard to reconcile this image with how the military, just seven months earlier, in November had been on the side of the masses, in a historic seemingly bloodless coup resulting in Robert Mugabe resigning without a single bullet being fired in public.

Zim Coup

when The Army sided with the people

The official statement is that the protesters “overwhelmed the police who were spread thin due to them being stationed throughout the country to safeguard the polls and so the army was deployed.” This might be true but not entirely because on the fateful Wednesday I also happened to be in Harare CBD, and no I was not protesting, I was not even aware of the protests, maybe I should have checked my social media first, it might be full of misleading information but it’s one of the most reliable ways to find out if its safe to venture outside your neighbourhood and into the city.

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you, to imagine you were me, in the city’s central business district, not protesting minding your own business when suddenly: chaos and confusion as people run past you screaming and you don’t need anyone to tell you twice, you also run. Assimilating as you go along; the noxious tear gas fumes assaulting your nostrils, the distinctive sound of gun fire, even though you have never heard a gunshot in your life and you sometimes mistake the sounds of a car backfiring to gunshots when you hear an assault rifle being fired you can’t mistake for anything else…….

A lot of finger pointing is underway, from the opposition party leaders for inciting violence to the party supporters heading mindless calls to action; from the army over-reacting to the protestors being ungovernable and the truth, well the truth is an offspring of mistruth, half-truths meeting whispered conspiracies breeding in a silence where no good thing can flourish.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the final presidential election results were announced after midnight on the 3rd of August with President elect Emmerson Mnangagwa of the ruling party ZANU PF winning 50.8% of the vote and Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance opposition taking 44% of the polls and the remaining 5.2% split amongst the other 20 presidential candidates.

Walking in the streets of the capital city it’s hard to imagine something as monumental as presidential elections happened, no one is rejoicing, and everyone seems to be grieving, not only for the unfortunate souls, not only from the funerals of those who died on the Wednesday, not just faceless civilians, but people who had loved ones,

and also for the death of hope that had been birthed, still born, that this time around, maybe this time, things would be different……..

If you were having coffee with me I would mention these interesting quotes that I heard:

“its not the voting that counts, but the counting of votes…”

The force of will surpasses the force of will

Well if the polls are to be believed, then we live in a divided nation, where 49.2% of the population did not vote for the president elect, where there are more rural than urban voters in a tale of two voter pools, living with what seem to be completely different concerns and ideals and a diasporian population without a right to vote from their adoptive countries; and where a lot of work needs to be done to unite the population allow room to tolerate divergent views

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you think democracy is a façade or that democracy is unAfrican? I heard some analysts on TV say that it’s a system that is counter to Africa’s Principle of Ubuntu I am because We Are, serving no one but interests of our colonial overlords in their quest to maintain control of Africa’s resources and controlling its finances.

diversity

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that I wish I could go to be bed and wake up later, much later, like in maybe five years, because in five years I will be old enough to also be a presidential candidate, if I was president I am sure the world be a better place…… well for me anyway it would be better.

~B

I have just answered a phone call from my mother for the umpteenth who calls every few hours to check if I am still alive and still ok, I should visit her soon and put her fears to rest, she worries so much I start worrying about her too………

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Of Waiting For The Election Results

Disclaimer: I am not a political analyst and these are simply my thoughts, Thought is Free

Interrupting my regular blog routine to bring my thoughts on the elections in progress. Usually I do not write on articles of a political nature main reason being Self-Censure. Commenting publically on all things politics has always been high risk event which could result in your untimely departure from life as you know it, sometimes permanently. There has been a serious muzzle on freedom of expression until fairly recently with the ousting of our former president Robert Gabriel Mugabe in the coup that was not a coup, that could have been a coup, you can read my take on it HERE in the Coup That Went To Private School. 

From the time since then, if there’s any change I have noticed its having the basic freedom to say things which have been too afraid to say, you would think its a basic right given freely, you would be wrong, even now, I still keep a wary look on my words making sure I dot my I;s and cross my T;s and step lightly on people’s toes…….

We have just crossed the finish line in the final lap of the race for the polls, historic elections as highly anticipated as the former British colony’s 1980 Independence, and now we wait for the winner to be announced

1980 indepence

Yesterday 30 July was voting day, polls closed at 7pm CAT and now we wait for the electoral commission to announce the Official Results after results have been submitted from various polling stations across the country.

official results

The Electoral Act prevents false/unofficial declaration of the results, makes sense as they try to eliminate fake news but some speculate this is to allow leg room to manipulate the election results as it can take up to five days to get the comprehensive results.

If you were to follow popular sentiment on the street and on social media then this might be the year the ruling party loses, if there’s one thing I have learnt its that popular sentiment does not win elections, the voting numbers do and from previous elections the ruling party has always won, Robert Mugabe may no longer be at its helm (and he declared he would not be voting for it either) but the party he founded is still in power 38 years later…..

What happens now? Now we wait anxiously for ZEC (the electoral commission) to do its thing, although the results for each polling station are displayed outside the polling stations after counting the votes and citizens can take photos and share results from the various centers, but they are unofficial until verified and announced on official channels…..

While I am waiting for the results I can see how this process would take a very long time, the system could easily be sped up by embracing technology, such as the results from polling stations being updated to a secure central server or a database, easily available for transparency and could be done a simple via text …..

Little things like this is why governments need to engage the youth, fresh minds, fresh ideas embracing the power of new tech and not simply finding ways to control or regulate……..

Now we wait…..

Africa Dawn

~B

Of Voting Wisely: The ZimElections 2018

 

zim decides

In a few hours Zimbabwe will be having its historic harmonized presidential elections. Historic because they are elections without Robert Mugabe at the helm, historic at the level of peace and tolerance (not counting the bomb incident) for divergent views considering the history from past elections where citizens where openly intimidated and when talking anything remotely political was practically taboo, if a random speaker asked for your opinion you just shrugged it off non-commitally because having an opinion was hazardous to your well-being.

On my evening commute from the city in a public taxi, after everyone had paid for their fares, the conductor surprised the passengers by donning a graduation cap and declaring that he was University Graduate and yet here he was working as a Sliding Door Operator, opening and closing doors for passengers just like us, who just like him have dreams too, but working as a “hwindi” (the colloquial name for the minibus conductors and touts who try to get passengers to board their taxis; said to be derived from the sound the minivan door makes as it rolls on its railings and slides shut….. hwiiiiiiiii Ndiii) was never his dream, nor a job opportunity he would never pursue willingly.

He chronicled how he left for work at four in the morning and the earliest he got home was half-past ten in the evening; how he wasn’t even sure if his wife was beautiful or not since he only saw her at night. He is a stranger to his children, they cry when he tries to play with them; never play with strangers they were taught well; he leaves home before they wake up and returns long after they have gone to bed.

Even on the few off days he does get, they just stare at each awkwardly and his wife will be away, working. She is a qualified teacher but runs a tiny flea market right next to the cash dealers, the ones who hold thick wads of cash and sell money at a premium,

and sometimes she comes home with groceries and crisp new notes in a country where cash is a scares commodity, he worries that maybe she sells more than just pirated DVDs and secondhand clothes but he never asks, she isn’t really his wife, he cant afford a wedding, she is just someone with whom shares living expenses with and oh yeah they have children together.

At some point he asked the passengers to show by show of hands if they had family who had left for distant lands in the diaspora whom when they said goodbye at the airport  said that they would be gone only for a little while, its been years and now you wonder the only time they are coming home is in a coffin (that is if you can pay for the international body repatriation fees) Everyone raised a hand, me included, the family structure has gaping holes left by those who sought economic asylum in the better world and sometimes as I rub the dust of my passport the only thing that keeps me here is that I can’t a plane ticket to greener pastures and not out of love for country…..

You could tell as he spoke this colourful account of his life that he was somewhat intoxicated, even he admitted that he had imbibed some cheap strong spirit alcohol known as “Musombodhiya” the only kind he can afford to drown his woes but the fact that he was drunk should not diminish the gospel he was preaching all he was saying was “Please Vote Wisely on Monday

Someone asked the conductor whom he meant when we should vote for when he said vote wisely he laughed and replied “Isnt it obvious? The are three schools of voters those for whom the current regime has been good to, puppets of the regime those who cant think for themselves and those who want change, if you are in this taxi and not in a car of your own you need  change in your life…Vote Wisely

Vote Wisely wise ……. Who am I voting for? Ha! Isn’t that obvious, my preferred candidate talks a good talk but even though he talks such a good talk not enough people are listening, and this is all a numbers game, and out of 23 candidates.

I would vote for anyone who is willing to give him a chance in their next government because man mad great points well the the future is about to begin, dare we relive history…..

As I got to my stop and was getting off, the conductor concluded by asking if anyone had seen the eclipse, it was an omen, the end of an era, “ane nzeve anzwa tosangana paVotelet him ears listen: Vote Wisely

~B

 

 

 

 

Of Coffee with Cat

If you were having coffee with me, I would first apologise that I could not get up to greet you properly, its the cat you see, its sitting on my lap and has decided I must never stand again, not until our chapter is complete…………

A cat

Like a thief of time,

the sleeping cat,

that never moved,

watched you, watching it, watching you…………

You can help yourself to the beverage of your choosing as long as its herbal tea or plain water hot or cold but I wouldn’t recommend the ice cold water, its still winter this side of the hemisphere, oh I hope you dont take a lot of sugar and you like it black because its that time of month when everything runs out,…. waiting for a month end windfall and praying we don’t get unexpected visitors, because what would we even feed them except tea and conversation.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have recently discovered I am a cat person, who knew? A stray cat recently adopted me as its new co-owner and it’s worming its way into my yard and life; coming and going as it pleases and disappearing over the fence with a feline grace……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the cat is an awesome edition to the family as you may or may not know had a recurring problem with rats, you can read about my misadventures with Mista Whiskas and Speedy Gonzales HERE – The Thing in the ceiling. Well thanks to this feline visitor, havent a seen a single uninvited visitor of the rodent genus.

Quick question: are cats carnivorous?????

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you which kind of person are you are, because the are four kinds of people:

  • cat people
  • dog people
  • non-pet keepers
  • and those who simply don’t know cause never kept either…..
If you were having coffee with me I would ask you if saw/read the Obama lecture at what would have been Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday had he been still alive, my last post HERE – Nelson Mandela Lecture is my overview on the presentation. Not taking away from the late Nelson Mandela but sometimes I feel he is being made into a brand much larger than life and commercialized  for self-serving purposes.
Nelson Mandela
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that we have just about a week till we have Zimbabwe’s historic presidential and parliamentary elections on the 30th of July wish us the best of luck…………
~B
PS at what stage do you have “the talk” with your cat when you tell it, its a pet and not quite human but its a non-human person??????
Have an awesome week 
cheers

Of Obama’s Summer Reading list and The Obama Leaders Africa

Former US President Barack Obama is in Africa for the first time since he left office; he draws great inspiration from Africa’s literary traditions and shared with me his recommended summer reading list (technically he didn’t share with me but the Obama Foundation passed it along to me as an interested party in the  Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program.)

Obama summer reading list

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A chronicle of the events leading up to Kenya’s independence, and a compelling story of how the transformative events of history weigh on individual lives and relationships.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s life was one of the epic stories of the 20th century. This definitive memoir traces the arc of his life from a small village, to his years as a revolutionary, to his long imprisonment, and ultimately his ascension to unifying President, leader, and global icon. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history – and then go out and change it.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From one of the world’s great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

The Return by Hisham Matar
A beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya’s recent history with the author’s dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi’s prisons.

The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
It’s true, Ben does not have African blood running through his veins. But few others so closely see the world through my eyes like he can. Ben’s one of the few who’ve been with me since that first presidential campaign. His memoir is one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House.

**And I pleased to say I have read 4 out of the 6 books

President Obama will also address 200 emerging leaders who are in the Obama Foundation’s inaugural class of The Leaders: Africa program. A program to train and mentor the next generation of Africa’s leaders and exploring new ways to take on the biggest challenges in their communities.

You can find updates on this program on their website Obama.org or follow the hashtag #ObamaLeaders on social media

On Tuesday, July 17th, President Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg. He’ll talk about how we can create the conditions to bridge divides, make change across ideological lines, and work together to resist oppression and inequality. The following day, July 18th, marks Mandela Day—the 100th anniversary of the South African leader’s birth—and people around the world will be honoring him by making a commitment to help make the world a better place.

 

 

Photo Credit: Whats Obama reading this summer(Olivier Douliery-Pool )

Of Coffee, Friday the 13th and Scary things

If you were having coffee with me I would greet you with a fun fact. Did you know that if the first day of the month falls on a Sunday then the 13th day would be a Friday…. Friday the 13th *cues somewhat slightly ominous music*

friday the 13th

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what the scariest movie (and or book ) you have seen (and or read). I used to be a sensitive viewer/reader I guess because of the crazy creative runaway imagination. Growing up, when watching a movie, I would check the age restrictions and those viewer discretion warnings that came at the beginning of movies for anything that would offend my delicate sensibilities, and I grew very adept at identifying the soundtrack music that signified something bad was about to happen.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you about this one time when I watched a Friday the 13th horror show about Jack The Ripper and I couldnt sleep properly for days upon days. I imagined decapitated heads in bed with me and headless corpses somewhere trying to find their way to me like I was some headless ghost whisperer…… *goosebumps* Now I am all grown up I am not so afraid as I used to be and I guess I am catching up on all the macabre morbidities I shied away from as a child, reading all of Stephen King and Dean Koontz; watching Insidious, Conjuring, Drag me to hell and a host of other horror flicks and I laugh and laugh and laugh

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you if there is anything I ask myself at the end of every horror movie its that “How do they explain all this to the police?”

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you how I have been having a no good absolutely horrible week, first my laptop decided to grow legs in the middle of the night and find a new home without so much as a goodbye taking with it all my unpublished drafts and oh so many other things and then my external hard drive with the back ups decided this would be a marvelous time to corrupt all the data contained within it *cries in unsaved words from the book I have pretending to write for the whole year*

And what did the police say: “fill in this here form and we will get back to you” and that was that, and that’s that…….

Wish me luck so I can win the lottery or some windfall to buy myself a replacement laptop cause life without one kinda sucks I cant write half less than half the times I wish could *sigh*

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that it looks like a stray cat which I sometimes feed leftovers has adopted me as its new owner, and it even tried to cheer me up, it brought me a live free range chicken and laid it at my feet like a gift, I don’t know where it got it from I wont even ask besides it can’t answer but looks like I have a pet chicken until I get hungry that is……

Did you know cats only meow at people and not at other cats???? look it up 

Have an awesome week ahead cheers

~B

 

PS do not play footsie with a cat, it might seem like a good idea, but those claws are super sharp. Cats are predators, I wouldn’t be surprised if the horror movies got it wrong, vampires don’t turn into bats, they turn into cats!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Of Coffee, Condolences and Hugs

If you were having coffee with me we would be having a cuppa ginger and honey tea, I am trying to soothe away a cold and bring some warmth into my life, after several days of a funeral wake and the burial of a dearly departed uncle.

lemon tea

“Nematambudziko” that is the Shona translation for my condolonces; the standard response is “Akaoonekwa”  which literally translates to they we were witnessed. To be honest I have never really understood what it all means and when someone says that, I try to look appropriately grief-stricken enough as I mumble a response back and wriggle myself out of hugs and evading invasive personal questions, we grieve in our own ways and life, well it goes on………

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you that unless someone where bereaved is there a standard length of time that is acceptable for a hug? Some people hug you like they are channeling their inner kidnapper holding you down so that you can never ever leave ………forever….

If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you if you remember the Colcom pie I menationed in my last Coffee Chat  well guess what the company released its first official statement on their product:

Pork Payi?

“In August 2015 Colcom commissioned a new, largely automated plant to replace its previous aged and inefficient plant to increase production capacity required to meet the increase in demand….. While it was anticipated that the new plant would be able to produce similar pies, in practice this was found not to be the case.”

“Whilst maintaining the original Colcom pie has been the objective since the commissioning of the new pie plant…….”
“And we have committed significant resources to achieve this result including seeking the assistance of international technical experts, it has until now not been possible to replicate all aspects of that product.

Three years since they commissioned a new plant production has trebled while the quality has gone done, I guess its a matter of quantity over quality and watching the zeros in the bank add up………

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you the election madness is here, I just got an sms from an aspiring candidate which not only asks me to vote for them but addresses me by name as a fellow comrade and I am busy trying to wrap around how they got my name and number and if someone somewhere is violating some privacy codes of conduct or did I agree to this in those terms and conditions I never got round to actually reading

Have an awesome week ahead

~B

PS so by some fortuitous turn of events I got me some four free movie passes and now I am struggling with wether I should

A) take four friends to see one movie

B) take one friend to see two movies

C) take two different friends to two different movie each

D) go watch four movies all by myself

Decisions decisions what would would you do?

Of How To build A Business That Lasts: Vision, Mission & Objectives

More than 60% of all business ideas never live long enough to materialise and of those that do more than 80% do not outlast a single year. This is not to say the ideas are bad, well in some instances they are actually worse than bed, but some really good ideas just seem not to work out as they are intended. The current economic vision shift in most countries and in some instances the lack of economic vision, has led to the growth of the entrepreneurship sector.

Zimbabwe is no exception, one cannot surely ascertain the reason behind the sprouting of the informal sector in the form of small start-up, some allege that it’s an economic vision shifts whilst some suggest that its poor governance.

One thing we can all agree on is there is a steady increase in entrepreneurship, sadly most of these start-ups never get to experience the world outside the owner’s briefcase and if they do well they varnish from the face of the earth in less than a year. One then wonders, what could be the reason behind such massive failures, what can be done to increase chances of survival and who is ultimately responsible for business survival.

In my experience I have noticed that there are so many causes of these massive failures, however the most common one and yet rarely mentioned is the lack of vision by the owners of the idea/start-up or the company. Most start-ups do not have a vision, they just operate without determining where they are going, what is to be achieved or what they exist for. There is a common adage which says, it doesn’t matter which way you go if you have no vision because eventually you have no desired destination and it also happens that failure is the most common destination. If you put your business on autopilot and leave it to curve its own course well do not be surprised when you see it landing on the death zone aka business closure.

In my opinion every business, no-matter how small, needs a business strategy also known as strategic management. For improved chances of survival, one has to know which decisions to make, how to make decisions, have guidelines that dictates how everyone in that organisation ought to behave.

All businesses face money problems, reputation problems and yes intense competition, however, have you ever asked yourself how others survive. Some businesses are born from backgrounds of no finance at all, face unimaginable competition and yet have no good reputation to their name.

Despite all that, they standout and outshine or at least secure their future in the measure of the acquired advantage. But which advantage is this, how do they realise this advantage and how do they choose the route to take. I hear most freelancers in the web development circles crying foul about others charging as low as $50 per site. But with a well thought-out business plan with the elements of a strategy one can choose between low cost business strategy and differentiation strategy.

Knowing how you tend to position your business and how to eventually do it are two different things and they require a lot of commitment to master and ensure that the path you choose will ensure that you achieve that. This is a long road and it requires consistency and determination which starts with the following.

A business strategy is used to make sure that each and every decision made by any member of the start-up has value towards survival and growth of the business if every member of the start-up know what is to be achieved by the company then their decisions will be more inclined towards the interest of the organisation.

Unfortunately this is not the case in most start-ups, they leave the doors to their organisation unlocked and unattended and always act surprised when failure opens their doors and assert its dominance.

Lucky you dear reader, in this article I’m going to walk you through some of the things you need to make sure that exist in your company if you dream of having a company to run a year from now.

The first thing you need is a vision

Vision
Great writers such as Andree De Waal and Grant clearly stated that every excellent performing company has a vision. This is the reason why on almost every company’s website they put their vision. It is the ultimate destination that the organisation would want to achieve in a given time period. Without a vision written down, it doesn’t matter which decision you make because ultimately you have no target, which basically means you have no measure to judge your decisions or your employee’s decisions against. Everything you do in such a case will be right and unfortunately it will also be wrong. Take it from this perspective, how are you going to see if you are moving in the right direction if you do not set the direction you want to go. It is like a plane taking off an airport but has no intended destination, eventually it’s going to crash or disappear from the radar, whichever happens first.
After establishing a vision, then you need to take the next step.

Mission
A mission, just like the word suggest, is what you as an organisation intend to do. If you do not know what your company wants to do them it is going to fail because failure might as well be on its to do list. You can only determine your market size after determining the kind of problem you are fixing by what you exist to provide. Some companies take their mission to be..the best provider of office furniture in the country for SMEs. This forces a business to have focus and know how to best achieve their mission. There is a lot that can be said about the mission, however, in this 1st article I’m going to stick on the basics but I will definitely make effort to produce more detailed content that can help you and your business take the world head on.

Strategic Objectives
This is the next step, it joins the mission and the company strategy, objectives by their very nature are targets that each and every organisation, and individual, no matter how small should have. They help when trying to break the mission of the organisation down into manageable units. Unfortunately we often rush into starting all these business because the idea is so fascinating but never take time to set targets for progress sake. The most common outcome of such an approach is heartbreak and burnout. The idea behind the notion of objectives is to have portions of the mission focused on different sections of the organisation. Some objectives are financial, they solely focus on the financial affairs of the start-up and their contribution towards the mission of the start-up. As you might have correctly guessed, other objectives will be productive related, customer relations focused and so forth. The idea is to make sure that all corners that have an effect on the performance of the start-up are covered. If this is done professionally and well your company’s chances of survival will be improved drastically. The sooner we master these fundamental principles the better least our ideas become history and nightmares that haunts us day and night.

The issue of planning strategically the future of an entity is of great importance, it is surely a cure needed by most start-ups that we have today if the entertain hope of having a meaningful future. Depending on the reception of the first article I will make a more detailed article looking at the issue of managing start-up strategically and ensuring survival of start-ups.

Until next time happy money farming!!

Guest Post written by Douglas Mwanza.

Douglas Mwanza

A business consultant specialising in the areas of strategy formulation and implementation.
Phone: +263 779 947 976
Email: douglasmwanza7@gmail.com
LinkedIn: Douglas mwanza7
Facebook: Douglas Dee Mwanza
Instagram: douglas_mwanza7

Of Coffee, Pies and Bombs

Coffee, Pork Pies and Bombs

If you were having coffee with me, I’d say allow me to treat you to what used to be the darling of pies, The Colcom Pork Pie.

Tea colcom pie

You can have a cup of herbal lemon tea, while the pie warms up in the microwave. Can you smell that? I hope you aren’t a vegetarian or don’t eat pork for some reason, if so then graciously accept my apologies and you can have toast instead

french toast

Imagine after all that anticipation, you open the package and are greeted with a crumbling pastry product a pale shadow of its former glory with a meat center that’s now barely existent, that makes you wonder what the quality department takes its consumers for, seriously.

Pork Payi?

No wonder people have taken to calling it Pork Payi? Meaning where is the Pork.

#ThisPie

If you were having coffee with me I’d tell you that my vote just might be for sale to the person who can guarantee an economy in which a company can afford to put proper meat filling in its pastries to make a pastry pie I can still afford to buy……

According to a poll conducted by the Orange Door Research via an sms-based survey sent to 1200 people:
48% of all respondents said the economic situation was the most critical issue facing the country,
23% said free & fair elections
17% Corruption, & 12% improving basic services

According to Zimstats 98% of youth are employed in the informal sector. So our graduates have a 2% chance of getting a formal job…..

If you were having coffee with me I’d tell you that our elections are 35 days away and it looks like candidates are pulling out all the stops

From a Minister officially opening a bin;

Minister opens bin

well to be fair he was opening a new sports center nearby but I guess the commissioning fever got to his head, we’ll try not to even think about why the bin already has trash inside……. but the internet go crazy checkout the #chinamasachallenge

And then on to something a little more sobering the bomb attack on the president as he was leaving a rally in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe now that one has me in shock, I never thought we would stoop to senseless violence, I thought we had our problems but at least we never lost our heads and went the route of trying to bomb the President. Fortunately he survived the blast and the were no fatalities although almost 40 people were treated for various injuries.

Various conspiracy theories are flying around from the one about the bomb being a stage managed incident to get sympathy vote and as an excuse to increase military clamp down and then there’s the one about it being a falling out between the president and the army, or that the former president might have had something do with it and a whole lot of other theories ranging from absurd to down right alarming.

There was also a bombing attempt on the Ethiopia’s Prime Minister at rally in the capital leaving scores injured and several critical and a single casualty…..

Violence usually begets violence and here’s to praying that this isn’t the start of a journey down a dark bloody path.

Have an awesome week Stay Classy!

~B

 

 

 

 

Of Clamped

You park your car; pay for your parking space for the next hour and then; this happens, what do you do?

harare parking

Coming back to my vehicular transportation and and and finding its been clamped.

A clamped tyre

A distinctively yellow hideous excuse of a handcuff hugging one of the wheels tightly, like a crazy lover who won’t let you go; forever…..

“What’s this?” I ask the Parking Marshall, kicking at the offending yellowness with the toe-end of my shoe.

It’s been clamped Sir” replies the Marshall; fiddling around with their mobile parking receipt machine.

Parking Marshall

Slowly I count to ten and exhale.

I can see that it’s been clamped” I speak with a calmness that belies the fury by which I punctuate each word with a kick to the clamped tyre.
Why has it been clamped? I paid my dollar for the hour and I still have time on clock too

You have an outstanding unpaid parking bill of $2” replies the Parking Marshall.

May I know when I incurred this parking bill and why you did not inform me of this earlier when I paid for parking? Why did you wait until I had gone to clamp my car, like a thief in the night except its daylight robbery.” I speak gesturing at the midday sun.

Unfortunately Sir, my system doesn’t show unpaid___”

I interrupt before the marshall can finish that ridiculous sentence;
Then pray tell, how did you divine that I had a parking bill

My supervisor from Control called to notify me of the outstanding amount and advised I clamp your vehicle. The system there has access to that information. I can call Control and you can speak to them if you wish” the parking attendant tries to explain.

No!” I quickly respond tersely. After a few second of silence I proceed to raise my points of concerns.

…….And how would I know that the person I am speaking to is from your parking company and not someone you are in cahoots with to swindle me of an easy buck. I am not refusing to pay, I simply want to know first of all when these supposed parking violations occurred and secondly I want to see it on something official. I will simply not just take you or your supervisor’s word alone.

The Parking Marshall then makes a phone call and speaks briefly, I do not catch the conversation but she attempts to hand me phone mouthing the word “my Supervisor“. I refuse I flat out, shaking my head of locks, like a ghost from Macbeth.

I don’t want to talk to that person if that’s your Supervisor, tell them what I told you.

The Marshall converses on the phone and must have come to some sort of understanding with the person on the other end.

My supervisor says he can send you an email statement,” the Marshall relays.

I hand over my business card with an email address at the back and the Parking Marshall passes on the information.

If it’s OK with you I will wait in the car” I say as I unlock the car and sit inside.

It’s a good thing I can check emails from my phone; so I wait and wait, I wait forever boredom begins to set in. I start the car, for fun. The Marshall looks at me in alarm, as if I might be crazy enough to drive off.

Fortunately before I can test the theory of how crazy I can get, the phone beeps an alert, new email notification. Opening the email I scroll through the itemised bill I scroll and scroll till I find the two entries.

parking

October 2017 according to their records the vehicle parked and did not pay; how can anyone verify something from 8 months ago; who was even driving? What if they just randomly pick dates from long ago and claim unpaid parking fees; I mean the car has a steady history of paid parking;  why did they not pick up on the amount due earlier if they have a computerised system but of course arguing with the Parking Marshall is pointless because The System does not negotiate, especially once your car is clamped, The System wants money.

I pay the $2 and the car gets unshackled…. It’s a good thing I have no other appointments or I would have been two hours late………

Where are the City Fathers and what kinda of Mickey Mouse operation is the prepaid parking company running?????

~B