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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Car jacking

I have just received this in my mail - worth looking at - I do not know if it is true or not - could be........
"Just last weekend on Friday night we parked in a public parking area. As we drove away I noticed a sticker on the rear window of the car. When I took it off after I got home, it was a receipt for gas. Luckily my friend told me not to stop as it could be someone waiting for me to get out of the car. Then we received this email yesterday:

You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine and shift into Reverse.When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view.

When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car.So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!
If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just drive away. Remove the paper later.
Received from Madelyn Johnson


This is the latest report from the anti-hijack trust on the security situation in the Harare area. We have noticed an upsurge in the numbers of people wandering around our streets - this is a contributing factor - people out of work spell temptation to turn to crime.

The first month of 2009 sadly has been a bad month for house robberies and distressing to report that the elderly seem to have been the prime targets in quite a few. This seems very cowardly, as the takings have been meagre but the brutal attack has caused high medical bills and severe trauma to those concerned. The ordeals have been lengthy drawn out attacks, with money(forex), jewellery, mobile phones and groceries being the most sought after. All the gangs have been armed be it with firearms or knobkerries or metal pipes and consist of 4 or 8 perpetrators, All victims have been tied up and or locked in a small room (bathroom/toilet) with no access out. With the lack of water in most areas, most households have a bath filled with water for essential every day usage, and this was used to sit the victim in for some hours, this was not a pleasant ordeal and has caused some rather nasty side effects. It seems that all odds are not in our favour, so lets make sure that the security you have in place is in good working order and tested on a regular monthly basis. Make sure that the all staff is well informed on the security plan and those gates, windows doors etc are firmly locked when not in use. This all sounds so tedious but it can be the ‘saving grace’ in the long run. Be cautious when employing new staff, traceable references are strongly advised, and keep all valuables under lock and key.
Areas that have been reported are Mount Pleasant, Borrowdale, Chisipte, Greendale. Borrowdale has a gang working in and around the area, vehicles have been tampered with and items removed from them. Please take note of these warnings - it is better to be safe and secure than a victim.
Hijackings have not been reported, but that could be due to the over loaded telephone networks, or malfunction of lines ! Keep vigilant whilst driving, and do not let your guard down. Keep all vehicles locked at all times and do not leave the engine running and un attended this is asking for disaster. If there are people loitering near your destination, do not stop until you are satisfied that all is clear.
Please take note if your dogs are barking or acting strangely, this usually is a warning in most cases, but do NOT open the door or go out, get assistance. Use your panic button
Let’s fight this crime together - stay ALERT and SAFE !

TEL/FAX: HARARE 04-309870/309800 /091 2 221 921
Email: or


THE BALLY VAUGHAN SANCTUARY is in desperate need of a roll of either diamond
mesh or chicken wire, or 50 m of shade cloth to repair the roof of our
monkey enclosure. We are also looking for second-hand wheelbarrows to serve
the predators' dinner from! Please contact Sarah on

The Bally Vaughan Sanctuary, a safe haven for wildlife, birds and farm
animals in need is desperately seeking any quantity and quality of maize,
soya, sorghum, wheat or maize bran, maputi etc for stockfeed. We have
rescued a number of farm animals and wild animals who have been victims of
land seizures and mix our own stockfeed for them.
Please contact Sarah on 011 601 131, 091 592 944 or 091 2 592 942 or or

ZNSPCA would like all farmers to not hesitate to call on our Inspectors if
they require assistance in moving domestic/livestock/commercial game animals
off farms due to evictions. In the event of farmers being denied access to
their animals, the ZNSPCA Inspectors can ensure that the animals are
receiving food, water, and that there is no cruelty taking place. Our team
of Inspectors are on call 24 hours and will react to any complaint
Numbers to phone are :
ZNSPCA HQ : 04 497574/497885
ZNSPCA Cell : 011 630 403
Glynis Vaughan : 0912 367 260
Simon Chikadaya : 0912 696 308
Mathius Tengaruwa : 0912 696 311
Oliver Tegere : 0912 696 310
Livison Chareka : 0912 696 309
156 Enterprise Road

Monday, January 26, 2009

New health fees; Residents` access to health barred!
…as Cholera and poverty wreak more havoc across the country.

23 January 2009
From: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
If Harare residents and Zimbabweans at large had a wand of magic or a choice at least; they would end all sicknesses but the fact that they occur naturally and involuntarily leaves them at the mercy of the twisted ‘politics of survival’ maneuverings of a desperate and failed defacto authority, the Mugabe ‘Government.’ The Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) finds it stomach-turning that Public Health has been effectively privatized (through the introduction of the new hard currency fees) amid the socio-economic malaise that has drastically increased poverty among the residents. The average Zimbabwean has been denied access to health as the ZANU PF ‘government’ takes desperate measures to keep its ‘Titanic of chronic failure’ afloat.

The Government hospitals which together with Council clinics were given the nod to charge in hard currency (but still accept the valueless Zimbabwean dollar with the charges determined on a daily basis), charge patients a hard-to-come-by US$40=R 400 (equals to ZW$ quintillions at parallel market rate) for consultation only and massive US$70=R700 a night for in-patients. A Caesarean operation requires a flat fee of a whopping US$150=R1 500 while scans cost around US$80=R800.The Harare City council has pegged consultation fee for adults at US$5 a visit and US$3 for children Antenatal care booking charges for expecting women are pegged at US$50 and family planning method seekers pay an average of US$2 per service.

Most low income earners who make the majority of the Zimbabwean population still earn far below US$ 1 per month, lower than the least charge for any service rendered at the Government hospitals and council clinics. The health charges set are therefore exasperatingly out of reach of the generality of residents and have turned public facilities into private ones and condemn residents to more suffering. The health charges are tantamount to fundraising to prop up the failed ‘government’ and broaden the looting base for the Mabhizas, Ribatikas (ZANU PF Senator and Councilor who were recently arrested for allegedly defrauding the state of more than US$ 10 000), the charges are prohibitive, and should be reversed.

Meanwhile the hard currency craze has seen massive profiteering and nuances of lack of accountability in public and private sectors. CHRA would like to urge the ministry of Health, the defacto Government and all other public and private service providers to stop ripping off citizens and uphold principles of justice and due fairness in discharging their mandate and in their businesses respectively. CHRA will continue to advocate for transparency, professionalism, and quality municipal and other service(s) delivery.

Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
145 Robert Mugabe Way
Exploration House, Third Floor
Landline: 00263- 4- 705114
Contacts: Mobile: + 263 011862012, 011 923 204 0912 653 074, 0913 042 981, or email, and

"Jambanja'd again" - Stu Taylor

Views from people who have experienced what is happening here are of value to look at what we are going through at this time. This was posted by Stu Taylor:
A friend of mine was "jambanja'd" last night (21Jan, 2009), for the
second time - the first time he was producing a high-quality export crop
- this last time producing FOOD for people TO EAT; if this is the
sincerity in which Mugabe and his cronies have entered into
"Powersharing" talks, then who needs the talks? I am still trying to get
my head around how Mugabe is still referred to as the "president" - he
LOST an election dammit, then bulldozed himself into another which he
stole - thus going against the will of the people; what do the people do?
Wait and see - because we're too idle and afraid to meet the bullies
face-to-face - what happened to the bully at school when whipped by the
underdog? He ran away with his tail between his legs - that's what must
happen if we are to salvage our Zimbabwe that has been ravaged by Mugabe
and Zanu. Other nations do it, what is OUR story? As one, we can do it.
Unity is strength. Go well, Stu Taylor.



FIDGE MEAD, beloved wife of NICK for 65 years, passed away suddenly in
Howick, KwazuluNatal, on Thursday 22 January.

Nick and Fidge lived on Mondynes Farm, Mvurwi, from 1965 until 2002.
Fidge will be dearly missed and gladly remembered by her family and

Please contact Nick at

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The price of happiness

This article shows the contrast that exists in Zimbabwe society today - the old ways will always prevail!
How the economy is wrecking the marriage market The great institutions of Zimbabwe continue to crumble into dust. The latest is education, as the government fails to open the schools for a new term.But despite this and everything else, I am continually surprised by the way normal life struggles on. A particular struggle is one in which my friend Gumbo finds himself embroiled this week.Gumbo is a man in love. His fiancee is Judith, 25. Judith is quite a catch -good looking and kind, with a degree in economics, a science much neglected in our impoverished state. She'd make any young man an excellent wife.With that in view, last Friday Gumbo travelled to Plumtree, in Matabeleland south province, to visit Judith's parents. The object of the visit was to settle the matter of Lobolo - the bride price.Lobolo, for western readers, is a traditional Zimbabwean custom. The Bride Price is exactly what it says. The intention behind it is to cement relations between the two families. In normal times it is not exorbitant.But these are not normal times. Gumbo arrived at Judith's home. Ten minutes later he was leaving, in a state of humiliation, bewilderment and despair.Through saving and scrimping he had accumulated a sum of 2000 South African rand. About US$200. He thought it would be sufficient. He thought wrong.Judith's parents demanded the equivalent of US$3,200.Thoughtfully they had itemised the total for poor Gumbo. It went something like this:
Fee for entry to in-laws' house US$100
Introduction fee US$150
Fee for status as son-in-law US$550
Six head of cattle US$1,200
Education compensation fee US$200
Added to these amounts was a fee for "damage". Yes, as many readers will know, this term refers to the undeniable fact that Judith is four months pregnant.
The fee - US$900.
And the additional US$100 still not accounted for? Judith's parents request a designer suit for the father and a designer dress for the mother. Oh yes - and three blankets. Normally lobolo payment is staggered over the years. Judith's parents want the lot now. And they want money for Judith's upkeep, for her maternity bills, for...Gumbo is a defeated man. He has no hope of finding the money. Is he a victim of the economic breakdown in Zimbabwe? Perhaps, yes. But then again, ask yourself this: would you sell your daughter for a designer suit, a designer dress, and three blankets?Posted on Sunday, 25 January 2009 at 12:01

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I have received this appeal!

This is the situation we find ourselves in at the moment. The old are suffering very badly - I publish this appeal for one of the old Age Homes from:

Jenni Ferguson
Organisers - Jenni Ferguson, Dianne Meiring, Sheryl Wardley On behalf of the Senior Citizens of Westreign Senior Citizen's Home
Address No 1 Rothesay Road, Cnr Perth Road, Avondale West
Cellular 011 215 897
Residence 335608

"May I seek your assistance to provide the residents at Westreign Senior Citizen's Home with 'care packages'? A similar undertaking in 2007 proved to be highly beneficial to the old folk, where they all received individually labelled boxes of goods.
There are 24 residents in the Home, the eldest 97, the majority being aged over 70. The majority of the residents have no income, and it is apparent that they have no family either in or out of Zimbabwe that assist them. Seven of the residents reside in double accommodations which have basic cooking and refrigeration facilities, the remainder residing in single accommodation with meals provided by the Home. In the extremely trying times that we are all facing at the moment, catering for these residents is a continual nightmare and the 'fare' appears to be basic. Those individuals in self-catering double accommodation are facing a situation where it is impossible to purchase anything meaningful without access to foreign currency, which they do not have.
Would you be in a position to donate :
a sum of cash (to be converted to groceries);
or kind, either in the form of a product that you manufacture if you own a company, or fuel coupons, that can be raffled to create income to purchase goods for the packages;
or donations of product to put into the packages?
Product to be put into the packages, by necessity, is required to be non-perishable. I am looking at including the following as a guideline :
personal toiletries - soap / shampoo / hair conditioner / spray or roll-on deodorant / baby powder / body lotion / shaving lotion / toothpaste / cotton wool / cotton ear buds / boxed tissues / bath soap
food stuffs - tinned : meat, fish, fruit, vegetables / tea bags or leaves / coffee / milk powder / sugar / rice / pasta / fruit juice or cordials / two minute noodles / cup-of-soups
non-food items - toilet rolls / dishwashing liquid / kitchen soap / washing powder / fabric softener / hard surface cleaner
non-essential 'essentials' - biscuits / dried fruit / nuts / sweets that do not require refrigeration
My and my co-organizer's connection to Westreign is one of being interested parties, the Home in Wessex Drive in Mabelreign being situated in our areas of residence. Being less high profile than some of the other senior citizen's homes, they do not appear to have meaningful support.
We are putting the care packages together during the last week of February, to be disbursed during a function to be held at Mabelreign Country Club on Saturday 28th February 2009. Steve Theron has kindly offered his services to entertain the old folks, and they will also be treated to a line dancing display by the Mabelreign Bootscooters and a gymnastics display by the Zimbabwe National Gymnastics Team. Funds are currently being raised to provide the residents with a lunch of cold meat and salad rolls, and drinks will be provided by Mabelreign Country Club at no charge.
Thank you in advance for any assistance, big or small, that you may be in a position to render. Although February seems a long way off, we are hoping to get started on this immediately, and ask that this is given fairly urgent attention.
With kind regards

Friday, January 23, 2009

Where does the money go?

A friend of ours has recently had money transfered to his mother through Western Union. Everyone has ben saying this is a safe way of sending and receiving the USD we need to live as our own dollars are now useless.

The money has disappeared!!!!! When the person concerned went to collect the cash she was told that it had ben collected on 28 had not been collected by her. There is supposed to be a system in place whereby you can only collect with a code number and your identity card - so where has it gone? An investigation is now taking place.

Meanwhile to show how useless our currwency is I have a picture showing money that was thrown away by ZESA our electricity supply department - none of the notes are now acceptable currency!

So a Day has Dawned

This morning looked dismal with dark clouds and intermittent rain - but turned out to be great with sun and warmth.

I got up at 5:30 and sat watching the birds in the garden - coming so close I could almost touch them.

I watched news - as usual sky, CNN and BBC - appalled at the news on cholera but really pleased to see Morgan out there visiting those infected.

We see little of the really suffering and live rather insulated lives. Best to try and stay away and keep healthy - although if there was anything we could do we would. I do look after about 726 UK nationals and feel I do my bit. It is so difficult to help those in the outlying areas - we do by trying to give any excess food we have away or help in other ways.
I did my work in the morning updating the portal that I work with and my blogs - this one is going to be a daily diary from now on! Also trying to keep up with my mail!

Heard from Alexander - his dreadful violin spider bite is better after a week on a drip - although he worked during all this time.

Here is a photo of what it looked like yesterday.

A friend came for some some anti cancer muti in the morning. I try and practice my herbalism when I can. I do not charge just give advice and herbs when I have them. My herb garden is a disaster this year.

Adrian worked in the garden and at about two we took a break - wine and cheese for lunch.

Afternoon was spent watching cookery programs, gardening and watching a history program - then came the ritual - of throwing the ball for our female Jack Russel. Started watching the bee eaters and the swallows.

Had to come in early due to the mosquitoes - now a relaxing evening.

For supper - stuffed marrow with instant chicken gravy and cheese (now a luxury) - baked beans on toast is now also a luxury meal! Will probably have fruit for afters - tinned or frozen - we freeze or preserve everything we have in the garden

Then to bath and bed - and hopefully a good night!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From Nikki and Geoff Blyth

To those that care.....

I have been a resident of Kariba for 18 years, and have always taken a
great interest in our wildlife and it's preservation here. Particularly
our 'tame' ele population. We have subsequently been involved in numerous
operations to dart and desnare a number of elephant (and zebra and
buffalo ) over the years, and have been rewarded for our efforts by
seeing those same ele up and about without the pain and suffering of that
snare and injury.

Recently I sent out a mail about the slaughter of these ele's to feed
Mugabe's starving army.

Now, thru the auspices of the jag mail address, and to add to the very
good mail by "PH" which is below....... I would like to point out that
the statements, made by 'certain persons' that they ( zim govt ) are
killing two birds with one stone when shooting the ele for rations
because they are also helping to reduce their overpopulated numbers.....
fails to state that the elephant that are being taken out, are easily
accessible ( and relatively tame and human orientated ) elephant from the
Kariba National Park area and the Kariba town environs. In other words,
'easy meat' for them to get at, as they are being shot from the side of
the road, ( +/-15 mtrs ) or at most not less than 200mtrs off the roads
and tracks in and around Kariba.

Certainly not from areas that need to be depopulated, and which would be
far too much hard work and effort on behalf of National Parks and the
ZNA. when it comes to the logistical problems involved.

So far at least 9 have been slaughtered, and it took place over the
Christmas and New Year holiday season. Identification of the various
carcasses just off the main roads has already been made. I can locate at
least another 15 that have been shot during last year..... most of which
have been eaten for 'celebratory' purposes .....? And I am led to believe
that the program will continue and that up to 40 will be culled
altogether! Which actually means that in due course kariba's ele
population, including the ones we have already saved from a slow death
from snares, and our favourite ("Stompie"....who lost his tail to a croc
attack some years back, and is exceptionally tame ) will all land up in
the 'pot', and will no longer be the huge attraction that drew in

In fact, this time of the year (Jan/Feb) is normally the time of the
Gathering of the Bulls....where anything up to 25 and 30 animals could be
seen in individual herds on the floodplain of Chawara and Kaburi and in
and around Kariba. This year there is not a SINGLE elephant to be seen
around, particularly on the floodplain..... and they are very conspicuous
by their absence.

Over the last 6 months in fact they have been slowly but surely
disappearing..... and now with this new program ( the last was where up
to 60 were to be shot to feed the National Parks Croc Farm project ), and
because of the thick green vegetation, what was once a common site in
Kariba, is now a thing of the past.....? Those that are left are
literally hiding in the thick bush, or have fled to safer pastures!

And once the elephant have all been slaughtered, it will then be the turn
of the buffalo, hippo and any other of the remaining species, so long as
this country remains in it's downward spiral. What's new in Africa....
and why worry about Zambian poachers, when we have the starving ZNA and
the Department of National Parks and Wildlife ( Destruction )..... as I
now refer to them do all the damage.

What a sad reflection on the state of affairs that exists here. And the
future we hoped to have in the way of wildlife, for our future
generations? And to add insult to the injury to our elephants, it is
reported on the google news, that hunters from overseas ( I believe UK
and Europe ) will be coming out on the invite of the Zim National Parks,
to help 'cull' the elephant in a bizarre hunting program that will see
the 'hunters' paying huge amounts of foreign currency ( In the region of
five thousand pounds per ele ) to 'kill' an ele, and only to be allowed
the priviledge of a 'pic' as memory thereof, with tusks, meat and skin
going to National Parks. (To feed starving army and fill their depleted
f/c coffers! ).

So they are actually assisting in this disgraceful exercise...? Aiding
and abbetting the zim government in their slaughter program.

So not only is the Mugabe regime reducing the numbers of it's human
population, (Operations Gukuruhundi and Muramvatswina, the farm
invasions and now cholera) but also that of our National Parks elephant.

Herewith PH's comments:
(From the Diaspora:)
Back to the ridiculous: "Let them eat potatoes' Mugabe was reported as
saying some years back when there was a maize shortage. " We have plenty
of potatoes." Apparently we have plenty of elephants too and the jumbos
are being slaughtered to provide food for Zimbabwe's soldiers. No maize,
no potatoes, no, like the punchline of a very poor joke, Let
them eat elephants!

Yours in the (continuing) struggle PH.



All friends are welcome to join family for a light lunch at Borrowdale
Country Club, Carrick Creigh, Helesvale

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Neil passed away peacefully in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa on the
16th January 09 after a short illness.

Loving brother of

John, Janet, Judy, Duncan and Althea.

Neil will be sadly missed by all his family.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Please help

Between the hours of 12.oo pm and 2.00 am, Thursday January 15th our cottage was broken into and my daughter who is staying there at the moment was robbed of the entire contents of the cottage. This included above all things her APPLE MAC computer (WHITE) WHICH HAS ALL HER University Assignments on it including the portfolio for her Honors Degree. As you can imagine, this is devastating and she is completely beside herself. Two large suitcases which contained all her clothing (one green and one blue), a green Sony Erickson cell phone (latest model), one micro wave, a Sony stereo (speakers recovered in the neighbors property where they made their exit) a small white microwave and one double plate stove with small oven. About a thousand dollars worth of Jewelry in a black fold up bag – which include an amethyst pendant with at least 10 droplets of amethysts. (This was an 18th birthday gift).
Please if you could keep your eyes peeled for any of the above goods, or even if you could speak to your staff if they know of any of these goods, or where they can be found.
Many thanks, KAREN STEAD

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I wonder if you can assist. I am trying to trace Barbara Paul

She and her husband lived on Fig Tree Farm, Somabhula

There is a phone number quoted in the book - 054 223658

but as I have no phone lines I cannot call them I can use e.mail since I
have a satellite connection

Would you know if they are still in Zimbabwe and whether they have an
e.mail address

I am actually looking for them on behalf of some friends of theirs now
living in Australia

Many thanks


Box 40 G Gawa Kariba Zimbabwe
SKYPE ADDRESS : trishkok
+263 (0)61 3127 - fax/phone
+ 263 (0)61 2225

Monday, January 12, 2009

Well, we re now entering our 8th hour without power. A circuit breaker blew last night at 5:15. I am writing this while we run on a generator.

Stuart and Emma left this morning for their new home in Mozambique - they will be back in about 60 days and it is great to have them so close.

The sky is grey with a bit of sun coming through. The grass is green and needs mowing but nothing can be done until the power comes back.

One sits and reads - has the occasional drink and wonders how we stand it all.

My husband cannot take grey skies - and Imust admit they are a bit much after days and days of no or little sun.

Nothing exciting happening. All a bit dull!!!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

No more news about the gun shots

No more news about out gun shots last night - 29 in all within a period of about 10 minutes - wonder if we will ever find out what they were all about!

And the Braai Tradition Goes On!

The tradition of a Saturday or Sunday braai goes on despite the lack of money or food. Here in Harare and in most parts of the country we still get together at lunchtime, make a fire and cook our meat, make salads and puddings. The only way we can do this is to bring our own food and drink. No one minds any more - it is the norm. her you see us in our garden chatting and exchanging ideas around the fire. It is a relaxing way to unwind after what will in all probability have been a frustrating week. Even paying bills is a nightmare. we finally paid our electricity (ZESA) bill on Friday. Having had to borrow 50 billion as we cannot get money transferred into our bank accounts and ZESA refused on Wednesday to take forex we presented a bank certified CABS cheque to Pomona/Borrowdale post office - who refused to take it as we did not know the exact amount we owed. It is impossible to find this out as one has to either get through to head office by phone - an impossible act - or queue at the head office the whole day to get your balance. So off it was to Mount Pleasant - there the cashier gladly took our cheque! No consistency at all.

The next act was to get the police clearance our younger son needs to get his work permit for SA renewed. On arriving at the police headquarters we were told to come back after two. This my son did to be met by a crowd waiting outside - no one was allowed to enter - it appears there had been an attempt to blow up the forensics department! All fun and games so it will be back again on Monday for another attempt - at least he has 10 days to get the paperwork!

It is sunny today and everything is green and good!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another gun shot

At about 21:55 we heard another gun shot from a heavy weapon. What an end to what was a great day. a typical braai -people bringing their own meat and drink... swimming in the pool - a selection of puddings - good conversation and now - weapons going off .......... oh well we live behind a wall, we are fully alarmed and armed.

Gun shots in the night

It is 21:45 - thirty minutes ago we heard gun shots - 26 of them - heavy rifles coming from the direction of the Namibian Embassy. All is quiet at the moment but no one in out area can say what is happening.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ray Bennison

from the APC (Advertising and Publisity Club)
Just a brief note to give you some sad news.

Ray Bennison, one of our long standing honorary life members, sadly
passed away on 17 December, having suffered a heart attack.

For those of you who knew him,, there is to be a wake at his home 28
Basset Crescent, Alexandra Park, on Saturday, January 17, at 12 noon.
If you would like to attend this, please let Ray Banks know as he is
co-ordinating the wake. Ray Banks' telephone number is 490054.



11am ON THE 22nd JANUARY.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Payment in kind
A rumour has been circulating that ZESA (Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority) would soon be demanding payment for all bills in forex. I’ve heard this from two sources. If true, it would mean that all Zimbabweans would have to settle their electricity bills in forex. OK for those who have access to forex, but not OK for the majorty who have no access to real cash at all.
A friend of mine checked it out, and was told that this was not true. However it is well known that ZESA is on its knees, their experts trained in dealing with huge power lines leaving the country in their droves, so this friend asked one ZESA guy how he was coping.
He told her they were still being paid in Zim dollars but inflation and the cash shortages at the banks meant it was worthless to them. Most would have no choice but to take their skills elsewhere to a country which had real money so they could support their families. ZESA knows this. It also knows that when they lose these skills the light go out in Zimbabwe - in homes, hospitals, industry everywhere.
Their solution? This guy told my friend that his last ‘paycheck’ was in the form of fuel coupons - one hundred litres worth. The fact that a government parastatal recognises the no-value status of the local currency is telling! How far did 100 litres take you, my friend jokingly asked him? It covered one weeks’ worth of the cost of living, leaving the rest of the month a massive struggle. Zim dollars are not good enough, and 100 litres is not enough. Mr Go’no-solutions needs to wake up fast.

Comment: This is all too true! We could not even pay our electricity account yesterday!


I am sadly informing on the sudden passing of Alexander
"Sandy" Douglas on the 24th December whilst on holiday with
family in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Loving husband to Ann, father to Fiona, Stuart, Laura and Moira &
grandfather to Duncan, Russell, Stacey, Euan, Charlotte, Alistair,
Nicholas, Mathew and Cameron.

He will be sadly missed by many.

There will be a memorial service at the Highlands Presbyterian,
Enterprise Rd, time & date to be advised of soonest. Family and friends
all welcome.
Contact: Nick Brice

Another Day in Zimbabwe

Today was bill paying day. we set off - first to report low voltage on our power supply. We have for some reason unbeknown to anyone been connected to Tafara Substation - some way from us. Most people in our area have been cut off or had low power since yesterday morning (we were 20 hours off!). Even the Presidential residence had no power!

The fault appears to lie in a blown part. it is being corrected.

Next we went to take finger print forms to CID to get police clearance for our younger son for his work permit for SA. (He has been back in Zimbabwe for about a month is two years so why he needs new ones each time we do not understand!). We were ushered through a crowd of waiting African locals as if we were royalty. Could not believe it!

He had the prints taken yesterday but the police station in Borrowdale did not have a receipt book so they could not take the 2,000 dollars needed to pay for them. On arrival at CID headquarters we were told they could not process the forms until payment had been made which could be done at any police station that had receipts!

So to Avondale - they were friendly, 'Compliments of the season and how can we help you?' - they took the money (but as 2,000 is no longer accepted we had to fork up 500000,000 - the smallest accepted!

Back to CID where the forms were submitted and we were told that it would be ready tomorrow.

From there to pay our telephone account - 2 billion dollars - the equivalent of about 10 US cents!!!!! As we cannot get money transfer ed into our bank accounts and as the money cannot be taken out of the stock exchange as they are not functioning at the moment out only option was to offer 1 USD - we were duly receipted with the amount of 15 billion dollars - now 13 billion in credit on our account!!!!

Now to pay the electricity account - they will not take USD so we were unable to pay them not being able to access Zimbabwe Dollars - what a laugh!!!!! We noticed a rubbish bin (cardboard box with papers and a lot of small denomination local currency. We asked what it was doing there and were told it had been thrown away so we asked it we could take it and the answer was 'yes'! It amounted to over 57 million dollars and is now worthless! Perhaps someone will buy a note or two from us!

Then to report our telephone out of order. as we walked in the technicians recognised us and assured us that service would be resumed by lunch time.

We visited my friend Sue for some toast and cheese and a glass or so of wine and by the time we returned home - the telephone worked!!!!!!

Power voltage still low but we are managing.

Another exciting day in Harare!

Ballad For A Working Cat

Jenny was put to sleep yesterday pm. (29 December) She was Harry's sister and the first two years of her life were spent as John's Factory Cat. She was a serious workaholic!

A working cat has obligations,
To hunt the rats, no explanations:
You may sleep, but rest assured,
Those rats and mice, they will be floored!

Dusk falls, the evil rodents make their move!
I, Miss Jennifer, will surely prove,
Greedy creatures they may be,
But they will never be a match for me.

And you birds in my garden, watch out!
Plundering seeds and fruit no doubt,
When your backs are turned I’ll pounce!
Fat dove I tossed, but it did not bounce!

I’ve asked for nothing, by way of pay,
Only that at my end you may
Send me to my rest with honour:
Don’t weep for me, I was a Working Cat!

To Jenny McMillan, 30 December 2008


The family of Guy Menage' wish to announce the peaceful passing in his
sleep of Guy on Christmas day .

All family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at St
Georges Chapel at 11am, 9th January, 2009.

Contact numbers Kevin Stirrup 443641

Trevor Gilbert 495268

Monday, January 5, 2009

No Power again

It is the rainy season and we have no water -----and now no power. As soon as we get heavy rain out goes our power system.

We had a wonderful Christmas with the family who came from their various African homes. I will post pictures later!