The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Bar Talk - Open Letter to the New Governor

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Dear Dr Mangudya,

First of all, we would like to congratulate you on your appointment to the hot seat. We will not join the muttering voices who have been asking why you are the latest in the line of men from that side to get into the seat and if it is reserved for men from that part of the country only.

But to us that is neither here nor there, for it is not where you come from that matters. What we are more concerned about is how good you are going to be for our throats. We are sure that you have or will be consulting many stakeholders so we are making sure that you hear our voice too.

First of all, we urge you to realise that the regulars are the most important sector in the country and treat us accordingly. If you ask one of your minions to provide you with figures you will note how brewers are battling to meet demand while all other producers and manufacturers are whining about this and that.

And you will also note that no one is needed to educate us on buying Zimbabwe. We already do and the imported stuff is only bought by salary barons who should all be locked away in Chikurubi by now so their preferences do not matter anyway. So we can truthfully say that we started living Zim-Asset before it was even written.

Which leads us to the important part of this letter; we do not expect you to tamper with our constituency in the form of any moral rectitude which results in you trying to curb our drinking as some other person whose name we shall not mention tried to do.

As for our health, let that be our concern, unless someone proves that drinkers die more than those who do not partake of fermented and liquified farm produce. In fact, we think you would improve the nation's health better by putting prohibitive taxes on sugar and fast foods. Just look at how obesity and related ailments are affecting the populace.

And anyway, like that unmentioned person will tell you, there is no earthly means of separating a drinker and the drink. We mean, honestly since the banning of the sale of alcohol from non-pub outlets after 8pm have you noted the slightest decrease in the number of drunken people? We assure you that drinks will be procured when wanted, period.

We will not presume to tell you how to do your job, as we cannot tell the difference between stocks and shares, bulls and bears or whatever other fancy terms you think of as ordinary language. But we sure can advise you not to entertain any people claiming to be producing miracle money unless they can provide you with irrefutable forensic evidence thereof.

We have nothing against such claims and if the miracle money falls like manna, we will be scrambling along with everyone else to grab as many bills as possible. But when the man in charge of our country's finance glibly accepts the existence of miracle money without attempting to verify such claims, we get worried and lose confidence in his abilities.

And another little thing that we feel rather strongly about: When addressing the nation please forbear from referring to yourself in the third person as "Your Governor" or any other such affectations. It smacks of an overinflated ego and it really sours our drinks. It drives some regulars to throw missiles at the screen which is obviously not good at all.

Or sometimes we are forced to switch to a sports channel and rely on "analysts" to tell us what you were saying instead of us hearing it from the horse's mouth. The usual "I" has served you well since birth and will be useful after your term or terms expire so you may as well keep it during your reign.

We know that you have much experience with the media as we have seen your face and knew your name well before your lucky number came up.

And now you are a much more attractive subject because of the power that you yield.

But please, do not suppose that to be the green light to turn yourself into an A list star who must be followed by cameras everywhere and whose every pronouncement is turned into a red carpet event. A little restraint will go a long way in endearing you to us as our eyes will not suffer from an over saturation of your face.

We know that power and money make for an unbeatable combination and the resultant aphrodisiac will already have a lot of fair ones making a big play for you. In this case, less is definitely more. We shall not repeat the stories of 'big men' who have been undone when former playmates tell all and sundry of the caterpillars who inhabit the shrines meant for royal pythons. A word to the wise is enough.

Finally, please always tell us the truth. We can bear it even if we must take several shots of the best to withstand the worst shocks. What we find contemptible is for someone to grab a megaphone and repeatedly tell us that we are speeding full steam ahead when the ship is obviously sinking and even the rats have jumped overboard.

We will respect you more for looking us in the eye and declaring that we are up that infamous creek sans paddle and must use our hands to muck out. Like we said, we might need a few shots but we will take it.

So, welcome dear governor and we hope to be drinking to your health all the time at the usual place, for the remainder of your days as a governor and even afterward.

Till next week, bottoms up!

Facebook: Bra Gee, Email: brageesbar@gmail.com

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