If you were having coffee with me I would welcome you to my tangle words and ask you to grab a seat, be comfortable, but not too comfortable. How have you been keeping?
Listen, do you hear that? The silence, a house where the kids have left for school… I had begun to miss that and now I can change the TV to something other than cartoons. The pandemic has caused massive disruptions to the school calendar and a week ago they announced schools would be opening starting today i.e. 7 February.
While the beginning of the first term has been long overdue, the timing is a bit awkward, opening schools just after Januworry month-end, before parents and guardians have had a moment to save or gather up fees and school paraphernalia. The past week has been a whirlwind of activity as people tried to do last-minute school preparations, wouldn’t be surprised if that school rush contributed to the black market rate of the USD shooting up
When I went into town, I paid the equivalent of $1 but my return trip cost me $1.50 and the pirate taxis were telling people who were reluctant to get transport with them that should it get dark or start raining then the fare would increase to $2.
After we had been bundled into a pirate taxi, the driver was laughing as he counted the money we had paid and he exclaimed how we should have refused to pay the inflated fares, if he was a passenger he would refuse to be held hostage by unscrupulous individuals such as himself…. Don’t think that made him feel any compunction to give us back the extra money we had paid, in fact, he had refused to carry a gentleman who had tried to plead that he didn’t have any extra money.
Schools may have opened but wether or not teachers will be there is another question altogether. See, the teachers are not saying they are on strike but rather, they are saying that they are not capacitated to return to work, while today some schools had a regular turnout, reports indicate most had no teachers and in some cases, learners ended up being sent home. Teachers’ Unions are advocating that teachers will not return to schools until teachers start getting a salary of USD$540.
The current teacher’s salary is the equivalent of about $150 using the parallel market rate which no one speaks of but everyone uses. According to Zim Stats the Total Consumptive Poverty Line for one person in January 2022 was ZWL$8 496
Understanding the Zimbabwean situation is hard, while the inflation rate figures may have gone down, life has actually gotten more expensive.
If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that Headmasters also seem to have joined into the industrial action alongside teachers in pressing the government to pay them in United States dollars, a development that could plunge the first term into chaos.
For the soccer fans, the highlight has been the Africa Cup Of Nations Cup which saw The Lions Of Teranga, that’s the Senagalese national soccer team, square up against Egypt and ultimately winning the cup… and in an interesting turn of events the Man Of The Match title went to the goalkeeper for Egypt and then there was the tactless reporter asking what it meant to win the Man Of Match (even if his team had lost the match)
Looks like mother nature decided to spare southern Africa from a cyclone Batsirai that made landfall in Madagascar a few days ago causing some massive devastation. Life goes on a little easier without the idea of a looming cyclone
Whats been happening in your neck of the woods?
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