Does being 60 not count any more?
The Standard, Sunday, 23 October 2011 11:59
My wife and I are fast approaching 60 and our worries seem to be multiplying by each day. Can someone clarify whether attaining 60 is still treated as being a senior citizen? We took a relative who is 70 to the passport office and we were shocked to be told that he had to join the queue at night. When we mentioned that he was a senior citizen no one was interested to listen. From 60 and above we are no longer competing for jobs with anyone. We acquire passports to visit children and grandchildren abroad and that should not make us have sleepless nights.
When we arrived at Makombe building (passport office) by 4am we saw what appeared to be an endless queue and were instructed to follow it to the end. We joined the line just by Samora Machel Avenue. We were told that the line had started building up at 4pm the previous day. We had to leave our relative in the queue and our worries never ceased. Should we treat each other this way?
Putting aside the case of the old, is there no other system which can be used to issue passports in a way which respects the ordinary citizens of this nation? Those who are well-connected, I am told, do not face such humiliating experiences. I know there are passport offices in other towns and the situation there may be better.
Those who come to Harare have to go there. My relative does not live very far from Harare. Many have their relatives in the capital and going to these small towns may not be the best option for them.
What are the benefits of attaining 60 years of age? Will it be asking for too much for the ministry concerned to set aside one official at each passport office to cater for the old? This officer may serve the young ones if there are no old people who want passports.We do not lose anything by respecting the elderly. We actually lose much by not respecting them. Christians know this from the scriptures, that when we honour our parents/elders we also get more years to live. Is it that because we no longer respect elders so we are dying young? — Food for thought!
In other parts of the world, once one has attained 60, there are so many benefits that come with age. It is like the nation is congratulating one for attaining such an age.
Many concessions are given even in shops, transport and other amenities that are essential. Should Zimbabwe remain hostile to its senior citizens or we repent and do the right thing? We can do it.
Rev Dr Levee Kadenge, Harare.