The never-ending party – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

The never-ending party – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary

The Mugabe family have dramatically expanded their property empire in the Mazowe area by giving themselves a billion dollars of government money to build a new university there to be called the Robert Gabriel Mugabe University with themselves as the trustees.

Source: The never-ending party – Zimbabwe Vigil Diary: 12th August 2017

It will be convenient for their two sons, Robert Jnr and Chatunga Bellarmine, who were recently thrown out of their luxury flat in Johannesburg after a drunken and drug-fuelled party left a man with a broken leg and arm. There has been speculation that they could be relocated to Zimbabwe for ‘security’. Robert had already been ‘relocated’ from the United Arab Emirates for similar shenanigans.

Grace Mugabe missed a rally to go down to rescue the pair but they seem to have continued their profligate ways on a visit to Harare. The Zimbabwe Independent says they left patrons at Club 1+1 stunned by their extravagance, keeping tables in the VIP section overflowing with champagne and whiskey. One patron said he counted 51 bottles, costing an average of $190 each (see:

Robert’s studies at the University of Johannesburg seem to have been a bit of a fantasy, with lectures hardly ever attended – certainly not in the morning when his chauffeur was rarely required. So a local uni run by mum and dad far away from the fleshpots of Joburg and 40 kilometres from Harare would seem to be suitable. And since Grace got her doctorate from the University of Zimbabwe after a few weeks’ work, it shouldn’t be too difficult for the boys to match this at their own place, so to speak.

‘The influence of champagne and whiskey on cognitive function’ might make a PhD thesis. Or perhaps closer to Grace’s interest, ‘The effect of privilege on child development’.

A fantasy? Yes, but the whole university project is a fantasy even though it was endorsed by the cabinet with much bogus solemnity. Zimbabwe already has going on for 20 universities struggling by on about $300 million in all. So where will the massive grant to the Mugabes come from? Not the Chinese who have already cooled on their offer to fund a new parliament building at Mount Hampden, 16 kilometres from Harare, which Mugabe declared was going to be the new capital city.

And, anyway, Zimbabwe’s 2017 budget already envisages a $400 million deficit this year, with total government revenue of only $3.7 billion. Most of this goes on wages, which would have to be cut by a third to pay for the billion dollar Mugabe tombstone.

Other points

  • At the Zimbabwe Action Forum after the Vigil, there was discussion of speculation that next year’s elections would be engineered so that Zanu PF would remain in control but bring in MDC people to the government again to revive the economy and attract donor funding. 
  • Thanks to those who arrived early to help set up: Babula Gwatiringa, Fungayi Mabhunu, Junior Madzimure, Shiella Matiza, Roseline Mukucha, Alfredy Mukuvare, Shiellah Mushunje, Vincent Shoniwa and Dean Zhuwa. Thanks to Roseline and Josephine for looking after the front table, to Esther Munyira, Linda Dodzo, Babula, Nancy Makurira, Sally Mutseyami and Abigail Chidavayenzi for handing out flyers and selling wristbands and to Alfredy, Dean, Junior, Babula and Vincent for putting up the banners. Thanks also to Abigail for bringing cakes and Beverley Mutandiro for bringing sandwiches.

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  • ROHR Reading branch BBQ fundraiser for ZimPAP. Saturday 19th August from 2 pm till late. Venue: Pakistan Community Hall, London Road, Reading RG1 3PA. Bus 17 from Reading Station. Variety show, music and dance, raffle. Indoor dress code: males black and white, females red and white. Tickets £20 adults, £10 children to include BBQ meal. Contact: Sihle 07985712749, Alice 07462067504, Charles 0796473172, Josephine 07455166668, Shylette 07828929806, Deborah 07578894896 and Mercy 07492061376.
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