If you were having coffee with me, I would be happy to have visit my digital republic of the internet where I am the sovereign ruler…
But meanwhile back to the real world, if I wanted to visit you with effect immediately from December 2023 I would need to get an e-passport…
I must confess though that I was sorely disappointed to learn what an e-passport really is, I had kinda hoped that it would be something like a futuristic flash drive with NFC tap technology, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 and biometric sensors embedded beneath your skin, you know, end of days stuff…
Apparently it’s just a regular passport with a Simcard-like microchip embedded into it… sigh… So our government, in its great wisdom, has decided everyone should get an e-passport and the old passports will cease working come December 2023. It’s all and fine except if one considers the costly nightmare it has been for one to get a passport.
How about the fact there has been a crazy backlog of passports, will they now be able to handle a new demand for sophisticated passports not to mention we still have massive electricity challenges. I can already imagine being stuck at immigration because the system is down… I have been stranded at a tollgate before because the e-payments system wasn’t working and we did not have cash to make the payment… So that fear is real and kinda valid.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I have a friend who was super excited to collect their passport just a fortnight ago and were super happy they wouldn’t have to worry about passport blues for the next 10 years and now, how about that, just like that, *them and me* with my soon to expire passport are suddenly in the same boat… A part of me is like, at least I hadn’t gotten a replacement passport yet cause I would be super annoyed right about now if I woke to the news I suddenly needed to get a new passport.
And of course, the price for a regular passport has gone up from $50 to $100, (it would cost more to have the microchip embedded of course) plus a $20 application fee which can only be paid at a very specific bank. I wouldn’t blame any of the conspiracy theorists who think this is some money-making venture by the government, I mean why single out a specific bank which isn’t even wholly government-owned, sure the government has a direct 21.05% stake in it but hmmm what do I know.?.. Shall I pour you another cuppa?
Fun fact, apparently our late former president also unveiled an e-passport project way back in 2016… why didn’t we implement it back then? Oh yeah I guess things got tied up with, you know, removing the criminals who were surrounding the former president just before his retirement.
Can you believe it’s a few days to Christmas and I can’t say I feel any of the Christmas cheer. I know that the older people get, the less they care for the holidays but now it seems more like the whole Christmas spirit is just fast eroding especially between COVID, Omicron, lockdown and an economic meltdown. The last time I was in the city of Harare they hadn’t done the Christmas Lights Lighting Ceremony let alone put up the Christmas light in the CBD streets.
If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that speaking of lockdown my neighbour’s chickens have not been following social distancing protocol and I am of half a mind to sanitise them with hot water and then quarantine them in our fridge, perhaps that might put me in a holiday spirit… If anyone asks we can tell my neighbour that I will be replacing their chickens with eco friendly e-chickens, I learnt from the best
Oh while we are on e-thingies, what do you think of having a QR code on the headstone of you or your loved one’s grave? The idea of someone scanning my headstone and getting links to my blog has a certain appeal to it…. An e-grave anyone?
Anyway do our graves really matter? Our president is considering the idea that remains of the late imperialist Cecil John Rhodes buried at Matopos be sent back where he hailed from and we can also have back our ancestral remains which are being kept in Europe….
Whats up in your neck of the woods? Are you feeling the holiday cheer?
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