What does Mugabe take Zimbabweans for?

UTTERANCES by President Robert Mugabe in an interview this week with Japanese journalists prove that he is completely detached from reality and is living on another planet.

Candid Comment Faith Zaba
fzaba@zimind.co.zw

President Robert Mugabe
President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe has the temerity to try to prescribe what sort of a successor the country needs. In so doing, he mentions the sort of things he has failed to do himself, missing totally the irony in his remarks. He says Zimbabwe needs “a leader who listens to voices of the people” and a person “who thinks of the people before he thinks of himself”.

Does he listen to the people himself?

Nobody needs to hear from Mugabe who has failed as a leader what sort of a successor we need. Everyone knows exactly what his dismal record of gross mismanagement is and on that basis alone, he is the last person to even to talk about a successor for the nation.

For Mugabe to say everyone loves him and wants him to stay is ludicrous.

“You just go to Zimbabwe now and ask the people whether I should stand down. They will be angry with you,” he said.

How he expects the same people suffering from poverty and who know that he has been winning elections through political violence and intimidation to have any affection for him is mind-boggling.

What does he take of Zimbabweans for? Since 2000 it has been mayhem. It is amazing that he thinks so when he has presided over a complete collapse of the economy characterised by de-industrialisation and unemployment rates of over 90%.

Even people in his own party are criticising him and his wife publicly, tired of his continued record of failure that has plunged the majority of the country’s citizens into penury.

This more than anything else shows that he is surrounded by people who are not telling him the truth. Like the tale of the emperor with new invisible clothes who was applauded for wearing clothes, while walking naked because people feared to tell him the truth, Mugabe is applauded by sycophants who will cheer him to his grave.

Dictators such as Mugabe suffer from delusions of grandeur where they think they are more powerful, more influential and greater than they really are.

Further evidence that he has completely outlived his usefulness was clearly demonstrated by his remarks that the country can be rescued by selling ivory. This coming from the same leader who has just admitted that US$15 billion worth of diamonds has been stolen under his watch. How much ivory do you need to sell to raise US$15 billion, for instance? That means we would have to kill all the elephants in Zimbabwe literally. You cannot build a nation through ivory earnings. Which nation does he know that has been built through ivory sales?

Countries like Japan are very clear about what they need. They don’t want to invest in a country where the rule of law and property rights are trampled upon with reckless abandon. He is still not getting the message.

What this means is that Mugabe, whose leadership is now an albatross on the country’s development neck, will do more harm through his grandiose delusions to leave the country in ruins.