The Geese and the Post Office

Dear family and friends,

As dawn sets in Zimbabwe, the morning clouds take on a delicate pink hue in the days leading up to Easter. We remember the massive floods that devastated Durban, which killed more than 250 people and left thousands homeless in South Africa. We have recalled the worst of most cyclones that hit Madagascar and Mozambique in the past few months and are now preparing for the winter chill. The grass is turning golden, the sun is getting weaker and the dust is getting thicker. The first aloes are beginning to bloom, bright orange, staggering and alive with sunbirds. One descends into a quiet garden early in the morning, there is a predator and then a goshawk falls into the bird’s bath. This dip and bob, with soft brown plumage, bright red legs and beak, inflate its wings and settle themselves for another day in the sky.

I was going to write about the fact that Zimbabwe came off the fence a few weeks ago after participating in the first United Nations vote on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But it is very disappointing to tell that story because this time Zimbabwe did not refrain, not voting last week for a UN General Assembly resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

I was going to write about the findings of the Zimbabwe Auditor General’s 2020 report, which states about goods paid but not delivered, unclear purchases, non-existent receipts, failure to reconcile overseas payments, The ministries are not aware of the payment made and hence it goes on. But it is very disappointing to tell that story because of the 161 conclusions drawn from the 2019 audit, only 28% were fully addressed, 17% were partially addressed and 55% were not addressed at all. Was. One journalist put it best when he wrote: “Mnangagwa’s anti-corruption threats have only proved to be bloated rhetoric. It’s all froth and no beer!” (Zimind)

And so I thought this Easter maybe I should write the story of our local post office. Longtime Zimbabwean readers of this letter will remember when I wrote in 2012 about the Marondera Post Office being unable to pay rent on their very smart premises in the city center and had to move out. They did it in astonishing fashion as I found out when I came to pick up my post and two men had smashed all the post boxes outside the walls with sledge hammers, there were still letters in the boxes covered in dust and debris. The post office moved to the old rugby club bar at Marondera Country Club, the pine roofs making it dark and hard to see and the old bar served as the top post office counter.

In the ten years since then the dirt road to the Marondera Post Office has been a 4×4 off road experience, with giant potholes, minibuses and a maze of huts and sheds everywhere teeming with young men for everything from food to old tires. sell some. Repairing punctures, ‘Hot Recharging’ mobile phones and doing everything you need. But this week that approach road, the pothole, the minibus and the youth have all disappeared. Trying to turn off the main road to the post office, I couldn’t figure out where the turn went, the front of the whole road is fenced with 2 meters high black plastic walls and you go up to Marondera Post Can’t go to office now. The point is that the land has been sold by the municipality, there is a dispute over the ownership and there is no longer a service road leading to the Marondera post office. There is no sign, no information and no instructions. I finally found a place to park, walked down a narrow path full of garbage and lined with shoulder-high grass, passed a half dozen hissing geese that rolled over at me, the way geese always do , and I emerged behind the run down old rugby club and circled to the front to find a door and went inside and paid a bill at the Marondera post office. Oh shame on Zimbabwe, forty two years after independence, five years after Mugabe and that’s what it takes to post a letter at a government post office or pay a government bill.

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