John Stewart of Comedy Central, cable TV’s political satirist whose humour touches raw nerves when he juxtaposes what politicians do and say with “the reality on the ground”, could not have scripted better political satire than what unfolded outside the hall before and after Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration at Abuja’s Eagle Square last week.
As Mugabe arrived at the venue, he was accosted by a horde of reporters, including those from Nigeria’s SaharaTV, who asked him if he was happy to be in Nigeria to which Mugabe answered in the affirmative.
But as Mugabe was leaving the venue to get to his car, he was waylaid by the same crew that was now accompanied by a female (Adeola Fayehun, a popular Nigerian TV presenter).
They pushed forward firing questions at Mugabe.
“And you came here to witness democracy,” shouted Adeola. “We want to come to Zimbabwe for an inauguration as well (so) invite us.”
Seemingly light-hearted, the Nigerian journalists asked questions that our Zimbabwean journalists have long wanted to ask.
The questions fired at Mugabe exposed the underlying painful realty that only Mugabe could soothe, if at all. But the drama and the questions stopped some of us from laughing as we listened attentively for Mugabe’s response.
“Is it not time to step down, Sir?” she asked. “Will there be change in Zimbabwe like we are having in Nigeria?”
Unused to heckling and being shouted down, Mugabe, well-known for his insulting wit and fast retorts, looked totally taken aback and appeared three-quarters absent. One could not tell if he was calculating an answer, deliberately ignoring them or was constipated with excruciating rage.
He looked the better part of a zombie, eyes focused into an immediate distance.
Even the CIO security officers accompanying him seemed totally at odds with themselves as to what to do.
They were so confused that they actually talked to the Nigerian journalists crowding around Mugabe in Shona.
“Aiwa, aiwa (no, no),” one of them said as he pushed Adeola back. “Mirai, mirai, kani.” (Stop, stop, please).
After declaring that she did not understand what the man was saying, Adeola calmly added, “You are pushing me, Sir; you are pushing me.”
The tone of her voice and the lingering, overly-confident smile on her face reminded the CIO officer that he was in Nigeria, not Brussels.
After learning that Mugabe was to visit Brussels in March 2001, British gay activist, Peter Tatchell, and members of his group travelled to Brussels with the sole purpose of effecting a citizen’s arrest of Mugabe.
“Mugabe’s bodyguards were seen knocking Tatchell to the floor,” it says on the profile.
“Later that day, Tatchell was briefly knocked unconscious by Mugabe’s bodyguards and was left with permanent damage to his right eye.” (See original story at UK Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/1325273/Mugabes-bodyguards-floor-Tatchell.html).
But this was Abuja, Nigeria in 2015, where worthless ranting against white people and imperialists would not wash.
The CIO officer retreated closer to Mugabe’s car instead of going toe to toe with the people, like they did in Brussels and do in Zimbabwe.
Nigerians around Mugabe’s car laughed derisively. It was laud and mocking, not amusement.
“There is no democracy in Zimbabwe,” Adeola is heard saying, to which his colleague laughed and said, “We can’t just change in Nigeria, you know.”
As the video clip fades to black, Adeola is off camera and asking people: “Is Jacob Zuma here?…Where is that Zuma?”
From Nigeria, Mugabe did not go home.
He wanted to while up time while waiting for an excuse to fly somewhere else except to Zimbabwe.
Not in a hurry to visit Zimbabwe, Mugabe flew to visit his friend, the president of Equatorial Guinea, where he spent two days waiting to fly to Sudan for the inauguration of Omar al-Bashir.
What a busy president!
His deliberately foul behavior strikes at the raw flesh of Zimbabweans – people he considers vile, judging from his cruelty.
These trips, which, in real terms, are of no benefit to both Zimbabwe and the African union, are crippling Zimbabwe – a country already using wobbly crutches because of him.
The African Union, from as far back as when it was the Organisation of African Union (OAU), never achieved anything of note except to cuddle dictators who abuse their people and steal the wealth of their own countries.
It is so sad; it is so deliberate.
Mugabe is an enemy of Zimbabwe and hates the people of Zimbabwe with a xenophobic vengeance.
The nation and people of Zimbabwe have always been good to Mugabe despite the fact that he did not deserve the respect and exaggerated accolades heaped on him.
He continues to abuse the country and its people and the morons at SADC and the African Union gave him an undeserved podium to poo on the whole continent.
Africa does not need Mugabe; Zimbabwe does not deserve Mugabe.
He is of no use to the nation, let alone to Africa.
Mugabe prefers to be any place else, except to be in Zimbabwe.
There is nothing for him in Zimbabwe anymore. He stole and wasted everything – now he won’t leave other people’s countries for home.
Since he brought his wife back home in mid-February after an extended “annual leave”, Mugabe has travelled like a feather in the wind, visiting more than 14 countries in five months.
Since mid-February, Mugabe has been to South Africa, Zambia, Ethiopia, Algeria, Tanzania, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Namibia, Indonesia, Russia, Mali and Botswana.
Last week he was in Nigeria for the inauguration, then to Equatorial Guinea to while up time before knocking on Sudan’s door.
Is Zimbabwe cursed? Are we rejects of normalcy?
When Mugabe returns to Zimbabwe on one of his hit and run visits to the country he impoverished, he will find that the Movement for Democratic Change has, once again, mutated.
Tendai Biti’s MDC Renewal Team has split up and has given birth to a new sucker, led by Elton Mangoma, Morgan Tsvangirai’s former Energy Minister in the Unity Government.
Mangoma is the man who asked Tsvangirai to step down from party leadership, leading to the breakaway faction, the MDC Renewal Team, whose unspoken leader was former Unity Government Finance Minister, Tendai Biti.
Mangoma, after being physically roughed up last week for allegedly sleeping with a party junior’s girlfriend, accused Biti of cooking all this up to destroy him politically.
In retaliation, Mangoma formed his own party last week.
The name of the party? Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ).
I shed a tear, yes.
The RDZ came exactly one week after another political party, ZUNDE (Zimbabweans United for Democracy) was launched in Harare.
God have mercy!
This comes at a time when the ruling party is in tatters and unity between the top two political opposition parties could dislodge Mugabe whose own faction is now embroiled in further factions with sharp knives sharpened against Emerson Mnangagwa, the man who continues to fancy himself as Mugabe’s successor.
Mnangagwa is a big disappointment. He continues to believe he is going somewhere up the ladder.
I have said it for years and I repeat that THEY will never allow Mnangagwa to be president.
The plethora of parties we have in Zimbabwe are not different from each other in a meaningful way to offer us a choice and reasons advanced for their existence are flimsy.
I wish we had an opposition party in Zimbabwe; just one good one would be enough.