Mugabe’s frailty and Mzembi’s frustration

Source: Mugabe’s frailty and Mzembi’s frustration – The Zimbabwe Independent May 19, 2017

“That Mugabe now elicits pity and derision in his daily struggles more than respect and confidence is evidence that he is way past his sell-by date. It makes those who claim that he is as strong as a fiddle sound utterly preposterous.”

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe for the umpteenth time showed that his health, like the economy, is inexorably deteriorating at an alarming pace.

Twitter: @MuckrakerZim

The aged dictator struggled to climb the stairs to the podium at the National Heroes’ Acre last Saturday during the burial of the late Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku with the First Lady Grace visibly anxious, moving closely behind him.

This is what we reported last week; it’s no longer business as usual when it comes to Mugabe’s health and old age complications.

His frailty is now scary and raises the question: is he still fit to govern? The answer is no.
You cannot cope with the rigours of government at 93; that is why France — one of the most developed countries in the world — has just elected a 39-year-old leader, Emmanuel Macron, as its new president.

Meanwhile, in Zimbabwe ruling party officials and their supporters want a 93-year-old nonagenarian to stand for re-election. If this is not insanity, what is?
Visible frailty

Mugabe, now hogging the limelight these days for his worsening infirmity due to old age and ill-health rather than his repetitive and sterile rhetoric, found it a tall order to move up the staircase; he had to use both hands to undertake the simple task. Indeed, it was as if he was trying to scale Mount Kilimanjaro.

That Mugabe now elicits pity and derision in his daily struggles more than respect and confidence is evidence that he is way past his sell-by date. It makes those who claim that he is as strong as a fiddle sound utterly preposterous.

The man should go and rest to not only spare himself, but his family and the majority of the nation’s citizens the agony of watching him battle to carry himself around daily.

Surely it is not treasonous to retire or quit when one can no longer manage for whatever reason, including old age and ill-health.

It is as if Mugabe thinks he would be arrested and prosecuted for retiring or quitting. Well, maybe he could actually be arrested — not for that — but after that!


At a time the nation continues to wallow in a sea of poverty and suffering as the economic crisis deepens, Zanu PF, in a crass display of narrow-minded self-interest, imported 365 cars as it readies for the 2018 general elections.

The moribund party is not only exhibiting double standards in relation to SI 64, which prohibits imports of goods which can be made in the country, by buying a fleet of American made Ford vehicles, but also grossly championing corruption among the political elite.

Where did Zanu PF, which is perennially broke by its own admission, get the money to buy so many cars? Are these not taxpayers’ funds being abused for party’s political projects and agendas?
Apart from this, it is wrong to always focus on politics and elections when the economy is collapsing and social service delivery has crumbled. Ordinary masses can hardly get healthcare in public hospitals, parents are struggling to pay school fees, while infrastructure (roads, water and power supply, street lights and housing, among other things) is decaying.

Focusing on importing a fleet of cars for political campaigns instead of fixing the country is not only costly, but insensitive and myopic.

This will not bring food on the table for the majority desperate for better lives. Zimbabwe has been in an elections mode since 2000, but unfortunately after every election things only get worse. That is why people are now cynical about elections and apathy is sometimes the biggest winner in the polls.

Next year, Zimbabweans will once again face elections without a choice. Of all options, re-electing Mugabe and Zanu PF will simply be a replay of the current disaster.

The question is: will Zimbabweans again decide (put aside manipulation and rigging of the electoral process) to retain Mugabe and his party, while condemning themselves — and future generations — to joblessness, poverty and suffering? Only a selfish, myopic or mad person can vote for Mugabe and Zanu PF with a clear conscious. But then again in a democracy it’s possible. Look at Donald Trump and the United States — people well-nigh voted for folly and madness!

Flimsy excuses

Muckraker commiserates with Tourism minister Walter Mzembi after he failed in his bid to become the United Nations World Tourism Organisation secretary- general.

Mzembi, who garnered 15 votes in the second round of voting, lost to Zurab Pololikashvili of Georgia who secured 18 votes. It was a brave act, but Mzembi must learn to lose with dignity and humility.

After the loss we expected various theories of sabotage and race. We were not disappointed when the Herald’s amateur conspiracy theorist on Wednesday came up with just that. Mourning more than the bereaved, Tichaona Zindoga claimed racism was the decisive factor in the vote.

“And the best candidate . . . He lost because he is a black African simple,” Zindoga opines in an astonishing display of naivety.

In his warped view, Mzembi had the right to win just because he was a black African regardless of the competition and interests of the voting blocs.

This suggests that the minister had a divine right to be elected to the post, which of course is nonsense. It also begs the question how Zindoga has come to the conclusion Mzembi was the best candidate without a comparative analysis. This was one of the laziest pieces of journalism which actually did more harm to Mzembi than it defended him. Mzembi actually did well given the odds; not least Zimbabwe’s damaged image and Mugabe’s shadow all over him. Well, that is over and above that his campaign was underfunded and off-puttingly noisy. In fact, Zindoga’s piece read like a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing!
Zim cursed
The startling admission that government could have been short-changed in the signing of the so-called mega deals in mining and other sectors, hence losing hundreds millions of dollars, is yet more evidence of the clueless and incompetent leadership this country has.

Presenting a paper at a United Nations media workshop on development reporting at Troutbeck Inn last week, Anderson Chiraya, the director of implementation, monitoring and evaluation in the Office of the President and Cabinet, said the country could have got a raw deal from such partnerships as it assigned out of depth officials to negotiate.

“During negotiating for such deals, some partners came with a barrage of lawyers, while on our part, there may be a minister and the permanent secretary only and if they do not understand, we get a raw deal. Yet the other parties come with lawyers and people that are well versed,” he said.

There you have it. Not only has the government vandalised the economy, but could also have given away the country’s precious resources for a song through inexperience, naivety and ignorance. That Mugabe and his regime have been a curse to this country is now clear.

Sipepa acting like a political prostitute

Former MDC-T legislator Samuel Sipepa Nkomo (now with ex-vice-president Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party) was quoted in the media as having said MDC-T Morgan Tsvangirai is a failed politician, hence not fit to lead a coalition of opposition parties in the 2018 elections.

Does Nkomo have the moral high ground to attack Tsvangirai as a failure when he commands a huge following enough to defeat Mugabe in a free and fair election? Nkomo must not act like a political chameleon, a political prostitute for that matter.

He has been scurrying for political cover from one party to the next – from MDC, MDC-T, MDC-N and now NPP. What has he contributed to the country’s current politics such that he can dismiss Tsvangirai as unfit to rule? Yes, he fought for the country, but we are talking about the present.

In the party he belongs to now, has he questioned Mujuru’s acts of commission or omission on Gukurahundi massacres and Operation Murambatsvina, or indeed the nation’s wanton destruction? At least Tsvangirai and MDC-T leaders never participated in those atrocities — they have actually been victims like Nkomo, while Mujuru was part of the oppressors.