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Sunday, June 16, 2013

More comments from readers

My husband and I have had an incident recently and  since finding out that others have been caught by these same people I thought perhaps you would like to warn everyone out there.
We live in the Chase and this happened to us on Thursday last week.   Just after 5 pm in the evening a large African man came to our back door while we were in the kitchen asking about flats for rent.   We were talking to him when I decided to walk back into the lounge and there in the middle of my lounge was another African man.   This one was tall and very pale in complexion.   He was obviously looking for a handbag or something to steal but fortunately I found him before he could get anything.   We chased them both out the gate and they ran and climbed into a light grey CRV vehicle.   Unfortunately we did not get a number plate.   Somehow our electric gate was slightly open, and thats how they got in.
Then today I was talking to friends in Broadlands Rd and they had these same two people come to their house this past week so please warn folks  be on the lookout for them.
As a family, we went to the preview night of “Make it Count” at Reps this evening.  What a SUPERB performance from a slick, high energy, talented group of youngsters; they should rightly be incredibly proud of their achievements!  The group have been entirely responsible for raising the money needed to pay for music & lighting, and have choreographed every one of the 22 performances themselves.  This is not ballet as we imagined, but a wonderful interpretation of a variety of music types, and we really should be encouraging the populace of Harare to go and support them: it’s well worth it!!
My friend was broken into in Avondale west last night. They broke the pedestrian gate and managed to break the lock on the inside of the gate. They broke into his truck and took the radio, then hacksawed through the lock on the veranda gate. He unfortunately had not locked his internal gate or door. He awoke to the robber leaving his bedroom after they had taken his phone from his bedside table. They also took his wallet but left his passport and cards. He thank god was un touched. It happened around 4am this morning.
On the road out to wild geese just past the Pomona quarry, right by the Pomona barracks. Some one has built a speed hump, when I say a hump its more like a mountain. I have a Toyota corolla and it is not exactly low to the ground and I scrap even turning side on and driving carefully. It is extremely dangerous and I thought I would pass this info on.
A comment on manners. I always step aside and let elderly people through a door first. I cant tell you how many of them take it for granted and dont even give a simple thank you. Our youngsters could teach them a thing or two.  
Yesterday, i decided to take my son (in his pushchair) and my mum for a walk around our neighbourhood as it was a lovely evening. We were disgusted when we had to jump out of the road due to an oncoming vehicle driving at an extreme speed. As they drove passed we were shouted abuse at and then the car nearly didn't make it around the next corner...this is disgusting considering they were two young boys in a white Toyota Hilux, is it not safe to even walk around our neighbourhoods anymore without disrespectful youngsters being hooligans, and not realizing the consequences if something terrible had to happen? Please educate your children on driving responsibly before a tragedy happens. Disgusted walker.=
This happened on Wednesday 29th May in the afternoon (abut 4:30), off Drew road, Chisipite. Our gardener working outside the house was approached by a man emerging from a white (newish) Mercedes 220 (no number plates!) and demanded to see 'the madam'.  He pushed his way through the gate and ran to the house while two other men kept the gardener busy, one of them, surreptitiously showing a gun(?) under his coat on his belt. The man found our domestic helper in the kitchen when he barged into to the house, told her to be quiet and demanded to see 'the madam'.  He waived a paper around but this seemed to be just a pretence as it was never shown or left behind.    She shuppered him outside to wait for the madam at the other side of the house.  Our little Jack Russell did a good job yapping at his ankles and on seeing he wasn't getting anywhere and apparently fearing the gate was going to be closed on him, he ran off again.
Residents of Harare are their own worst enemies when it comes to creating potholes. The essence of road building is the careful design of drainage.
The tarmac on a road is only there to keep the foundation dry, a mackintosh if you like. The tar is not the road, the gravel base is. Camber is designed to take rainwater away into ditches designed to take water well away from the gravel base, into natural streams and rivers. Ditches may be on both sides of a road, or only on one, depending on the lie of the land.
Residents have been creating potholes by clogging up public ditches by gardening outside their properties and allowing their concrete culverts to silt up.
A neighbour of mine has just moved the entrance to his property from one side to the other. I asked him to dig up the old concrete pipes under the old drive and place them in the ditch of his new entrance. This did not happen and he has filled in the ditch completely. Instant potholes next season, for all of us.
1) Make sure YOU check YOUR dog/cat that YOU chose to home, is  around twice a day for food and attention. Seek out YOUR dog/cat to do this, so they know YOU care where they are. My cats know that if they aren't around at breakfast or dinner, I will go out and FIND them. This nowadays simply means calling them from the back door and they come running. But even so, if you keep your pets welcome in your company, they won't WANT to leave. 
2) Secure YOUR property like YOU give a toss about YOUR dog's welfare and it staying or getting injured. Some of these pets are just puppies, so use your brain. Would you let a toddler wander unattended? Prevent any heartache, injury and huge inconvenience to the kindly people who are looking out for your pets because you haven't, as well as the much overworked vets, who have better things to do than find the homes of/rehome pets of irresponsible pet-owners. Rant over. 
Con men: On Sat at around 4.30pm, I was travelling up Cork Road towards S. Nujoma, when a man stumbling across the road collapsed on the side of the road, but not quite off it, pretty much in front of my car.  A bit nervous to stop on my own with my girls in the car, I decided to go to my mum's and collect her and come back, in case he was still there.  My suspicion was Diabetic or Drunk. When I went back he was still in the road, exactly where he fell.  A guard was walking past and I asked him, if he knew what was wrong with that man. He said he had no idea.  I parked off the road, left my mum and daughter in the car and went over to him.  He was not very conscious, breathing was shallow and eyes sort of rolled back. He looked like he had been vomiting and generally in a bad way. I asked him a few times if I could help him, was he okay, he eventually mumbled very labored at that… “sugar”.  I then called to the air time guy and the guard and asked if they had sugar.  At the same time two very pleasant young men stopped and parked and came over to help me.  Mum had joined me and I had LUCKILY locked my daughter in the car leaving the alarm on. A few other people appeared  around the car.  I kept a watch on the car and my little girl inside, while this ‘ill’ man, in very strained manner, patted his bag indicating that he had sugar. Inside the bag we found a cup with a couple of tsps of sugar inside. One of the chaps who had stopped with us, went to his car for water and so we gave this” battling diabetic” some sugared water.  After a few mins we moved him to the pavement where he sat and in, again, a very difficult speech explained that he had come from Pari and that they had no insulin.  He had obviously heard me talking to my eldest daughter, who is a paramedic, who I was asking what to do with a diabetic who was in and out of consciousness and who obviously was in a bad way. She called an ambulance and they were on their way.  With him explaining that he needed insulin, and he went on to explain that he had not managed to get insulin for the past 7 days… so I then decided to call my doctor’s assistant and see what else I could / should do and thought that maybe the doctor could give me some direction as to what to do with this poor man…. As soon as the nurse heard who I was dealing with she immediately panicked and said Run, please Run away as fast as you can, he is a con man... she said Just get out of there now.  I, now panicking, went straight to the car and beckoned to mum.  The people around the car were standing by trees just watching. I explained to her that I thought he was genuinely ill and in a bad way, she reiterated that he is fantastic at this act and to please leave immediately. Feeling quite panicked by this stage, I explained that there were two other men with him… she said that’s fine they can look after themselves and the ambulance is also coming.  When we got to her house she told us that two of their patients had the same situation with this man on two different occasions and he either falls off his wheelchair into traffic or he does what he did to me and sways across the road in front of the car, only to collapse.  Praying on a good Samaritan, who he then robs.  So I think it is time that there was some awareness of this man and his tricks.  He apparently also does this a lot in driveways, so you see him when you come out and actually when I went back that way today, sure enough he had collapsed in the entrance of a drive way on Cork Road with his legs and bag in the road.  I was rather stirred by what could of happened esp with my young daughter still in the car. Thank goodness I put the alarm on!!  And thank God even more that the two other chaps stopped with me.  So if you see this very tall, skinny chap with a blue bag and a cup all ready with sugar, don’t be fooled.  His main routes are apparently Enterprise Road, Churchill Avenue and obviously now trying this end of town on Cork Road. 
Please, just be careful if you come across this situation. I will certainly think twice to stop in future, which is very sad for any genuine case of someone needing help.  I am saddened that someone can perfect the act of being so ill, to take advantage of someone’s help.  And further more, to the poor paramedics who rushed to help him, for which I feel very embarrassed about, when he was sitting perfectly fine five mins later telling them that he was just hungry.  What a complete waste of time and energy for well trained and well meaning people. 
Lets hope this awareness stops him from attracting more victims.

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