Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fun Amid Fuel Crisis

People started fighting yesterday.
But the fuel, Petrol to be precise, they were fighting for came just three hours ago.
News that the Rashid Gaffar tank hired to ferry the fuel 'home' reached consumers yesterday noon, and almost everyone new where the 'home' was: Blantyre Central Business District Caltex Filling Station, close to Kandodo Corner Shop.
Vehicles, a long line of vehicle, spent the whole of last night on the queue- in the hope that the liquid that gives vehicles life would have.
It was an act of faith, too; waiting there in the sunlight, standing still in the biting-winter cold, and then bracing the darkness that was yesterday night.
Today came, and the hopes still did not fade.
This hope was paid around noon, when the Rashid Gaffar Truck came with Petrol. It is Petrol that people want; Diesel is not a problem this week.
But the driver came with his rule: no motorist within 10 metres of his fuel tanker.
Other motorists hestated, fearing they could lose their place.
THe driver, in a blue worksuit, simply threatened to put the ignition key on that little whole that falses vehicles to pay attention to the driver, and go to another station.
No choice, people obliged.
Malawians have been reduced to robbots, obeying people who pump the fuel into their vehicle tanks. People who, just two years ago, were also wiping windshields and mirror glasses!
How things change.
The courtesy is gone.
President Bingu wa Mutharika, too, has lost direction.
The president is a blind man now (no offense intended), he is busy leading the nation astray.
Well, the tanker was done with the fuel-defacation task within 30 minutes.
Refueling started, and went on well.
But two hours later, the fuel attendants announced that fuel had run out.
Motorists, angry and stranded, took tree branches and inserted them into the fuel storage tank, trying to gauge the levels of the fuel remaining, and trying to gauge the trustworthness and honesty of the fuel attendants.
The 'tree' measurements revealed the Petrol was knee-high in the storage tank.
But the attendants said it was finished.
Now, the motorists have put their feet down, saying the fuel is there, and that they will not leave the Caltex Filling Station without full or half tanks.
So have the fuel attentants; they say the fuel is over now, and will not resume refueling vehicles simply because the refueling substants is not there.
That is what people are doing at Kandodo Corner Shop.
They are peddling lies and empty threats.
Which brings us to the theme of Zachimalawi during this winter month of July;the theme is a question: When shall all this come to an end?

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