President Mugabe has launched a vigorous campaign we see in response to those critics who claim he has overstayed his welcome in office.
“I will be there until God says come,” he said in his valedictory speech at the African Union Summit in Ethiopia last week.
If there was any doubt Mugabe wants to die in power, they evaporated with those eight words spoken with finality and conviction.
The pretence by him of wanting to finally step down and write his memoirs as he once promised was exposed for the fallacy that it was.
In his hour-long speech, the 92-year ruler said as long as he was alive he would remain at the helm, regardless of the failure that has been synonymous with his rule.
So for all those eyeing the throne in Zanu PF can forget it. As his wife Grace said he will rule from the wheelchair if he has to!
Mugabe’s tenure as AU chairman has been a damp squib.
The hot spots in Africa are still there. Somalia, Libya, Burundi and the DRC are still in turmoil
Mugabe travelled out of Zimbabwe a record 44 times gobbling more than $60 million from the national treasury.
His report card as AU chair shows that Africa continues toharbour wars, terror attacks, coups, food shortages, drought, diseases, HIV and Aids, corruption, human and child trafficking while his henchmen stood still.
People’s Democratic Party secretary for international relations Willas Madzimure said Mugabe was virtually folding his hands while Zimbabwe burns. He described Mugabe as the worst AU chair Africa has ever had.
MDCT spokesman Obert Gutu weighed in saying Mugabe did not do anything meaningful during his term of office.
“He was just hopping from one plane to the next,” was his damning indictment of Mugabe’s tenure as AU chairman.
His last speech at the AU was punctuated by laughter and applause from the audience. There was also a large measure of racist abuse. He told UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon to instruct whites (those with pink noses) to get out. But this was Mugabe’s “last hurrah”.
How Mugabe took advantage of the opportunity to vent his spleen, the nationalist element stuck in the past. He did not disappoint!
Mugabe’s criticism of Obama’s record was particularly striking.
“There is Obama today, he said. “What is he? A voice made to speak their language. Blacks suffer in the US today,” he claimed without any sense of irony. “There is no education for all, no health for all.”
Here was Mugabe who has presided over 90% unemployment and economic decline to the extent of making the Zimbabwe dollar extinct castigating Obama who under his leadership created 2,65 million jobs in the United States last year alone. How ironic that Obama who has had notable successes is stepping down as mandated by the country’s constitution while Mugabe who presides over hospitals which do not even have painkillers and continued economic implosion hangs on to power. It makes one want to lie down and weep at the injustice of it!
Mugabe’s solution whenever he has a disagreement with any grouping has been to threaten to pull out the country from it. He did it when he unilaterally pulled the country out of the Commonwealth after the grouping decided to suspend the country indefinitely over allegations of human rights abuses and vote rigging in 2003.
He also threatened to pull out of Sadc in 2013 over disagreements of whether to hold harmonised elections at the end of July that year.
We did not believe he would so just as we do not believe that he would ever pull out of the United Nations (UN) as he threatened at the African Union Summit in Ethiopia last week over inequalities against African countries that do not have a permanent seat on the global body.
To pull out of the global body that has been at the forefront of helping the country’s education system, providing food aid and more importantly has provided the platform for him to travel to New York where he was banned? We think not.
Despite thunderous applause and standing ovations, no other African country will countenance pulling out of the global body no matter how justified Mugabe is. One only has to recall what happened when Mugabe boycotted the Africa EU summit held in Brussels, Belgium in 2014 after his wife Grace was denied a visa. Despite supporting Mugabe’s stance, that did not stop African leaders from hobnobbing with their European counterparts at the summit with at least 36 of them attending and 48 African countries participating. It would be wishful thinking of the worst kind if Mugabe expects any country to pull out of the UN.
We appreciate the efforts by Harare resident minister Miriam Chikukwa calling for a day of prayer to overcome economic hardships.
However these prayers will be more meaningful if they were complemented by genuine efforts on the ground.
If for instance Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko moves out of the hotel where he has been for the year at the cost of more than US$300 000.
Or if Mugabe did not spend more than US$30 million dollars globetrotting in a period of nine months or even if Zanu PF are not planning to spend nearly US$1 million celebrating Mugabe’s birthday when the country faces a serious famine.