Fungi Kwaramba 5 May 2017
HARARE – Opposition parties yesterday slammed President Robert Mugabe and
demanded his immediate resignation after he ridiculously claimed that
Zimbabwe is only second to South Africa (SA) in terms of development on
The recently turned 93 leader, whose government is accused of decimating
Zimbabwe’s economy and causing untold suffering to ordinary masses, told
the World Economic Forum in SA that the country is not a fragile State.
According to South African News24, Mugabe made a surprise appearance on a
morning panel on fragile States that was held yesterday in Durban and he
shared the stage with the likes of American actor Forest Whitaker, Unesco
Special Envoy for Peace, and Donald Kaberuka, the special envoy for the
African Union Peace Fund.
Anton du Plessis from the Institute for Security Studies, after saying
that corruption and bad leadership contributed to the problem of fragile
States in Africa, asked Mugabe if he agreed that Zimbabwe was a failed
Laughing, Mugabe slowly said: “That isn’t true”.
“Zimbabwe is the most highly developed country in Africa. After South
Africa, I want to see another country as highly developed.”
Mugabe boasted that the struggling country – recently ranked as the
poorest on the continent by AfrAsia Bank in its Africa Wealth 2017 report
– has 14 universities and a literacy rate of over 90 percent.
“We have a bumper harvest, not only maize, but also tobacco and many other
crops. We are not a poor country,” he said, adding that “if anyone wants
to call us fragile, they can. You can also call America fragile”.
However, his claims infuriated opposition parties and ordinary Zimbabweans
– who are struggling daily to make ends meet, as they sleep in bank queues
trying to withdraw their hard-earned money.
Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said the nonagenarian
“should wake up from his slumber and admit that everything is rotting
while he is in power”.
“We are not too sure whether…Mugabe is living in the real Zimbabwe that
most of us are living in or perhaps, he is living in his own world,” he
“It’s not surprising, however, that Mugabe made those kind of remarks
because he and members of his family, including members of the ruling
elite, are cushioned from the hardships that the majority of Zimbabweans
are facing on a daily basis ; ranging from lack of cash, lack of jobs and
a generally depressed economic environment in which all businesses are
Gutu said “to say that Zimbabwe is a fragile State is actually an
“In reality, Zimbabwe is actually a failed State in which more than 75
percent of the population is living in grinding poverty and penury.
Zimbabwe’s national road and railway infrastructure is dilapidated; our
public hospitals are a complete mess in which even the most basic of
medicines such as painkillers and drips are hard to come across,” he said.
“We are now a basket case, thanks to decades of Zanu PF misrule, rampant
corruption and unprecedented dereliction of governmental responsibility,”
Gutu went on.
Afghanistan-based political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said at his age, and
considering that he has travelled across the globe, Mugabe should know
that neighbouring countries such as Mozambique that were once far behind
Zimbabwe in terms of development are now pulling ahead with thriving
“Mugabe needs to travel to other countries and see why Zimbabwe is a
fragile State. About 90 percent of our people are living below $1 per
day. Our GDP per capita is the lowest in Southern Africa. We have over 90
percent formal unemployment,” he said.
“We are one for the few African countries without its own currency. We are
a fragile State fast drifting to a failed one. Mugabe has to know this
reality,” Saungweme said.
“And Mugabe is responsible for this and he has to accept it,” he said.