Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kariba Dam is to be Blown-Up!

The Dam and statue of legendary Nyaminyami

Kariba Dam is to be Blown-Up!

Reported by Lore for the LOTR newsdesk.

The following satirical piece is interspersed with pictures from ‘84-’94. At the end I have written a few more details and some interesting links. Remember to double click on pics for supersize.

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has upheld the ruling party’s policy of wanton pillage and have agreed with the complainant, Nyaminyami, to be allowed to return to his ancestral home, along with his people, the Batongas.

Ruling in favour of the legendry Zambezi river-god, Chief Justice Dull Sixpence said

‘The Whiteman built the wall so as to steal the land from their rightful owners. Under all that water is a lot of land waiting to be farmed, so this ruling gives it back. The dam must be destroyed as soon as possible.

Several representatives, who had attempted to block the ruling, had raised some valid points. Chief Chop Chop had complained that his Kapenta industry would collapse. The Judge had disagreed saying

‘I didn’t know we still had such an industry. Besides, those tiny fresh water sardines taste disgusting. They can be replaced with herds of cattle.’

The crane that lifts up the sluice gates.

Jubilant supporters rampaged through the pot-holed streets of Harare, torching any souvenir shop selling tins of Kariba fresh air. A spokesperson for the government, Deputy Minister for Sitting Around and Moaning, Thickness Matonga, told gathered reporters

‘This will take time to implement as due to western sanctions we only have enough dynamite for the few remaining suicide bombers to blow the last whites off their farms. However, due to the fact we have too many Doctors sitting around doing nothing, we have put them to work genetically changing white termites to eat concrete.’

Kapenta boat

The Environmentally Incapacitated Movement also voiced their concerns. They pointed out that the collapse would destroy all of Mana Pools, overwhelm the Cahora Bassa Dam in neighbouring Mozambique and create a tsunami that would engulf Madagascar.

Open market, High Density Suburb, Harare. Note the pile of Kapenta and loads of food. ca 1984

Thickness Matonga brushed aside their fears with ridicule.

‘Mana Pools, last bastion of the Whiteman’s desire to be close to nature? Hah, do I look bovered? As for Mozambique, I don’t give a shit. Those bastards were supported by us during the liberation struggle and now have the audacity to demand payment for the bit of electricity they gave us; in US dollars. What wrong with Zimbabwe dollars, the back-stabbing swines? I personally don’t need their electricity, I have a brand new Yamaha generator I found on my new farm. As for Madagascar, who needs the place? The last film was set in Kenya for Christ’s sake.’

Someone asked how many of the original people will be returning to their recovered homes.

‘Sadly, not that many,’ the Minister said, ‘our statistics’ experts reckon from the last election role most of the Batongas have been dead for at least two decades and the rest will soon be for voting for the MDC. Anyway, that is not our fault but Ian Smith’s racist Selous Scouts dogs.

Mana Pools Nat Park, Zambezi River.

Before leaving the Minister made a chilling warning.

‘We all know there is a lake-load of firewood down there. Let me make one thing very clear. I have a firm called Zariba Firewood Pvt Ltd. It has the exclusive rights to all of the firewood. Should any one attempt to remove one twig, I will have them machined gunned from helicopters, just like those illeagal diamond diggers the other day.’

Kariba sunset with exposed trees.

Editor’s comments.

When contacted, the Zambian Minister of Some Power, Cool-Beans Ncube, responsible for supplying the Zambian side hydro-electricity to the copper mines, spoke very bluntly.

‘ Should the irresponsible behaviour of the Zimbabwean government goes ahead and attempts to have the wall eaten away, I can assure you, the entire Zambian army will be sent to Kariba to stamp out the vermin, once and for all.’


Kapenta was a huge industry and a much source of protein. The Zimbabweans would eat it in a form of relish with their Sadza. It became a sort of touristy thing when the tiny things, smaller than a baby finger, would be deep fat fried and handed out on Booze-cruises. The kapenta boats went out at night on a dodgy platform. The crew, normally two, would lower a large, about five meter cross round net into the water. Two lamps run by a generator would be placed above it. The sardines would come and have a look, and when enough had gathered, up came the net. However, the light also attracts bugs – billions of them. The poor blokes would be bitten half dead.

Kariba wood. When the lake was created, millions of trees died and became petrefied. When the lake is low, thousands of the eerily trees sprout up all over the place. It is great for bream fishing. You also loose a lot of hooks and tracer when trolling for Tiger, as they get constantly snagged.

More can be found here –

The Legend of Nyaminyami can be found here –

Cahora Bassa Dam –


Eusebia said...

I enjoyed the humour in this article. Thank you for making me laugh as you passed on your message about the mess this country is in and the madness of those who are trying to rule and failing dismally.
Tell me if you know, how is Kariba these days? Has this holiday resort also decayed like almost everything else in the country?

Anonymous said...

Holy Avogadro's number -

For exercise in time wasting, calculate the cost of construction of Kariba adjusting for inflation in current Zim dollars. My back of the envelope calculation gives a value of Zim$ 3 x 10^23 (@ Nov 2008)

Avogadro's number is 6.02 x 10^23 or the number of molecules in a mole of a substance.
(The first time I have used Avogadros number in 30 years.)

Anonymous said...

I once worked here for the love of the industry i was once in and my heart bleeds if everthing is going to decay like everything else because the economy is in the hands of a few clique
I do remember there were people working on the power station from GEC Alsthom and they just complained that the River Water Authority made them fork out for everything