SI 127 of 2021: When they say don’t panic, just run!

After being idle for about six months, the Department of Totally Pointless Public Inconveniences and Confusion has decided that the country had become too comfortable. It went into action.

First, the Department, which is clearly one of the most heavily staffed, decided that all that talk of “currency stability” was getting all rather boring. It then cobbled up Statutory Instrument (SI) 127 of 2021. The main aim of the regulation was to cause as much chaos as possible.

“The SI is not designed to harm business but to provide a level playing field for business and to protect consumers,” said the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, a valuable and key part of the Department over the years.

On hearing that the RBZ had said that there will be no harm to businesses, businesses immediately began to prepare to be harmed. This is because everyone knows that once the government says we should not panic, it is time to panic and run for the hills.

We congratulate the Department. It is easily one of the most efficient government departments. Mission accomplished. Very efficient.

More equal …

This week, it was revealed that top-level criminals were more important than others.

According to the Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS), it is important not to mix ministers arrested for corruption with petty criminals. The chefs need protection, ZPCS Deputy Commissioner-General Christine Manhivi was quoted as saying this week.

“Ministers and other public figures are prone to verbal and physical abuse when in custody by some angry inmates,” Manhivi said. “Recently a female minister who was in remand prison, was harassed and threatened with violence by some inmates who accused her of failing to build proper cells while in government. We had to remove her and place her in a different cell as a way of protecting her from attack.”

We must just build luxury jails for our corrupt elite. What sort of society would we be if small criminals are allowed to tell whole ministers that they are bad at their jobs? Can they please just focus on petty theft and let senior criminals focus on grand theft in peace? Why the jealousy?

Benevolence

After a fire at Mpilo Hospital last week, the country’s current owner took time off his busy Ribbon Cutting Schedule to set aside a few coins from his generous wallet.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that the government, in its benevolence, was putting in $287 million towards new infrastructure at Mpilo.

He then added: “Doctors and nurses across Zimbabwe deserve the highest quality working conditions and support.”

News that the government is actually aware that doctors and nurses deserve good working conditions was received with widespread surprise across the medical sector. The last we heard, doctors were nothing but “skilled labourers” who whine about unimportant things — like a living wage, medicines and equipment — and even occasionally go about poisoning politicians for entertainment.

Police cars

After a spike in crime in Bulawayo, the business community there were surprised to hear that their city actually had a police force. When they approached the city’s top cop, they were told that police just didn’t have enough cars to do their jobs.

Commissioner Patton Mbangwa told them there were only six cars to serve a population of over 650 000 people.

He told them: “The organisation is seriously underfunded in terms of resources. We only have a vehicle each for Queenspark, Luveve, Entumbane, Bulawayo Central (Ford Ranger), Mzilikazi (Ford Ranger) and Magwegwe. The Hillside vehicle was involved in an accident and it was a write-off while Donnington has what resembles a vehicle.”

If anyone is being robbed next time, they should keep this in mind before bothering the ZRP with unnecessary phone calls. Instead, they should call their local chief, who is likely to have more than one car lying idle in his rural homestead.

Cars are for chiefs, not for needless things like fighting crime or carrying the sick to hospitals and so forth.

Dog, cycle licences

Speaking of service delivery, the City of Harare this week decided it had taken too long without putting noisy residents in their place.

The council made a series of announcements. First, it was announced that “council is now collecting dog licences from city dog owners”. While dog lovers were still reeling, it was then announced “civilians are not allowed to control traffic. Law will take its course against such behaviour”.

While we were still processing this, it was said “all owners of bicycles are expected to pay cycle fees to the city”. Thought you had enough? The City of Harare had more. It announced: “Begging and vending at traffic intersections remains banned.”

We are grateful to live in such a city. It is a city of such generous ratepayers. They are expected to pay bicycle licences in a city that does not build cycle tracks. Citizens are not allowed to control traffic. They are expected to simply sit in their cars at non-working traffic lights. As for begging, let it be known that being poor is no longer allowed.

Congratulations to the City Fathers for achieving their “World Class City by 2025” target well before time.

Rubbish fight

It is known that Zimbabweans will fight over everything. What Muckraker was not prepared for was seeing people fighting over rubbish.

We all know that, in 2018, the country’s owner declared that there would be a national clean-up day. On certain Fridays, everyone would choose not to be a litterbug and clean up after themselves.

Then, a few weeks ago, activist Jacob Ngarivhume decided he also had some time and money to spare, and he went about Harare cleaning up piles of rubbish. In no time, the MDC Alliance also announced that it would be launching a national clean-up campaign.

Some ingrates decided to call the MDC Alliance copycats, to which the party leader responded: “Just for the record. We started the clean-up campaign in 2018. So I wonder why some think we are reactive when we resume and continue this programme.”

Muckraker is shocked to see grown folks fighting over rubbish. Surely, with all the mountains of garbage in the country, there is enough for everyone.