Of Coffee With E-Thingies

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…

Winky D Steampunk goggles

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

ZImbabwe Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021 on e-passports
Statutory Instrument 273 of 2021

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?

Nick Mangwana explains Government of Zimbabwe shareholding in CBZ 🤔

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.

President Mugabe commissions an e-passport centre The Chronice Newspaper 9 April 2016

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.

Christmas lights Harare 2018
Christmas lights in Harare First street 2018

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

e-chickens

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?

A smart headstone Image ZDnet

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?

Compliments of the festive season

~B

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9 Comments

  1. E-chickens sound like a great idea. I fully endorse your idea of social distancing those real chickens in your fridge. You’re just doing your part after all 🙂

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  2. I think it does have something to do age because I’m not feeling a thing either, just eagerness to have the time off. Oh yeah, and COVID definitely ruined the whole holiday spirit.
    E-passport, that sounds futuristic, although I won’t be surprised if it’s implemented here as well since e-driver license is a thing now too – instead of a physical card, it’s on an app.

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  3. Yea, I think I got my e-passport a couple of years back. I, too, was disappointed how much it looked like m previous one.

    The bit about your neighbor’s chicken was pure gold!

    QR code on tombstones? Ughhh I get so annoyed when I go to a restaurant and extend my arms out for a menu and the waitress tells me to scan the code taped to the table. WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A PHONE? What if I left it at home? What if it’s a flip phone that does not read QRs? Absolutely ridiculous!

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  4. I am only partially invested in the spirit of the holidays. It honestly never feels like it. A smart headstone could be the wave of the future but how would know where to find your loved ones headstone ?

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  5. This OR code on tombstone sounds very intriguing. Christmas comes from within, if you feel festive👍 then so what if there are no lights, no christmas plays, bus fares have tripled and Covid unleashing havoc.

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  6. I’ve traveled so little that I let my passport expire along with the rest of my family.
    We’ve been to busy with work and college to fuss with crossing any national border but my wife and I do want to get moving again now that the kids are mostly done with college, so we may have to fight the passport renewal battle here in the not too distant future.
    Just not today please. . .

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