Buying a Sim in Zim

Getting the simcard is very easy, putting it in the phone as well. But then, there is a small process of getting it registered taking place. Now this is not as easy.

First, there is this big room with ten different long lines of waiting. A man in a uniform points to different people with different enquiries to what line they should stand in. Once in a while there was a new line forming and an old one disappearing. He pointed me to the left.

As I get to the counter the man asks where my form is. I had to walk out, around the corner, down the stairs into a darker basement. Inside is a long line of tables, all with small lamps on them and pens. A stern looking man gave me two pieces of paper and asked me to “sit down here” pointing towards a chair. I didn’t feel like it, I would rather turn around and run away. But I did sit down and I did fill out the form.

Then, there was that long line again. The uniform-man recognized me and I was directed to the front. The man was happy as I handed him the forms, but there was one problem. As adress I had written my Swedish adress. “You need to be Zimbabwean recident.” he said with a dark voice. “Or at least have a Zimbabwean adress.” he said. I couldn’t tell him I was couch surfing, so I pointed up the road and said “well the taxi I came with came from there, I don’t think there are so many hostels around. It’s a back packers. Do you know it sir?” I asked. He shrugged, looked at his partner and back at me, then down at the paper again. Then I remembered I had writted down the name of a hostel in my notebook, I took it out and pointed at the words, “here, that’s the one. I don’t know which street, but it’s only one with the name sir.”

It was actually that easy. A lot of more smiling and a lot of more time, but eventually he changed my Swedish adress to the hostel and I got my simcard registered with the government. Just because someone came up with some law that all simcards have to be registered.


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