GUILTY AS SIN !
- 26/2/2007 <--Prev : Next-->
Unlike my dear departed Mum, I am doomed to languish in eternal hell ... for yesterday I
actually bribed a government official !! And the worse thing is, it is not the first time I have
done so !!
Now MY MUM was a legend in her time, she was so honest, upright and true, she would
not even use a company envelope for her own use!!
And so she tried to pass on this little virtue, unsuccessfully it would seem, to brother
Gavin and myself !!
My most recent transgression occurred at the Beitbridge Border Post, but with my first
encounter with bribery, I plead total innocence I promise.
A couple of years ago, obtaining a National Parks registration number for a boat was not
normally a problem, and having done it once previously I was au fait with the "system". A
quick visit to National Parks, an entry in a hard cover black ledger book, a small payment
made, and off one should go, both happily and hopefully... .
I could see the book on the shelf behind the parks officer, it smiled at me enticingly, but
the officer was not going to get off her chair and so told me it would "take about a week"
However I did not have a week as we were leaving for the lake that very day and I had even
bought the paint and made a stencil to paint the number on the boat !!(As per National
Park rules !!)
A tad miffed to say the least at her unbending uncivil service-like manner, I dumped my
parcels on her counter and rummaged in my bag for the payment.
The parcels I dumped on her counter included a box of Charons chocolates for a friend I
was about to visit in hospital.
When I emerged from my "ridiculous reticule" (as Mum always called my handbag) the box
of chocolates had vanished and in its place on the counter was the very book with the very
number that I needed so urgently !!
Blushing in horror, canker and perversion emanating from every pore, I raced off clutching
my red hot burning and corrupt boat number, and I could feel Mums eyes boring into me
from her little cloud up there above me.......
Now my recent brush with depravity of course came a lot easier, now that my morals have
been lowered and my soul is decayed..... .and after all The Beitbridge Border Post gleefully
invites all transgressors to it dens of iniquity.
Fresh from our air conditioned vehicle, we manfully struggled through the queue for the
little blue customs paper, the queue for the bridge toll, the queue for Immigration and
sallied forth to the queue for the Returning Residents road access. Armed with the massive
sum of $300 Zimbabwe dollars, we joined the seething mass of humanity.... humbly,
contrite, eyes glazed smilingly, submissive as is our recent lot in life in Zimbabwe.... .
Half an hour passed and we were surprisingly, still the last people in the line, but by now
we were beginning to succumb to the forty degree heat and little rivulets of perspiration
were pouring down our backs.
HeeHoo and Big Mike were sweating profusely by this stage and I of course was merely
"glowing" (Mother always said that ladies never sweated !! Horses sweated !! Ladies merely
An hour had now passed and we were still the last people in the queue.... Big Mike
however has the advantage of being two heads taller than everyone else, and he could see
quite clearly what the rest of us were missing.
At the front of the queue was a lady in a lime green tee shirt, and she had pinioned herself
carefully at the front of the queue. She was boldly taking the money and gate passes off
anyone and everyone and, with the blessing obviously of the security guard and the uncivil
servant, making herself a tidy little sum of money.
No wonder we were still at the very back of the queue as everyone was going round the
side of the queue and handing their passes and money(plus a gratuity for the lime green
agent) right over our heads !!
Glowing and glowering furiously, we folk who make the laws, now decided to break the
laws and join the rotten state of Zimbabwe, and I found myself brandishing my own gate
pass and a largish bank note right under her lime green nose.
This resulted in immediate service,and I sallied forth triumphantly, my corrupt chin
quivering half in glee and half in terror and my pathway to hell firmly secured for ever-
I could feel Mum turning in her grave as tottered in guilty haste from that inferno that is
the BeitBridge Border Post !!