ADMITTEDLY, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard went overboard when she chose to place our Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, on the same pedestal with luminaries such as Nelson Mandela. However, Tsvangirai cannot be held responsible for this absurdity.
Evidently incensed by the limelight and accolades that Tsvangirai received, President Robert Mugabe responded by labelling Tsvangirai, as he is wont to do whenever he speaks in public, a puppet of the West who is being used to divide his own people.
He then went on to say “some of us have scars inflicted by the colonial settlers when we were fighting against them. But some of us choose to ignore this…”.
These sentiments are not only insensitive but are an insult to long-suffering Zimbabweans who have experienced indescribable poverty during Mugabe’s 32 years in power.
This is one man whom Zimbabweans rewarded immensely for his contribution to the liberation struggle. Though unfairly incarcerated by Ian Smith, Mugabe walked out of prison armed with several university degrees while his own jails have become death chambers.
Was he not shamed by the documentary about Zimbabwean prisons aired by the South African Broadcasting Corporation a few years ago where prisoners were all skin and bone and wore rags?
Since Independence, Mugabe has lived a fairy tale life with immense powers that resemble those of yesteryear emperors. He currently operates three houses –– two State residencies which are used to house the prime minister and president and his own private, apparently palatial, residence in Borrowdale.
Hararean motorists cannot drive past State House after 6pm for presidential security reasons, even though he no longer resides there.
Mugabe has a travel budget that is bigger than that of the Education ministry, has many farms, travels abroad for medical check-ups and even though he is chancellor of state universities, they are not good enough for his children. What more could we do for him?
Most importantly, while he is fortunate enough to talk of scarring while living a life of unimaginable luxury at taxpayers’ expense. But a large proportion of Zimbabwe’s population have wounds still festering –– wounds inflicted by Five Brigade and Zanu PF militias for example.
So, while he is angry that there are some people who ignore his scars, one might ask, who should victims of Gukurahundi, Murambatsvina, political violence, hunger, disease and abject poverty be angry with?
But then again, who could ever forget Mugabe’s scarring by the colonial regime? He makes a point of reminding us all the time but conveniently forgets the scars he inflicted on others.
Think about it Mr President!