DO MY STARS LINE UP ?          - 17/7/2011      <--Prev : Next-->

Its a matter of getting all the stars aligned in a row as to whether one can get fuel in Zimbabwe !! Sometimes, very occasionally, its as easy as it is in any other country, but then the wheels start falling off again. We have been through our whole lives hunting and gathering for fuel, and after what we have been through I suppose we should not really complain ...

Remember those days of fuel queues, fuel coupons, riding bicycles to meet up with one's car in a fuel queue, or leaving a rock or a drum in your posi as surety that one keeps one's place in the queue. Remember those royal battles one would get involved in as the taxis would queue jump ? Remember needing the loo whilst sitting hour after hour in the baking heat in a queue? Hopefully those days are gone forever but why, when we are a seemingly "normal" economy, do the fuel stations often have no fuel ??

One day they have petrol but no diesel, the next day they have diesel but no petrol. And when you do find a station with diesel, there is no power so the pumps cannot operate. And then if you find one with diesel and power to pump, their system is not online or down so you cannot use your fuel card !! One does not draw into a forecourt and say "fill 'er up please" one says, do you have diesel/petrol? If the answer is yes one proceeds to the next question "Do you have ZESA?" and if that is answered in the affirmative the next question is "I have a fuel card, are you online?"

Its a complicated procedure but the last thing you must do is pull up with a swagger at a pump and just "Expect" !! There are wonderful things happening in Zimbabwe I must say. Things that First Worlders take for granted like traffic lights. Slowly but surely they seem to be almost fully functional now. Street lights ? Yes, without doubt the City Council is sorting out our street lights in a lot of areas. Potholes, yes indeed apart from the odd awful awful roads, our pothole situation is slowly improving. Water ? Hmmm not too bad I suppose, very disturbing though these sad infant deaths from diarrhea, hopefully its not water borne, and we pray it will end soon.

One of the brightest stars on the horizon is the good news about the Khumalo Hockey Stadium. With the African Olympic Hockey Qualifier being hosted in Bulawayo in August, its all go at the stadium where the City Council, local firms and enterprising bodies are all working round the clock to ensure the new pitch is down in time and the grounds are ready ! The big pimple on our noses is still ZESA though.

Yes I know half the worlds population is without water and electricity and I am always exceptionally grateful that we do sometimes have power. BUT !! We pay exorbitant amounts for the privileged of flicking a switch and if one pays for a service one has a right to expect it.

The most galling thing was when She Who Must Sing went to the Victoria Falls earlier this year and when they tried to book at the expensive and exclusive Boma restaurant they were told it was totally booked out for a conference .. well now, who were the lucky participants ? Can you believe it cash strapped ZESA and and even more cash strapped ESKOM (The South African equivalent of ZESA) Now its certainly not cheap at the Boma but then maybe, maybe they were paying their own bills and not charging it to the company ?

Oh well, enough vindictive musings, time to visit a fuel station and see if my stars are all lined up in a neat little row ?