The rot at the Zinara Mutoko Rd Tollgate

The rot at the top has permeated into all facets of society.

This is a country called Zimbabwe, where corruption is normal.

My sister’s daughter who is based in Botswana has a son who is in boarding school here in Zimbabwe. The boy is at St Pauls Musamhi in Murehwa.

My sister’s daughter sent some money for us to buy provisions for the boy in boarding school and asked us to deliver the provisions to the school. My own kids were excited and also wanted to see their nephew so we took them along, and off to St Pauls we went.

Our son was driving and myself and my wife relaxed in the back seat and admired the view as we rolled down Mutoko Road.

There are breath taking houses in the hills of Glen Lorne. They are massive and opulent and ostentatious.

“Where do people get
money to build such
houses? “

my wife asked no one in particular.

No one answered her. Everyone was in awe of the grandeur and splendour that sorrounded us.

I couldn’t help contrast this brazen display of wealth with what I see in the western side of Harare where most of the high density suburbs are located.

As opposed to the serenity of Glen Lorne, the high density suburbs of Harare are noisy crowded places, with vendors shouting themselves hoarse to advertise their wares, whilst motorists navigate the treacherous congested roads full of pot holes, whilst most people shove each other and jostle for a few drops of water at the local boreholes, whilst the rotting stink from mounds of uncollected garbage pervades the impoverished populace.

This is a country called Zimbabwe, where obscene wealth is flaunted in the face of poverty.

There is a toll gate just after Glen Lorne along Mutoko Road. When we approached it, there was a long slow queue which stretched back into Glen Lorne for two to three kilometres.

An armed police officer walked along the queue ordering motorists who wanted to pay cash to join a queue which had formed at the extreme left lane. We had no cash ourselves, so we stayed put in the tediously slow inner lane. We observed that the cash queue was moving at supersonic speed.

There are mobile toilets which are erected at the toll gate. My wife requested me to accompany her to these improvised bathrooms to answer the call of nature. We disembarked from the car and walked towards the toll gate.

After our toilet business, we decided to wait for the car at the toll gate, instead of walking back to our car which was still a long way off in the queue. We found a ridge in a shade and sat a few metres from the toll gate. Directly in front of us, a Zinara official was collecting cash from motorists who had joined the cash queue.

He was fast with his hands and was stuffing cash into a big bag which was slung over his shoulder. He wasn’t counting the money, he wasn’t issuing receipts, and the motorists were not demanding receipts.

I was alarmed. I whispered my observations to my wife and she whispered back to me that it was the biggest racket she had ever seen.

The armed policeman who was controlling traffic walked over to the Zinara official and said something to him which we could not hear. But the Zinara official continued to collect money from motorists and stuff it into the bag which was slung over his shoulder without issuing receipts, right in front of the armed policeman who controlled and organised traffic at the toll gate.

Instead of arresting the Zinara official who was stuffing money into the shoulder bag, the armed policeman came straight at us and barked at us in a vicious voice;

“Get the hell away
from there. What are
gaping at? Move,
move.”

Oh my God! They were in it together!

We stood our ground and answered that we had not committed any offence. The armed policeman walked away furiously and the Zinara official continued to stuff money into the shoulder bag which was now brimming with loot.

Our car arrived and we jumped in and drove away to St Pauls Musamhi to visit our nephew.

This is a country called Zimbabwe, where corruption is flaunted in front of citizens. https://masvingomirror.com

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