We’re really in Wonderland

WE are indeed in Wonderland as our leaders would have us believe. For example, take the hoarding of cash, a crime for which the povo and industry are accused.

“Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Our dear leaders have forgotten the machinations of the “Double B”. For the uninitiated, this is, in alphabetical order, Blair and Bush – Visa fees for example.

A Zimbabwean Caucasian resident with a Zimbabwean passport and who no longer has the right to vote, in applying for a visa to the US is asked for $420 000 (in round figures) in cash.

Application is made to a certain bank which will not accept a cheque on a local bank. Travellers cheques are not readily available and when they are, are not accepted. Cash if you please! Where does one get the cash when banks are only issuing $5 000 or $10 000 at a time if you are lucky. Answer from this particular bank and I quote: “You have a problem.”

Now take the example of another Zimbabwean Caucasian resident with an EU British passport. Again cash is demanded, but this time the princely sum of $280 000. Both cases within the last month.

A US visa is US$100. Why the discrimination? Is the embassy using two different parallel rates?

Zimbabwe, we are told time and again, is a sovereign state. Surely the embassies are the ones responsible for the shortages of bank notes, which shortage is no doubt aggravated by the other embassies demanding cash.

Why will they not accept bank certified cheques or even the travellers cheques which our Reserve Bank says are legal tender?

Ian Smith said: “Never in a thousand years”, and no-one believed him. More recently someone has said: “No-one could have done a better job.” People are beginning to believe it.

MD Gillespie,