Wednesday, January 19

Dung and parliamentary beetles that are ‘pink pigs’

The rains have returned to Zimbabwe, breaking through an unbearably hot couple of weeks that left us melting by the time we left.

Green is everywhere and with it has come the strange and wonderful, the absurd and the insulting and the downright shameful.

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First weird and wonderful.

The noise of the rain on the roof at night; scorching flashes of lightning streaking across the purple sky; tooth marks in the soft green flesh of avocados that have fallen in the rain; a bone-filled gray owl ball under a large msasa tree.

Freshly beaten moles marching in a line across the soggy soil; Figs so big they almost fill the palm of your hand, crammed with bearded and louries, bulbs and white eyes.

And out there in the bushes, the dung beetles in a frenzy, digging holes in the soft, damp soil, running to grab balls of manure, rolling them back into their holes and burying their precious food or using it to make chambers of breeding underground.

Then comes the absurd, as politicking and election campaigns accelerate as the 2023 elections approach.

The not so wonderful

In the last fortnight, the president of Zimpapers (Zimbabwe Newspapers Group) said “we want to do the best we can to support the government, to support the system” …

The editors “should not be ashamed to support the ruling party” as it is a “national agenda”.

Then came the words of Vice President Constantine Chiwenga, speaking in Beitbridge: “Zanu PF will rule forever and if [the naysayers] dare, we are going to amend the law that we want President Emmerson Mnangagwa forever ”.

The insulting

Then came the insult, which came from Zanu PF’s Chief Information Officer, Tafadzwa Mugwadi, who called British MPs “pink pigs”.

This came after UK MPs raised concerns about the declining political situation in Zimbabwe. Lord St John Bletso said the British government will only support Zimbabwe’s attempt to rejoin the Commonwealth when Harare restores the rule of law and protects free speech and political liberties.

Mugwadi responded by saying: “The UK Embassy and UK Ambassador to Zimbabwe Melanie Robinson must be most ashamed of this classic nonsense.

“Sit down pink pigs.”

Finally there was the downright embarrassing …

After telling officials that they would receive bonuses in US dollars, they learned last week that they would be for a maximum value of 700 US dollars and that they would not be paid in US dollars but in Zimbabwean dollars at a conversion rate of 97 to one. .

So for your $ 700 you will get Z $ 68,000, whereas if you had the $ 700 in your hand and traded it on the black market, where the street rate is 175 to one right now, you would get Z $ 12,500.

A huge difference of Z $ 54,500, and a great loss for civil servants who have been almost destitute for many years; they find themselves the losers over and over and over again.

© Cathy Buckle

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