It is peculiarly southern African to have traffic lights we call ‘robots.’ But don’t get nostalgic for robots here in Harare. Half of them don’t work and the police are too busy scamming money out of innocent drivers at roadblocks to actually do their job of controlling the traffic at intersections where the ‘bots’ are broken.
New one today. A lady is asked at a roadblock why she is wearing sunglasses when the sun isn’t shining. Is she trying to hide something?
And these mounds of rubble are appearing on our suburban streets. This one was dumped 18 days ago by a tipper truck. Four cars swinging around the adjacent junction have hit it so far. It seems the authorities are leaving it up to residents themselves to spread the stuff into the potholes.
No chance, says a neighbour from Mr Mugabe’s party. It is the job of the opposition-led Harare council to repair the potholes though the city hasn’t been paid its dues by Mr Mugabe’s Zinara – the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority that collects all road dues and taxes – to do it. Millions in citizens road taxes have been kept and left unaccounted for by Zinara in the past year.
I give up.