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?

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Of the unFairness of some things

Ever stepped on a piece of dirt and you walk with a limp like the princess who couldn’t sleep on fifty mattresses because there was a pea underneath, well like that but instead it’s something beneath your shoes and maybe you try dragging your shoe as you walk to remove it. (Do you remember an old sprite advert where some trendsetter steps on gum and tries to scrape it off as he walks and people thought it was a new style of walking and copied him.)
Anyway there you are trying to remove the offending dirt and you may even consider shaking your fist and swearing at the heavens why they go let this happen to you.

fist-at-heaven

Then you see someone walking with no shoes and suddenly you realise somethings just aren’t fair.

Fairness

Life isn’t fair when you are wondering where your next meal will come from and your elected leaders are showing off shiny new campaign vehicles telling you how they have your vote.

ZanuPf Campaign vehicles

Life isn’t fair as you walk the streets on trash collection days and see what the gated community folk throw away and you wonder what they do for a living in a country with 90% unemployment. You see someone go through the trash and collecting what they can and you wish you were half as crazy and twice as brave……

litter

Life isn’t fair when you pass a mother quietly asking that you buy something, on the pavement of a busy sidewalk. Small children beside her. You wish you had something to give except kind thoughts.

selling ware

Life isn’t fair when you feel like you are the lost generation born free and sacrificed by the revolution which overstayed its moment in the sun, shrivelled and yet still unyielding not letting anyone else have their moment in the sun

Life isn’t fair when the only qualifications you need to get ahead in life is to inherit the war credentials of your parents, doors open as if by magic when you use your father’s war liberation pseudonym as a password.

Zanla

Life isn’t fair when you have a nation full of graduates who can’t get jobs forever waiting to put their degrees to use.

Graduates playing soccer

Life isn’t fair when everyone’s a dealer of sorts, running a side hustle to survive, and the only lesson little minds are learning, is to be dealers and only look out for number one.

Life

Life isn’t fair when political parties already in power alongside their state captured media hold us at ransom spending money to campaign for votes promising to deliver all sorts of good things, instead of just doing them and letting their track record speak for them.

Life isn’t fair when I just don’t get how campaigning for elections works because only those who haven’t been elected should campaign; since they haven’t had the opportunity and resources to show case what they can do; whilst those already in power well they are in power…….

Life isn’t fair when someone won’t be bothered to register to vote because well history has led us to believe one’s vote is no more important than making an X on a piece of paper and flushing it down the toilet.

Life isn’t fair when it feels like my civic right to vote is simply to pick one who tells the best sounding lies so that they can loot the country next.

Life isn’t fair when so many lies go unchallenged, that truth not only loses it’s edge but honesty becomes a commodity, bought, sold and sometimes stolen.

Life is unfair when I don’t remember how to dream when I can’t imagine life with bullet trains and spaghetti roads, how can I when I don’t remember what it feels to go into a bank and not only will my money be there but having birthed interest too

Life isn’t fair when I can hardly get myself to have hope and imagine a new world…… To dream of tomorrow.

Life isn’t fair, who said it had to be; it could be worse but I am here, now happening.

Life isn’t fair but I play my part let it not be said of me that I simply watched as others decided for me……….

~B

Photo Credit The standard

Of Free Fair and Credible Elections

voting
Free Fair and Credible Elections
This is a phrase that has been, and will be repeated especially now that the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa has finally announced the date of the 2018 harmonised elections. On the 30th of July 2018 Zimbabwe will decide, and for the first time since our independence 18 April 1980, Robert Mugabe will not be at the helm of the ruling party but of course the same party ZANU PF will be contesting/defending its claim under the interim incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

What does it mean: Free, fair and Credible elections?
First of all, most people seem not to be aware that the elections are not an event but a process of varied elements throughout the electoral cycle and in the case of Zimbabwe this cycle is 5 years.

electoral cycle

Electoral Cycle

Free
Free is defined as unrestricted, without coercion; having freedom to vote for preferred candidate without fear
absence voter intimidation/ political violence

Fair
Fair is defined as balanced or without favour or prejudice; having equal right to register; contest or vote for preferred candidate
when everyone is given a chance to vote/ register, without discrimination; provisions for those who might experience difficulties in voting, equal coverage of contesting candidates on state media

Credible
Credible is a word which means something that can be trusted and believed; credible elections are defined as being transparent and accountable
sufficient Civic education on voter registration and voting, monitoring, inspection of voters roll, Election Observers
Its unfortunate the role Observers is misunderstood and a lot of expectations is heaped up on them when their role is mainly to observe comprehensively through established methodologies, to document; the good, highlight shortcomings and offer recommendations they are not legislative bodies.

This is not the full scope of what consists free fair and credible elections its simply a tentative attempt to familiarise myself with this phrase used and abused.  One won’t need to have a degree or anything sophisticated to see that at a glance one could easily pick out red flags that could affect the degree to which the elections are free, fair and credible……

There has been issues with civic education, especially after implementing a new biometric voter registration, citizens where unfamiliar with; reports have cropped up of challenges with checking voters role, the coverage on state media is skewed in favour of the ruling party leaving the majority of contenders to rely on social media and external broadcasting houses, there’s been violence, both intra-party and inter-party….. should we even talk about how an election date is finally announced today with 2 months to go just barely within the minimum range set by constitution,

Clearly these elections wont quite be free fair or credible but they might be far much better than the previous ones where posting an article like this on my blog would have been to invite scrutiny…..

All I hope for is whatever happens at the very least let it all resolve peacefully………..

zim decides
~B

PhotoCredit: Electoral Cycle Chat: ResearchGate

Of Inauguration Day: A new dawn for Zimbabwe?

Friday 25 November inauguration day for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Inauguration Emmerson Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa gets sworn in as the third president of Zimbabwe… Yes 3rd president but history seems to have selective amnesia in 1980 we had Canaan Sodindo Banana as president and Robert Mugabe was Prime Minister (its said the presidential position was mainly ceremonial but still so yeah maybe he has in power for 37 years) in 1987 Robert Mugabe became president and the prime minister position somehow got absorbed into the presidential realm while we still celebrating our independence no one noticed but this is how he wound up with the unlimited authority that has led us down the path we are now on….

What short memory history has and that is why it is bound to repeat itself ….. if I have learnt anything from history, its that no one ever learns anything from the lessons history has to teach… doomed to watching it repeat itself.

History repeats itself

History Repeats Itself

Enter: our new president for a hopefully new Zimbabwe. His signature is quite the intricate affair…

Emmerson Mnangagwa signature crocodile

Is he drawing a crocodile as he is “affectionately” known. I am yet to mean a benign crocodile, what sharp teeth they have, this man who in some circles is known as The Butcher of Esgodini…….

Can a crocodile change its scales? I pray it can.

Only a few short weeks Emmerson Mnangagwa was Vice-President of Zimbabwe he has probably been responsible for some the policies that have seen us get to where we today, until he got fired from the ruling party and the government for disloyalty and other things and then the president resigned in a coup that was not a coup, and just like that Emmerson gets sworn in as president. People are busy celebrating the fall of one tyrant might have simply replaced the face of tyranny, old wine in new bottles and does anyone really care how exactly he got reinstated, well he is president now the bed has been made, we lay in it…. Cant help feel certain liberties have been taken with constitution…. But what do I know I am not a lawyer.

Still we have a chance at something of a fresh start, a tiny step, but still a step. I did not attend the inauguration not because I did not want but because I could not find the transport money, we still have a cash crisis going on here, I horde my precious coins as would a miser spending grudgingly always wondering what will I do tomorrow….

I didn’t watch the inauguration on TV because we had no electricity for the whole day, I don’t know if it is just my neighbourhood but we seem to experiencing a whole lot of power cuts again should I be worried?….

I would have posted this article on Friday but first all we had no electricity and then I ran out of internet data, the price of the internet is prohibitive and I just got a message from my provider that as from 1 December prices are going up….

Has anything changed and is it for the better? Well today the army did issue out a statement that normalcy has returned to the streets of Harare that the police are now resuming their regular duties although there will be soldiers will accompany them in a move that seems downright like babysitting them….. Interesting times

Zimbabwe Joint Statement by ZDF & Security

ZDF and Security service statementmbabwe ZDF and security service statement

Elections are still going on as scheduled eight months from now and I still haven’t found a candidate to vote for….. I had lost hope in the electoral process, but for now the hope has been rekindled…..

How do I feel, lets put it on the record as cautious optimism…..oh wait the new cabinet has not yet been announced maybe when they do we will have better insight into what we have in store……

~B

PS Emmerson Mnangagwa is president now much as its been cute watching international journalist stumble over his name

its getting old let me break it down phonetically for you:

Moo as in MOOn

Nuh as in NUt

Nger as in the NGER in huNGER

Gua as in GUAva

Mnangagwa Moo Nuh Nger Gua

You are welcome and tell a friend

 

PhotoCredit:  ZDF and Security Services joint Press Statement Haru Mutasa

Of Tomorrow: A Place A day Away

Tomorrow comes, when tomorrow comes……

tomorrow loading button

I dream of tomorrow a place better than today and then I wake up tomorrow is today, tomorrow never comes……

The future is filled with tomorrows that become today, a day at a time.

Life is a poetry of possibilities,

Fused with expectations and uncertainties.

Tomorrow comes. And how often can a man say that? “Every night, because tomorrow always comes everyday, after every night”

I live in a world where planning ahead is hard. Our economy is burning, hard cash in hand is worth more than money in the bank, and everybody is running a hustle. In 2008 a bank apocalypse happened; savings and pensions eroded in value to nothing; overnight, and everyday feels like a day away from the same thing happening all over again…..

Tomorrow comes when tomorrow comes.

Tomorrow never waits.

By the time my parents were my age,

they had:

three children,

 two cars,

 one house

and a dog named Bingo…..

I loved that dog, a German Shepard big and mean looking but gentle as kitten, unless it felt we were threatened, strangers, suspicious characters, the odd postman. Today I cant afford to keep a pet, I cannot even afford to feed myself three square meals plus snacks, the kind of diets we had growing up.

My parents had this life thing on track, they had life policies, invested in shares and those pension plans which pay out a windfall 25+ odd years later. The economy crashed and all that turned to a little less than pocket change.

Today I found a dividend cheque in the mail, it should have been paying my mum a neat little windfall back in the original economy…. but today it pays out USD$1.40

Dividend.jpg

Cheque.jpg

And I ask myself where do I even begin to plan for my retirement, one day I would like to do something really nice for my mum, like by her car to replace the one I know she sold to send us all to school but never told us about… maybe tomorrow I will.

Next year we have elections… the ruling party candidate is the current president, he has been president all my life, he turns 93 in February. Zimbabwe will decide and it seems everything awaits that; what comes after…? Politics in Africa is a messy affair.

And still I dream of tomorrow, a place not like today, or yesterday… a place where things are better…

~B

Day 5 of my blog everyday challenge