Regular readers of Muckraker’s column will have noted our advice that leaders avoid eating in public.
The thinking here is that the masses out there will be aggrieved if they can’t share the benefits of their masters.
Marie Antoinette famously told the inhabitants of Paris to find some other delicacy when they ran out of bread (historians differ on this).
Nowadays the great and powerful understand the importance of not displaying their good fortune in public. It doesn’t do to shovel in what others can’t do.
Nothing could have better illustrated Muckraker’s point than the front page of the Standard on Sunday. There was our esteemed leader President Robert Mugabe adorned in a North Korean scarf, grimacing as he manoeuvred a spoonful of cake into his copious jaws.
Muckraker’s advice: save the eating for home, Cde President.
The Sunday Mail gave us something to laugh about this weekend. Zimbabwe was “a shining example of what it means to be a free country with total control of its natural resources”, President Mugabe said.
This dream should become a reality in other African countries, he added. This is obviously the president’s idea of a joke. But it’s a joke which is not funny. Zimbabwe’s economy in recent years has taken a nosedive impoverishing millions of citizens.
The brightest elements in its population have emigrated, its resources have been plundered by its politicians and its people demoralised.
We have the “icon of Zimbabwe’s revolution” to thank for that! And far from other countries adopting Zimbabwe’s struggle for “economic independence”, most have warned each other to avoid Zimbabwe’s disaster.
“Through my role as AU chair the pan-Africanist flame will no doubt be reignited and re-energised,” Mugabe claimed.
“Re-ignited and re-energised” by a falling leader? By the way Mugabe said during his birthday interviews he didn’t only fall at the airport recently, he is always falling at home!
Let’s wait and see. Muckraker’s forecast is that things will get steadily worse. This is probably the same flame that kept going out in the first years of Independence and had to be replaced.
A shining example indeed! Meanwhile, Mugabe’s admission that he falls a lot at home was interesting. That is useful to have.
The BBC screened an interesting documentary on Saturday night. It traced how Singapore progressed from a swamp into one of the most powerful economies in the world.
It managed this without any natural resources of its own. Its people were its resource.
Today it is a multiracial success story. Compare that with Zimbabwe’s record under Mugabe. We have all the resources we could wish for but have to import what we need because our rulers have sabotaged the economy.
Mugabe has just spent several weeks in Singapore where he is always shuttling to for medical care and holidays . Has he learnt anything from the example of the island state? It is doubtful listening to his political bluster and empty speeches whenever he gets back.
Singaporeans are immeasurably richer now than they were in 1960 and they are committed to the project of a multiracial society.
Zimbabweans are poorer, its leaders full of hot air.
Look at Singapore Airlines and compare it with Air Zimbabwe if you want to see the difference from another angle.
Meanwhile, “Mujuru’s Sangomas and wicked rituals exposed” kept us entertained over the weekend. But are adults expected to swallow this childish nonsense?
But how can a president of a modern and civilised country spend so much time engaging in withcraft discourse? By the way is it legal in Zimbabwe to accuse anyone of witchcraft? And how can anybody be a “birthday boy” at the age of 91?
Go on Cde Bob and dismantle the little infrastructure left — that should be the swan-song of Zanu PF supporters as they cheer the 91-year-old leader who is threatening more land invasions of safari facilities owned by whites.
Gaining momentum from the stupidity and lack of insight from the youths who want him to rule forever, Mugabe has gotten into overdrive and forgets there are bread and butter issues that require urgent attention instead of making unnecessary populist noises set to plunge the nation further into the economic abyss.
And of course, presiding over a docile and inept party leadership, he is justified in twisting and turning everybody the way he likes.
The alarming levels of folly in Zanu PF, which calls President Robert Mugabe an icon and champion of economic empowerment, are self-destructive and a direct antithesis of political maturity.
After the disorderly land reform programme which sadly resulted in Zimbabwe becoming a basket case, the threat of invading safaris because they are owned by Americans and EU citizens will be recorded as another milestone backwards.
Addressing Zanu PF supporters in Victoria Falls during his birthday celebrations Mugabe said: “Our region has the highest number of safaris. We are going to invade those forests.
We can’t have our people suffer from sanctions when our land is occupied by American people. If they want to be our friends they should do so in toto. They can’t have it both ways.”
What does Mugabe lose after all when he can afford to throw a lavish birthday party worth above US$1,2 million amid a sea of poverty?
When 91 beasts are slaughtered to honour just one person, doesn’t that tell us a lot about how vile African dictators don’t care about the people who gave them power to rule?
This presents a clear scenario where the state is governing against its citizens, rather than with them as former Vice-President Joshua Nkomo said in 1983, according to Fortune S Nkomo in Father Zimbabwe, The Life And Times of An African Legend.
The author tells us that the liberation struggle icon Josiah Tongogara, who had become an admiration to Rhodesia’s prime minister Ian Smith and Nkomo, voted for a joint electoral platform between Zanu and Zapu prior to the 1980 elections, which other central committee members rejected.
Mugabe, being selfish and power hungry, vices he is exhibiting now, could not stomach any chances of Nkomo becoming Zimbabwe’s first prime minister, which Tongogara seemed to have accepted.
Could this be the reason why Tongogara died in an accident? Anyway, the narrative shows Mugabe’s power mongering began to take shape during the liberation war and it is this wanton desire for untrammelled power that has resulted in Zimbabwe degenerating into a wasteland.
ZBC TV carried the news that Sadc commended Zimbabwe for leading in value-addition of products. Which goods is the national broadcaster referring to?
Is Zimbabwe adding value to imports? When there is no industrial activity, how can the nation add value to non-existent products?
Let dreams be dreams and stop fooling people.