Of dodgy awards and clean water
Harare’s tap water is as pure and holy as alter wine… if you believe everything you read. According to an independent test commissioned by The Herald – a publication which by Mugabe’s own admission pushes party agenda – Harare’s tap water contains no coliform – bacteria, in everyday language – and is safe to drink. For reasons of survival, the sense of smell is directly linked to taste.
If it smells good, chances are it is safe to eat or drink. If, on the other hand, it smells of decay and you venture to consume it, chances are you will be lying in the back of an ambulance soon after.
If Harare’s water is safe then it is reasonable to attribute the recurrent outbreaks of diarrhoea to bad juju in the air rather than the obvious source. It is also reasonable to ignore the signs of unsafe tap water: its ever-present odour, the borehole drilling boom and the stacks of bottled water in supermarket aisles and indeed on the conference tables of government officials during television appearances.
No amount of ‘independent tests’ or big words – coliform – will convince the reasonable man into daring to sip from the cesspool that is Harare’s kitchen taps which, quite frankly, should all bear the danger warning sign of skull and crossbones.
Very few official reports can be trusted these days. Mugabe denies that the country’s unemployment rate is 70%, which perhaps is true because the correct figure is much higher. Zimstat contends that unemployment stands at 11%, despite the swarms of unemployed youths loitering at street corners. Even our football matches, played at 3pm on Fridays, suggest that the majority have plenty of time to kill.
Last week, state media made a big song and dance about an EU tourism award. Despite claims that the EU had ‘endorsed Zimbabwe’ as the best tourist destination, the European Union has distanced itself from the body called ECTT, which presented the dubious award to our president, whose PR team will stop at nothing to alter perceptions. The Zimbabwean