Saturday, November 17, 2012

Diggin' up the dirt

On Friday - a friend had one of those moments which occur more frequently in Africa than in other parts of the world. Sarah was shopping in town, and was driving past the Central Police Station when she was pulled over by one of Zimbabwe's finest - in this case a lady Officer.

As is standard procedure, Sarah was told that she was to be fined............but the reason was not any one of the normally used ones like "No seatbelt" or "No reflective stickers".


In this case, she was to be fined because............her car was dirty!

I kid you not! She was advised that the fine was $5 - and she would have to pay at once.

Immediately Sarah contested this, and demanded to be shown the "Law". The Policewoman produced a thick set of regulations, and Sarah leafed through it - the only transgression which came close, as she pointed out to the Officer, was a section which listed a fine of $10 for having a windscreen (windshield) through which it was impossible to see properly. But, as she pointed out to the Officer, it was easy to see through her windscreen.

However, the long arm of the law was not to be fobbed off quite so easily, and pointed out in return that the "rear windscreen" was dusty - which it indeed was, because Sarah and her husband live down a dirt road along which they have to travel if they want to go anywhere. However, it was only mildly dusty. Sarah put on her rear wiper, and it cleared off some of the dirt, but by then it was too late, because the Policewoman ignored this belated cleaning effort, and made out the fine...........but for $10, not the $5 originally demanded, because Sarah had found the law indicating a $10 fine all by herself!

I am afraid that a Policeman in the road is not going to be a welcome sight in Zim until after Christmas!!

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