You know you are in Zimbabwe when…

13 03 2007

You arrive at the local shopping centre to the cumulative roar of generators. They are rumbling, roaring, sputtering, purring, smoking, vibrating but together they roar. They are all colours (red to zebra striped, honest!), makes and sizes. Nearly every shop has one to cope with the daily power cuts.

 You go to the checkout at the local supermarket and the manger accompanies a trolley of hard to come by sugar, badly covered by loose cardboard to avoid undue attention. You try to intimidate him into selling you some by threatening to shout out “Sugar over here”, but he is not impressed. He seems to think that inflation is running at 4% per day; he is underestimating it.

You hear on the BBC shortwave that the leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai has been arrested on the weekend and despite a high court order his lawyer has not been allowed access to him. At the same time the Ministry of Tourism is puzzled as to why Zimbabwe has an image problem and tourism is down!

An promotion appears in the government daily newspaper touting the ambitions of a small rural town, Mutoko, to become a fully fledged town by 2010. It features photos of an orang-utan, an alpine village and other more appropriate scenes.




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