I am in despair. We have been on the slippery slope for years but it is now nose dive mode. We have effectively been cut off from the rest of the world telephonically w.e.f. this past weekend. The landlines hardly ever work for trunk calls. We often have no landlines at all. When we have a power cut the Highlands exchange (which controls our office landlines) goes onto generator power. When they run out of diesel (which happens frequently) the phones die. We offered to supply them with diesel just to get phones back. "No. We cannot accept donations from the public". So the lines remain dead until either power is restored or they get a fresh supply of diesel!! Okay so that is the landlines. "But you have mobiles" you say. Yes we did until Sunday when the network decreed our mobiles could no longer be used to dial any regional or international number. All contract lines (now only good for calls within Zim) have been cancelled and replaced with pay as you go. As in CASH only up front recharge cards in Z$2 million denominations available from only 2 outlets in Harare. The queues to purchase these are horrendous. This buys you 33 mins of talk time when you purchase it. BUT 24 hours later you may only have Z$20,000 left even if you haven't made a single call. Why? Because they devalue the value of your recharge at the rate of inflation! And 36 hours after they introduced this system, they have run out of recharge cards so effectively our mobiles are now useless even for local calls.
Money. I have told the boss to stop paying me. I will work for free. Cash withdrawal limitations for companies mean I can't be paid in cash only by cheque deposit into my bank account. I have no access whatsoever to this money. There are cash withdrawal limits on individuals but that aside the queues to withdraw cash begin at 4 a.m. One doesn't queue for hours one queues for days to withdraw an amount that wouldn't even buy a loaf of bread. Nobody will take cheques any longer (not even ZESA the supplier of electricity). So there the money sits inaccessible and devaluing by the minute. Supermarkets have a few shelves with provisions all quoted in USD. The shelves for provisions in local currency are completely empty.
It is totally insane
I don't know about you, but that makes me realise how fortunate I really am.