Muckraker was amused by the vigorous debate in the Australian press last week as to whether the heir to the throne’s chief secretary for charities had groped Prince Charles as she guided him through a dense crowd in Sydney.
The secretary, Janine Kirk, is highly regarded Down Under as in the United Kingdom and, given the protocol, she kept her hand firmly attached to the prince’s lower back.
Nobody of a certain age in Australia will forget the furore over former Labour prime minister Paul Keating’s warm embrace of the Queen in the 1970s when he appeared to grasp the Queen’s waist thus earning himself the title “Lizard of Oz”.
It was needless to say a storm in a tea cup and Kirk understandably didn’t want a repetition.
The majority of Australians oppose a republic, but the movement is growing. Prince Charles is unlikely to have to choose! He was being briefed on the terrible bush fires last year when the episode with Kirk occurred.
The Telegraph’s attempt to make the most of it was, it seems, a bit of a damp squib.
Well, enough of British royalty and Australians.
Otherwise, the real interesting thing about Australia for Zimbabweans is that the country is providing our immigrants, who left the country for political and economic reasons, with good opportunities.
Zimbabwean-born migrants — including President Robert Mugabe’s hypocritical fanatics living there like Reason Wafawarova who support Zanu PF from the comfort of the “imperialist” West — have the highest incomes in Australia and the lowest jobless rate, as shown by official data there.
There are many two-faced Zimbabwean immigrants like the good-for-nothing Wafawarova in countries like South Africa, Botswana, Britain, United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, among others, who masquerade as “anti-imperialist” and unduly criticise their hosts while enjoying their comfort and supporting Mugabe at the same time without any sense of irony and shame.
How can you be a proud patriot who supports a failed dictator whose misrule forced you out of the country to become an economic refugee in the first place? It just doesn’t add up.
Anyway, Zimbabwean migrants have average personal incomes of about US$908 per week and a jobless rate of 4,4% (compare that with 90% unemployment at home), better than their Irish (US$892 and 3,6%) and South African (US$882 and 5%) counterparts.
Other groups with low personal incomes included people born in China (US$328 a week and 11% jobless rate), Lebanon (US$333 and 9,1%), Korea (US$352 and 9,3%) and Turkey (US$360 and 9,4%).
More than a million Zimbabweans are believed to have left the country in the last decade and half to escape economic collapse, with most of them settling in neighbouring Botswana and South Africa.
Others, however, went overseas, finding it easier to integrate in the British Commonwealth and the US because of language homogeneity and their relatively high levels of education.
Australia has however become a new frontier lately with a number of Zimbabweans who had moved to the UK relocating to Canberra, for instance. People would rather criss-cross the world to survive than come back to Mugabe’s economic boondocks.
Back to Zim, opposition parties have demanded to know how First Lady Grace Mugabe acquired the food and clothes she used to dish out to her supporters and traditional chiefs.
According to reports, Grace has been donating food and clothes to chiefs. She gave shirts, shoes and maize and fertiliser to supporters. Soccer kits were also handed out.
“It just goes to show that both Grace and her son Russell have an extremely low view of the people of Zimbabwe, including chiefs,” MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu said.
They have an extremely low and contemptuous view of the people of Zimbabwe in general. This is in extremely bad taste, he said.
“Zimbabweans are an extremely proud and hardworking people who don’t deserve to be treated in such a disgraceful and patronising manner. It would appear as if Mugabe and his family destroyed the nation so they would be able to buy things for people.”
He said they were treating people like beggars who should survive on the benevolence of the First Family.
“Those groceries are obviously stolen goods.”
Those people have no shame. How can a country be run on handouts from the First Family? We are not surprised however because dictatorships thrive on the pauperisation of the masses and holding them captive like this.
Political commentator Takura Zhangazha described the dishing out of goodies as a strategy to patronise the recipients pointing out it is sad for Zimbabwean politics.
A different view emanated from First Lady Grace Mugabe. She claimed Mugabe was a poor man leading a modest life. Speaking at Mataga growth point in Mberengwa last Friday she said it had been reported that Mugabe was a rich man but he was just a simple man who was passionate about the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
Grace joined war veterans in declaring her husband lived long because Zimbabweans needed his wisdom. All African countries yearned to have a leader like him, she said.
Even schoolchildren wouldn’t believe that.
Act of appeasement
Meanwhile, Grace moved to appease journalists — in fact, showed disdain — by promising to give them food handouts so they would stop writing negatively about her. Mugabe would be elected into office again even in a wheelchair because he had unparalleled wisdom.
In an interesting revelation she claimed State House like all other homes was subject to power cuts. Grace said that the most protected house in the country was also experiencing persisting power cuts just like every other. Electricity was being cut everywhere she said in Murehwa.
Zhangazha spoke of the politics of materialism with the intention of winning hearts and minds. Only those with access to resources qualify to become political leaders these days.
Grace’s rallies and attendant verbal diarrhoea have been useful though as they have showed and proved that she is not leadership material at all. She is just a joke really. A crude caricature of serious politicians.
Meanwhile, among the highest of Zesa debtors there is the President and his wife. They were classified as “sensitive customers”.
So there’s the national structure. The rich and powerful avoid paying for electricity. The poor live in darkness. It’s back to the Dark Ages!