What do you like about Mugabe Now!!


Apr 25, 2008

[B]What Do You Like About Mugabe Now?
Saturday, 14 June 2008 16:42
RIGHT now, when he is presiding over a country facing imminent apocalypse, precious little.

His former admirers, some fascinated by his precise pronunciation of English words and the aplomb with which he spoke, now find grammatical errors in his speech.

In a small way, I admire how he has aged with some dignity — at least in public. We don’t have the foggiest idea what happens when he is all alone, or dining with Grace. Perhaps he lets it all hang out?

Like most people younger than he is, I am embarrassed for him when he appears to lose his cool in public. Am I going to be like that? I wonder.

To ram home his point, he seems to prefer strong or foul language. I find that pathetic.

He is not a doddering old fool, unable to see beyond his nose, looking at someone and asking: "Who are you? Not THE Ndabaningi Sithole? Oh, I’m sorry. I aways forget he’s been dead for years now."

Seriously, there are only a few personal achievements for which an average journalist, one who has observed him for more than 40 years, can find admirable.

Looking at his record as president, you can’t help but wonder how he seems content to have done his utmost for his country, but complains, like the captain of a national team, he didn’t have enough to have "luck" on his side.

There can’t be any other valid reason for him not to have struggled more valiantly to give independence real meaning during the last 28 years.

Could luck have persuaded him to be more conciliatory before sending the 5 Brigade to account for 20 000 deaths, among them women and children?

And what about Sally? Doesn’t he feel a tinge of guilt he didn’t show more emotion, as she lay dying?

There are a few who feel he has a heart of stone. Most people sold on Marxism-Leninism are alleged to have sold their soul, if not to The Devil — like Faustus —then to someone equally obnoxious.

I have always wondered why he continues his fascination with that ideology, even after Mikhail Gorbachev’s eloquent denunciation of it. My suspicion is that he loves it for the absolute power it reposes in one person.

Even China is now hardly recognisable from the country which Mao Zedong presided over. No more do you detect a personality cult.

Mugabe seems unwilling or unable to accept that, in general, people — Chinese, Russians, Zimbabweans — are happiest when they have enough food, well-paying jobs, schools with well-paid teachers, health services with well-paid doctors and nurses, good housing, good roads.

Slogans and endless tales of the liberation struggle are cheap, and like cheap wine or propaganda, neither of them can be a substitute for the real thing.

You can’t admire Mugabe for the violence ripping the country apart before the 27 June run-off. Who boasted that he had many degrees in violence? Not Morgan Tsvangirai.

But then you begin to wonder what Thabo Mbeki and other leaders in Sadc find admirable in Mugabe’s character. The tenacity to hold on to power against all odds, against the will of the people, against the will of most of the civilised world, against. . .even God’s will?

Mbeki probably knows more about Mugabe than most of us do — or so it would appear. While most Zimbabweans are convinced Mugabe won’t change because he feels very personally about his country — that the two are inseparable — Mbeki must know something else we don’t.

Is it possible the two have worked out a deal? It cannot involve other Sadc leaders, for Zambia’s Levy Mwanawasa certainly has run out of patience with Mugabe. And Harare’s response to what they might view as his fulminations against them can only help inflame passions between the two men.

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the supermarket shelves get emptier and emptier, at the same time that the currency goes crazier and crazier — how can there be one currency note amounting to Z$25 billion?

There is, according to the soothsayers, light at the end of the tunnel. There is such desperation among the people charged with steering this ship from the inevitable plunge down to Armageddon they are not exchanging notes.

Apparently, they know the end is nigh. The exchanges between Gideon Gono and Goodwills Masimirembwa of the NIPC are likely to become more heated. Both men know a return to basics is vital on the road to recovery.

The basics are anchored on a return to the conventional formula of wealth-creation: produce and sell to earn foreign exchange, without which all you can look forward to are maputi.

Who will blink first? Both men better pray it’s Mugabe.

* saidib@standard.co.zwThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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