“With his minions fighting over positions and the opposition in disarray, President Mugabe feels as secure in power as ever and continues to make it known that he is not going anywhere”, M&G columnist Jason Moyo remarks.
“At the recent Sadc meeting, Armando Guebuza who is stepping down in October as Mozambique president bade farewell to other leaders noting how Mugabe was the only one to have attended all previous 34 summits.
“Mugabe basked in the applause. Then, with no sense of irony, he stood up and bade Guebuza farewell.”
A tragic irony and lack of common sense indeed!
With ZimAsset dominating any mention of future economic policy, it was sad to witness recently the steady destruction of the nation’s timber estates, its banana plantations and wattle estates, as Zanu PF’s arsonists pursue a scorched-earth policy which destroys all before it.
Shouldn’t we be working hard to preserve national assets like Eastern Highlands timber estates? Or do we simply sabotage all that is valuable around us without a care in the world?
The Sadc official responsible for agriculture, Margaret Nyirenda, made it plain she thought Zimbabwe’s reform programme was to be emulated.
We know what she means. She even went so far as to announce Zimbabwe would have a cereals surplus this year. But the Environmental Management Agency says Zimbabwe has lost more than 300 000ha of forest estate over the past five years.
By the way Mugabe, for a change, has also condemned the deforestration currently underway all over the country, mainly by new tobacco farmers. For the sake of progress, let’s stop this primitive cutting of trees or clearance of forests.
And while Sadc congratulates Zimbabwe on its disastrous policies, South African officials are thinking up ways to tighten visa regulations.
Meanwhile, the rich and powerful down south appear to have their snouts firmly in the feeding trough with no prospect of removing them.
The Sunday Times reported a prominent banker as saying “F..k the poor”. He was off to play golf in Scotland.
At least he’s honest.
Muckraker is getting a tad miffed with news networks that pepper their bulletins with “of course”.
It is “of course” this or “of course that” even if it happened years ago and even the names of people in the news are “of course”. Listen out for it and you will find it annoying.
The whole point of a news bulletin is to convey information, not to assume it has already been conveyed. If it has already been conveyed then it is not news.
Listening to the coverage of President Robert Mugabe’s state visit to China this week, it is difficult to know which is worse, Mugabe’s claims about Africa uniting to defeat imperialists or journalists repeating the claims.
The slavish remarks of diplomats and reporters actually disgrace Africa and make it impossible for more sensible leaders to attract assistance.
Take for example Sierra Leone. Its budget, like that of Malawi, is allocated in London. But its ambassador to China still feels the need to heap praise on Mugabe, according to the Herald.
“You are a man we admire,” Ambassador Victor Bockarie declared.
“You are indeed a true son of Africa.
Shouldn’t that be “a true grandpa of Africa?”
“You are standing the test of our former colonial bosses on the issue of land. Thank you for your endurance.”
But he begged Mugabe to raise the threat of ebola on the continent at the forthcoming AU summit. Who is funding that? “Imperialists” and donors.
Britain this week ferried a doctor from Freetown to London by air for specialist treatment.
Mugabe was the only leader to tell the white people to back off, a Nigerian delegate said.
Zimbabwean farmers by the way are working in Nigeria showing them how to provide milk and meat for their people.
This is 60 years after Nigeria’s independence! But the reporter must have reminded the Nigerian fellow that Mugabe earlier this year said his compatriots are dishonest and corrupt, something Abuja condemned in strong terms as vituperative, denigrating and unstatesmanlike.
It was funny though to read in our slavish state media how Mugabe was given VIP treatment in Beijing.
“While African leaders who attended the US/Africa leaders summit were welcomed as a group of 50 African heads of state, and given quick photo opportunities at the White House, President Mugabe was received with full military honours at the Great Hall of the People fronting Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing.
The Herald writer got his times mixed up there.
Mugabe’s reception in Beijing came much later than heads of state who had been received in the US capital.
Mugabe “of course” was not among them. Knowing Mugabe, he would have loved to be at the White House and Capitol Hill, not just to be confined to the “Great Hall of the People”.
“President Mugabe has outwitted Western leaders and scored many diplomatic successes most of which have gone unnoticed,” wrote the Herald’s Itayi Garande.
We wonder why? The story was headed “President’s diplomacy redraws geopolitical map”.
Is this really the best you can do Itayi in analysing international relations and geopolitics?
“While other African leaders politely reserve judgement on Libya, Mugabe has remained resolute,” Garande claims.
African leaders have very sensibly remained silent over a vicious tyrant, Gaddafi, who used to have young girls taken from their mothers and delivered to his tent. The biography was published three or four years ago. But not here!
The media last week quoted former Mozambican Presdent Joaquim Chissano as having said he does not subscribe to the notion of two presidential term limits. Chissano was addressing a Sadc lawyers’ forum in Victoria Falls.
The former president, who voluntarily deicided not to stand in his country’s 2004 elections, could have missed the point considering most of the African leaders who have overstayed in power and cease to represent the will of the people, becoming more than a burden instead.
The likes of former presidents Mobutu Sese Seko (DRC), Kamuzu Banda (Malawi), Paul Biya (Cameroon), among others, ended up abusing state funds for personal aggrandisement.
Zimbabwe today is carrying the burden of Mugabe who has been in power for 34 years now only serving to ruin an economy he inherited while closer to the take off stage in 1980.
Giving others a chance is noble, especially when you can’t deliver.