If you were having coffee with I would greet you with a compliment of the New Year and ask you how your year has started. For me, it doesn’t feel new at all just an extension of what I thought we left behind. It could be because New Year celebrations, gatherings and parties were cancelled… couldnt even go and do the ghastly celebration of banging on trash cans to usher in the New Year.
The year didn’t start with a bang, as firecrackers were cancelled too but it rained at the stroke of midnight as if the world was being washed clean for a new season. At least for us law-abiding citizens, New Year was a quiet affair… meanwhile others were having shindigs with zero disregards for social distancing and curfews.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the police have arrested 52 people in connection with the event above and thousands of others for violating COVID guidelines on during New Year’s festivities. Interesting to note is that arrests target the ghetto youths and medium to high-density suburbs but the connected boss folk from the leafy suburbs had their own New Year bashes and they are not talked about.
You get arrested for violating COVID regulations then they bundle you up to jail where there is zero social distancing… but what do I know, I am not boss of the country
If you were having coffee with me, I would ask you a hypothetical question. If the President invited you for a courtesy visit at the State House… would you go?
I ask this because a Zimbabwean footballer Tino Kadewere who is a striker for Olympique Lyon in the French Ligue 1 while on his Christmas break in Zim was accepted an invite to the State House.
Some fans felt this was a betrayal of the people to the regime, with some even vowing to stop supporting him as he was aligning himself with president’s colours even wearing that scarf which the president wears come winter and summer, rain and shine.
But can one really turn down a request from the president? When I posed the question to my Twitter I got an interesting range of answers but the majority suggested they would still go. I am not a big fan of the president, I didn’t even vote for him but I would definitely accept an invitation to dinner with the president at the State House.
What does one wear to visit the president? I don’t know but I would definitely pick something nice for the pictures and ask him if reads my blog, probably not, because I don’t think I would get the invitation if he did.
Anyway, I would take the opportunity to ask a few questions from one concerned citizen to the president, while hoping I would not overstay my welcome.
First I would ask if he really knows what he is doing and its what he expected of being The Boss, I mean its ok to say you don’t quite have a plan and ask those with suggestions to help where they can. Next I would ask if endorsing the opposition party’s congress candidature is part of a strategy to control opposition politics or genuine diplomacy…of course, he wouldn’t have to answer that
We would talk about the cyclone scare this past week, fortunately by the time it hit Zimbabwe it had downgraded to a tropical depression and soon after dissipated without major destruction or loss of life.
Maybe the prayers worked but I would have hoped that the emergency resposnse systems showed a bit more alertness and preparedness to handle the cyclone. People in low lying areas got evacuated even though it felt a bit rushed and left to the last moment. I got a text message from the Civic Protection Unit but it wouldn’t have been much help had disaster really struck, how exactly does one prepare?
Thankfully the cyclone spared us and some people even felt a little disappointed like it stood them up and some even dubbed it Cyclone Dololo meaning Cyclone Nothing. But its best to have no storm, than to face the wrath of nature ill-prepared, still it was not without incident, those directly in its path had a bit of a scare, some houses got damaged.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you schools were supposed to reopen today but then schools opening was deferred last week in light of the looming cyclone and the covid pandemic, although oddly on Tuesday last week the government had dismissed rumours of suspending schools opening only to announce it the next day… things like this are why its hard to take them seriously.
On Saturday the Minister of health and Vice President dropped a bomb shell that because of the rising COVID cases the country would be reverting back to strict lockdown conditions with a 6pm to 6am Curfew and only essential services allowed to operate with immediate effect from the 5th of January.
The Acting President said that Zimbabweans must chose between enjoyment and death at press conference where stresed it was every citizen’s responsibility to follow COVID safety regulations.
Looking at the lockdown measures they seem more like punishment the regular folk, I mean sure people had gotten complacent in covid safety measures but going to such a hard lockdown without much of a notice period and shutting down informal businesses in a country were only about 20% of the population are formally employed, its like asking people to choose between COVID and Starvation.
Meanwhile air traffic remains open so do hotels and tourist activities.. for those who can afford it life goes on as usual.
Meanwhile the president is on his annual leave and the country is in the hands of our two Vice Presidents who will take turns at playing Boss of Zimbabwe until the end of the month, January is already not looking so hot.
Whats been going on in your part of the world? How has your New Year kicked off?