(Right: The Marimba river entering Lake Chivero at year end, almost all the flow is stinking, noxious industrial effluent, sewage and God knows what else going straight into the Harare water supply unchecked.)
(Below: Scavengers at Harare’s Pomona dump, politely known as a landfill. The sickening stench carries for miles. Some scavengers live on the dump, awaiting the morning deliveries of the worst of human detritus.)
LOST AT SEA …
The captain of the ship, Mr Mugabe, has left the helm in the hands of his squabbling subordinates. No doubt he is in touch with them from time to time from his luxury holiday hideaway in the ‘Far East,’ as his destination was officially described without giving further details.
Before he disembarked, he held a lavish party for his officers and some of his crew. There was much to celebrate in 2015, he said – like the visit of Chinese President Xi Jin Ping and the successful conclusion of the ZANU PF conference in early December which resolved the economy was recovering at ‘full steam ahead.’
With the cap’n away, signals coming from the ship, though, are indecipherable. No-one knows where the ship is going, least of all the pilots, navigators and shipmates still on board.
The ship’s bursar – the local bourse or ZSC – lost $ 1.3 billion in market capitalisation and stock value in 2015 because of the tumbling GDP, business closures and soaring unemployment.
The decks have gaping holes, the power goes on and off and the engine room is a shambles. The sick bay hasn’t enough drugs. The prow is leaking, flotsam and jetsam pours in and seagulls scavenge through the ship’s garbage and the waste left in its wake.
Foreigners with money to fix it are getting conflicting semaphore signals from the bridge: Yes, we’d like your help, no strings. No, we don’t want direct investment unless we get 51 percent in the end…
Deal or no deal? Lifeboats at the ready?