The national carrier Air Zimbabwe’s flight left Victoria Falls an hour early because, the ground staff said, they had to use a slower plane. Quite why they couldn’t just arrive in Harare an hour later was not explained.
All the passengers booked to travel at the weekend could not be reached by phone and the flight left anyway. Those left behind guessed schedules were upset by the travels of Mr Mugabe and his entourage to the African Union summit in Rwanda.
Those stranded were put up for an extra night at a luxury hotel in the Falls owned by none other than Obert Mpofu, one of Mr Mugabe’s wealthiest government ministers. Air Zim crews have year-round permanent rooms reserved for them there at a cost to the broke and troubled airline of something in the region of $300,000 a year, whether they are occupied every day or not.
The local media, meanwhile, has referred to Morgan Tsvangirai having colony cancer. The opposition leader says he is responding well under treatment for colon cancer. Local broadcasters may well have had Mr Mugabe’s much used mantra on their minds: ‘Zimbabwe will never be a colony again.’
Amid the latest turmoil, the local media still insists the riot police carry ‘button sticks.’ In the military, a button stick is a strip of metal or wood that slots behind buttons when they are being polished or buffed so the fabric behind isn’t smeared.
The police riot stick is a baton.
Zimlish classics include ‘scotching heat’ for scorching, ‘the ball is your frying pan now,’ he’s got ‘more his shoulders than he can chew’ and the broadcast that spoke of “Queen Elizabeth the Eleventh.’
In the present crisis, more and more people are seeking salvation from the new pastors and prophets who take tithes from poor worshippers and have become extremely wealthy, with luxury cars and flashy wardrobes.
This from a Nigerian website: the pastor’s shoes, the church building committee chairman’s shoes and the pastor’s wife’s shoes.
The Nigerians also say this disorientation is what happens when the economically desperate smoke mbanje/weed/Bob Marley for the first time. Zimbabweans now grappling with the intricacies and difficulties of plastic money and Internet banking certainly shouldn’t try doing any transactions after scud or spliff.
Parting thought: Mr Mugabe and his party think recent protests are being funded by foreigners mainly in the West and ‘regime change’ non government organizations and that sanctions are at the root of all the country’s present woes.
This tweet from Rwanda on the African Union budget for the coming year: