HomeCommentCandid Comment: Zim’s World Cup benefits illusion stripped naked

Candid Comment: Zim’s World Cup benefits illusion stripped naked

EARLIER assessments by this newspaper of Zimbabwe’s state of readiness or lack of it for next month’s Fifa 2010 World Cup painted a rather gloomy picture: bad roads, sub-standard hotels, poor communication systems, outdated banking modes and run-down cities and towns.

For example, in Harare, drooping rusty lampposts in busy streets threaten to fall onto passing traffic.
Political “commandeers of everything” in this country told us things would be improved — they spoke of tarred dual highways, better communications, new hotels and computerised immigration processes at border posts. Then of course there were promises of countless opportunities for locals to make quick bucks.
With less than three weeks to kick off all those promises of fast flowing dollars for locals now sound like the hollow lies they always were.
To complain of being hoodwinked would be naïve —who really thought these clowns could improve our lives!
Evidently there will be no World Cup football teams camping in Zimbabwe and there will not be thousands of tourists falling over themselves to visit Victoria Falls.
If the soccer lovers are so drawn in by the “Smoke that Thunders” they most probably will access one of the world’s seven natural wonders from Livingstone in Zambia.
Our recently re-introduced steam trains might as well replace the defunct “freedom trains”; after all urban commuters are finding it hard to afford Kombi rides!
For me, politicians and magicians share one thing in common — they are illusionists. And they make us pay for whatever they conjure up.
Many things they say are neither real nor possible. At the end of it all, disappearing rabbits and empty promises are but one and the same thing.
Beitbridge remains an eyesore. The border post is just a festering wound of corruption and inefficiency.
Zimbabwean immigration and customs officials have no idea who has entered or left the country at any given time. All they can do is place a date stamp in the traveller’s passport.
On the other side the South Africans capture traveller’s details on their computers. They have technology that assists them to fish out international fugitives from justice and other undesirables.
The SA border town of Musina has been spruced up. Roads are wide, tarred, well marked and adequately lit at night.
Damn it, they even have a brand new shopping centre! Electricity and water are available, not to mention adequate and clean public ablution facilities.
Perhaps the World Cup will offer Zimbabweans an unbiased opportunity to see just how badly managed our country is.
Those who can afford satellite television will not only marvel at the fantastic stadiums South Africa has prepared for the World Cup, they might reflect on how shabby our better playing arenas are.
They say a bad workman always blames his tools — we are all ears as we wait to hear just why we failed to make an impression.
Many of us won’t be able to afford to travel to South Africa to enjoy the World Cup.
Salaries in Zimbabwe can only cover food and not the finer things in life. Ours is a perpetual struggle to survive.
If by some fluke ZBC TV secures rights to screen a few games, Zesa’s unreliability can be relied on to stand in the way.
Zimbabwe has become a country caught up in one crisis after another.
They say Zimbabweans are resilient.  Perhaps we are too dumb to know that our lives can be better if we focus on things that matter to us right now.

 

Moses Mudzwiti

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