HomeOpinionThere's more to Blair fleeing Mugabe

There’s more to Blair fleeing Mugabe

By Charles Mangongera

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and his bootlickers are over the moon because he shook Prince Charles’ hand at Pope John Paul II’s funeral.

ana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>According to the president, they also talked about beautiful girls in Ghana and in the conversation Mugabe is said to have told the prince that his first wife Sally was Ghanaian.

I am not sure if the conversation went further to touch on beautiful girls from Zimbabwe and Britain because the prince and the president married a Briton and a Zimbabwean respectively, in their second marriages.

Upon returning to Zimbabwe, the president also had a tale to tell about British Prime Minister Tony Blair fleeing from his official seat on realising that his delegation was to sit next to Mugabe at the funeral. The story has it that Blair, his wife Cherie, the leader of the Conservative party Michael Howard and the leader of the Liberal Democrats Charles Kennedy were to sit next to our dear leader and that this scared the hell out of them.

I enjoyed reading about the composition of the British delegation — Blair the prime minister, Howard the challenger and Kennedy, another challenger, all putting aside their political differences for a worthy cause. Zvinodadisa zvimbwasungata izvi (they are wonderful these imperialists)!

Imagine Mugabe joining hands with Morgan Tsvangirai and Wilson Khumbula, or even Jonathan Moyo for that matter, or any other aspirant to the presidential throne, for a worthy cause! Like attending the funeral of Archbishop Pius Ncube, or Archbishop Desmond Tutu, for instance. Not that I am praying for the Lord to take them now. I mean Pius Ncube and Desmond Tutu! But we are all mortals, are we not?

But what is the significance of the handshake between the prince and the president, one may ask? And the Blair fleeing incident?

Firstly, the government-controlled media went to town about it, with the official daily at the weekend giving a blow-by-blow account of what transpired. I think there is a real lack of seriousness among these people. I mean Mugabe and his bootlickers like television propagandist Reuben Barwe. The country is in deep trouble and all they waste their time and energy talking about is how Blair and his crew “fled” from Mugabe and how the president and the prince talked about beautiful girls in Ghana.

Something is not right here. Instead of using the rare opportunity to talk about the problems bedevilling the country, the president says he was talking about beautiful girls! There is a biting shortage of everything from cooking oil to fuel, and even common sense! Yet we waste our energies on trivia.

If I were the president I would have used the rare moment with the prince to implore him to help in the thawing of relations with Britain and the rest of the world so that Zimbabwe gets readmitted to the international community. This isolationist attitude is not bearing fruit Mr President. Neither is the “Look East” policy. The East is busy looking somewhere else, the West included. We are shunning the West at our own peril.

But why did the British delegation flee from the president anyway? I did not hear Barwe mentioning this. Could it be because paita kasimero kehudictator? (there is a dictatorship stink?)

Should we be celebrating when other people find it difficult to sit next to us, even at a funeral? I think there is a serious need for self-introspection on the part of the president. In all social circles when people refuse to sit next to you, either une gwembe (a serious infectious skin disease) or it is because of another reason that I cannot talk about in a family newspaper like this.

Let’s think about it seriously Mr President.

*Charles Mangongera is a political researcher and writer.

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