Open Letter To Fortune Chasi, “strife and disappointment has forced me to take this “pen””
2 March 2020
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Jairos Saunyama

Dear Fortune Chasi

I have known you as the man who reaches out.

Your humour and personality projected through your social media posts is simply outstanding. Your public relations record must be the “how to” manual for many office bearers.

In short, I admire that side of you which relates to people. Unfortunately that is where our story of love ends. Beyond it, you are saddled with key national responsibilities which make me criticise you every day.

As a seasoned scribe, I would have put together a moving article that would in the most colourful and well-coordinated English words put bare what I am going through, but I thought maybe, let me do it the old-fashioned way — and so it as just as a citizen, not an esteemed member of the fourth estate.

It is thus the reason I write this open letter to you.

Like I said earlier, I fell in love truly, madly and deeply with your communication skills on Twitter. I declared you are different and perhaps the best minister in the new dispensation. It was a happy day in my life when the news of your appointment to be minister reached my ears. Your declarations of skinning snakes alive and zeal on social media were so impressive.

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I, however, had to wait for action, needless to say I am still waiting.

Back in the days I was a doyen of scribbling love letters at school and for the sake of it and also pure poetic privilege, allow me to travel back in time, the days when letter writing was still an art and there was pleasure in being a wordsmith.

Dear Chasi, strife and disappointment has forced me to take this “pen” and force it to dance disco on this piece of “paper”, you might see words but to me it’s the outpouring of my heart.

I could have written this a long time ago, but I couldn’t because I had to join a fuel queue (and I have been doing that for months now). I could have written this piece at home but the candle is only bright at romantic dinners not when you need to write to an Honourable Minister. I could also have done it at the office, but the sound of the generator is not exactly the prescribed soundtrack in moments of creativity.

I hope you understand!

As I write to you, the only source of light is from my laptop — thanks to a prayerful neighbour, who allowed me to recharge it using the solar system. A bolt of lightning struck and according to Zesa officials, the transformer developed a fault. An official said it takes months or a year to supply a transformer. Indeed, I am not puzzled that in this 21st century the parastatal is struggling to secure a transformer.

Oh I get it, there is the issue of fuel to be concluded.

Dear minister, my ex-Jap vehicle is now decorated with petrol stains below the fuel cap as I have become a serial buyer on the black-market. Recently, your colleague from Zera said the fuel situation would improve but that was a blatant lie. You have changed, Chibabest. I think you have failed to skin the live snake. Or you have been bitten by it? Is the venom confusing you? Do you think you deserve the title Chibabest now?

Minister, I think this is the best time you resorted to your Zimdancehall stage name Mudhara Chasi. The tag Chibabest has been obscured by the current crisis in the country.

I am only a layman, but I want to ask you: What is the problem on the issue of fuel availability? So, all these months you have failed to come up with a solution to this crisis?

I miss those moments when you were hands-on as the Transport and Infrastructure deputy minister. You would post pictures of you behind some road works across the country. It has been long since you posted any meaningful achievement in your new ministry. I wish one day you would post a picture of you at a service station without cars queuing for fuel. I would love to see you posting pictures of you at Hwange Thermal Power Station telling the nation that the upgrade is now complete. For some time now, the upgrade is always at 35-40% complete.

Mudhara Chasi, you have become a genius on counting stolen transformers — leave that to police. May you please focus on critical issues. The nation needs adequate fuel supplies. I know you will blame the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe or either your colleague Mthuli Ncube who deals with finances. As I peep into my phone, it is bad news as usual. You have approved the hiking of electricity fees. It is okay, so what is next? I can predict that it will be another fuel price hike. I could have continued writing, but there is less power now as I need to use the remaining to recharge my mobile phone.

Please if you see your colleague in the Primary and Secondary Education ministry, tell him that I am also writing to him on how the education system is in the doldrums after a survey I did in Mashonaland East province.

It is a season of letters.
Yours truly
Jairos Saunyama