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Zambian Logic
Written by Joribar   
Monday, 29 March 2010 20:32

During the course of business, it was often necessary to drive down from Kitwe to the office in Lusaka, and get updates on things. Zambian police cars were rather conveniently given number plates that started with "ZP". As such, one had no difficulty in spotting them, so being caught exceeding the 100kmh speed limit was a rarity.

Due to the state of the roads, being badly infested with potholes, it was a distinct advantage to go quite fast. That way the car wheels did not have time to sink into the holes, as they were passed over very quickly.

Sometimes, these trips were quite eventful. It was usual and expected that there would be police and/or army road blocks on the way down, and certainly at the edge of each town. On one occasion, the police officer asked me to open my boot, where he could see that I was carrying packages (a small amount of stock). He laid his rifle down in the back of my estate car, while rummaging through the bits and pieces I was carrying. Eventually, “OK, you can go, thank you sir ", so off I went. A little later I stopped for fuel and was horrified to see a rifle in my boot! This WAS worrying; - possession of a firearm is strictly illegal unless you have a licence.

So I covered it up, hared off to the nearest police station and reported it. The officer I spoke to was unimpressed with my explanation, but eventually I was "let go".

That episode with the rifle prompted me to find out if one could actually get a licence to own a gun. The firearms office at the local police station was manned by two officers. When I asked how to get a licence, one said “you get a gun, bring it here for us to inspect, we fill in forms, and you get licence"... Fine, I thought. Then his colleague piped up “but because you have come here carrying a gun without a licence, I shall arrest you".

There endeth the first lesson in Zambian logic.