God giveth what ZANU PF hath taken away
It is abidingly and enormously satisfying to stand in the shower and, for the first time, wash away the grime, dust and chaos of Zimbabwe with water heated by God’s own sunshine without depending on the tin-gods and the oafs of politics for electricity.
The solar geyser is online, as are solar panels on the deck that run the Wifi, the television, lights, the computer and various chargers that have been on-and-off for the past month of 18-hour power cuts.
It was liberating in that shower and my friend sang her heart out, scrubbing and splashing in the pleasure and luxury of steaming soapy foam. God giveth what ZANU PF has taken away, she said.
God doesn’t come cheap. We had to call in debts and borrow to make up the $2,000 for installation at the modest little house. God doesn’t do the refridgerator without more expense, so next on the agenda is to find a small gas fridge. The dogs won’t like it because they have been feasting of late on sirloin, oxtail, ribs marinade, bacon and boerswors that went “off” in the freezer.
After the initial outlay, of course, sunshine is free. The incompetence of the electricity supply company must eventually visit even more financial losses upon it.
In one of the many ludicrous claims about who is to blame for the crisis, Energy Minister Samuel Undenge said the meteorological department lied about rains on the horizon that would replenish the depleted waters at the Kariba hydroelectric dam; they forecast rain but it was only mist, he declared this week. Really! His own experts have already admitted it was a total lack of forethought and planning that led to the neglect of the power sector since 1987. Equipment was neither upgraded nor maintained properly and no money was spent on it when all along the political elite continued to flaunt their vast personal wealth.
Now there’s a new theory gaining currency in the traditionally superstitious populous at Kariba and elsewhere. Much disliked Chinese engineers/visitors/workers/residents tried recently to capture NyamiNyami, the giant fish-serpent river god of the Zambezi river and take Zimbabwe’s own Loch Ness monster to an aquatic zoo in China.
NyamiNyami never wanted the hydro-electric dam built in the first place. In local superstition, he is blamed for all the deaths and mishaps in the construction of the dam and on the lake afterwards. The dam wall separated him from his female mate too, the legend goes.
Tribal rites will have to be carried out, so the story goes on, to appease NyamiNyami, punish the alleged Chinese miscreants and turn Undenge’s mist into the rain Kariba so desperately needs!
One of the more despicable aspects of the the power crisis is that neighbourhood busybodies are collecting details of blocks of streets that seem to be getting more power than their own. Firstly, the power company won’t give a damn about inequalities in its madcap, erratic ‘load shedding’ schedule. Secondly, and worse, have we become snitches like those used by the former East Germany’s hateful Stasi secret police or even the Rwanda Hutu militias where neighbour pointed the finger at neighbour?