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

 

 

 

 

 

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Of Juice In A Wine Glass

Hello Sunday

If you were hanging out with me we would be having juice in wine glasses, because we are sophisticated, yeah step out of the ordinary

Juice in a wine glass

How has your week been? Good I trust.

Whats been happening in my neck of the woods, lets see the interim president finally announced his new cabinet… it pretty much looks like this:

metal cabinet

The newly appointed minister of finance introduced his budget for 2018 I don’t know much about economic policies or how governments run but seems decent enough budget considering working with what they have the bulk of the money is the wage bill for civil servants, living a runaway budget deficit in the region of close to 2 billion. I guess they are banking on a bail out by someone or that the economy really turns around…..

The irony though, government plans to retire civil servants over the age of 65, yet the average ages of the cabinet ministers is 65-70 years, the minister of youth is 68 and the president is 75 years old….

Sometimes you are the change you wish to see.

Moving along I know its Christmas when an evening walk in Harare’s first street is a burst of Christmas lights and Africa Unity Square is riot of colour wishing you a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year

Christmas Lights Africa Unity square

On Friday in a colourful event dubbed Light Up Harare The Mayor Officially switched on the Sunshine City’s Christmas lights (well they had been on for almost weeks now but now its official)

Light Up Harare Christmas

Let the Christmas festivities commence Season’s Greetings

I hear its snowing across the globe on the other side of the world, stay safe, I am curious about snow, having never seen it before; does it feel like ice in the refrigerator, is it cold (don’t answer that) when it lands on your eyelashes does it tickle? Can you eat it what does it taste like, I do know you should not eat the yellow snow ha!

Gotta love the internet it brings the world to the tip of my fingers…

Speaking of the internet, Tuesday 5 December was the day the internet stopped working well they fixed it eventually but from  11.30 to 1700 major internet service providers  well could not provide the internet……

A tractor ploughing a field in South Africa accidentally cut the main fibre cable which supplies the bulk of Zimbabwe’s telecommunications through Liquid Telecoms including the backup redundancy line and in an unrelated coincidence at about the same time a Harare municipal worker in Kuwadzana also cut the fibre cable which links ADSL provider Telone to Botswana and the world …………

*insert deep in thought emoji*

That’s a whole lot of cable cutting right there, I mean aren’t they buried safely beneath the ground I have seen them dig up our drive way to bury them (read here) Don’t they markers or something to warn people *insert appropriate emoji*

Also they really seriously need to work on their backup lines.

Unless of course as some people suggest, the whole thing was a government exercise to test if they can shutdown the internet, I wouldnt put it past them they have done it before, (or so we suspect) in a move to derail a social media campaign that was mobilising people to carry flags and ShutDown Zimbabwe, they even put up some legislation criminalising the carrying and selling of flags without prior authority. Maybe they shut down the internet to install some cyber monitoring  protocols? Conspiracy conspiracy, too bad even if they did and we asked them they would probably deny it (I would too if I was the government)

An investigation is underway to find out the what really happened the day the internet died stay tuned…….

On the upside since I had no internet on the day and couldn’t figure out what to do with myself I ended up finishing reading a book I started and have been neglecting and I also rewatched the movies Moana and Trolls  yes I love animated flicks I am forever young expect reviews coming soonest….

Dear maintenance crews be more careful with our cables hey

Sincerely

~B

Of Zimbabwe: A Private School Coup

When is a coup not coup? Its when the polite army officials assure you on a TV Press conference on the State Broadcaster

To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe defence forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.

15 November 2017 history is being made

Imagine waking up to a 4am press conference by an army spokesman which basically implies they have taken over the State Broadcaster and programming for the rest of the day is reruns of old liberation songs and the press conference on loop. You can read the full speech by military spokesman  Major General SB Moyo here

We live in times of sensational journalism and fake news, rushing to break news without so much as verifying, wanting to be first with the juicy scoop. I have watched some news channels and am not surprised at the number of calls, messages and smses I have received asking me if I am safe..

APC Harare

Depending whom you ask there is a coup is underway or not, soldiers barricading access to some places, airports, boarders, parliament, the president under house arrest, the first lady may or may not have fled the country, several government officials have been detained, the president set to resign and appoint former Vice President as interim president, press conferences are coming…..

Everyone seems to know someone who knows who has it on good authority what exactly is going but everything else is pretty much hush and meanwhile the state broadcaster simply playing revolutionary songs from the war of liberation.

If a coup is going on, then it has been fairly bloodless, thats why on the streets people are calling it a coup that went to private school because so far it has not affected any of the civilians the day has been quiet but pretty much business as usual….

At the back of my head I still worry though, is this a good thing or  bad thing, how desperate are we for change that we would welcome military intervention, if my history lessons are correct, no good ever comes from an army rule but then again this is not a coup so they say, normalcy will return so they say………

How did we get here?

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

-Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

These are unprecedented times we are living in and we can only hope that peace, safety and good old common sense prevail

It has been safe for now, praying that it continues so

~B

 Photo credit: Shepard Tozvireva

Of 5 Things About Zimbabwe

Five things i wish you knew about Zimbabwe:

Things I wish you knew about Zimbabwe

  1. It is not a jungle.

Believe it or not I have been asked several times, if I see wild animals when I look outside the window.

If you want to see to see wildlife, you go to the a national park, you wont be disappointed. Once upon a time someone even asked me how I was on the internet….. Zimbabwe is a developing country, yes it has some areas more developed than others but we are not in the dark ages. I cringe when I watch a movie and they reference it as a some place it really not; we don’t live in trees and yes we have internet.

Trees in Africa unity Square Harare

Africa Unity Square trees

  1. Our hearts are warm as the tea brewed from our heart-shaped country
A teapot shaped country south of africa

A teapot shaped country

The economy might be free falling, cash is in short supply and you will wait for a long time at the bank to get the daily minimum, but amidst all the trials our hearts are in the right place on the left side like they should be. We are a nation of kind, tolerant and peace-loving people, with a humorous nature we laugh at the lemons life throws. The capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare is known as the Sunshine City.

harare sunshine city

Sunshine City

 

the Jacaranda trees in bloom Harare

The Jacaranda Trees in bloom

 

  1. We are not our president nor our first lady.

Don’t judge us by the actions of our president, and we are not our president’s keeper too. Please don’t ask me when we are going to vote him out or why we still keep him in power. If you have questions for him,  you can ask him yourself.

  1. We are a nation of educated people

Don’t be fooled by the jobs we are willing to do to put bread on the table, you would be quite shocked to find that the person who hands you a flyer advertising something at the traffic lights is a university  graduate.

amber

At some point our country we might have the highest literacy rate in Africa, last time i checked according to UNESCO we were just shy of making it in to the top ten list.

Also don’t ask me how for a nation of such educated beings we managed to let our country get into a such state……

  1. The Victoria Falls is in Zimbabwe.

Victoria falls mosi oa tunya

Well my Zambian friends might have some say in that….. but hey the Victoria Falls boarders Zimbabwe and Zambia so its both there and here.

The Victoria falls is a breath-taking site, locals call it Mosi oa Tunya , meaning The Smoke that Thunders…..  its the largest body of falling water by volume and something one just has to see fro themselves even attempt to bungee jump or dare the Devil’s Pool.

~B

 

Visit Zimbabwe some time I promise you wont regret it maybe we might even hang out and have a real cup of coffee together……

 

 

photo Credit Victoria Falls

City of Harare photos view from Africa Unity Square courtesy of Tendai