Mugabe a remarkable man, but dreadful leader

via Mugabe a remarkable man, but dreadful leader – Southern Eye

President Robert Mugabe is highly intelligent, smart, entertaining, funny and revolutionary. I am a massive fan. His speeches are well-articulated, and almost always laden with “real issues”. The man possesses unique qualities that even his own enemies by their own admission admire and respect him for.

By Maynard Manyowa

His policies, though poorly applied, ludicrously self-serving at times and ultimately mere useless tigers made of paper, are essentially very well thought out indices of delectable Pan African tenets.

Mugabe can just about charm anyone anywhere, anytime. He is a super being with a super presence. A lot of people who despise Mugabe in public are embarrassingly private fans of the comrade.

Nelson Chamisa was wooed and charmed in minutes, his once vivacious dislike of Mugabe replaced by an acquiescent chortling demeanour. So too have many journalists and leaders who have stammered and smiled, breath taken by the immense personality of the man.

Mugabe’s leadership is punctuated by his strong personality. Approbation of the nonagenarian is hinged upon, and driven by his unbelievable strength of temperament, charisma and resolve.

While he is perceptibly deserving, it is heartbreakingly sorry that they have taken centre stage. The man is lamentably overshadowing his unimpressive traits in governance.

Charisma is sadly not enough and does not excuse the other mischiefs. Mugabe is a head of State and a key entity in Zimbabwe’s and Africa’s political dynamic. Valuation of the man should include his performance, repertoire and aptitude as a head of State and government.

All the niceties aside, Mugabe, as a leader, is all talk, no walk. He is dismally poor at implementing any of his impressive policies, ideologies and principles. He is what my partner calls a “story teller”. A man whose tête-à-tête is more fantasy than reality, whose utterances are promises, yet conveyances are noughts. Two million jobs of 2013, indigenisation, empowerment, agrarian reform, to mention all but a few, are classic paragons of Mugabe’s artistry. The man is good at drawing tigers on paper.
Someone once said: “It is inconceivable that Robert Mugabe knows the situation on the ground, surely those that update him, are lying to him.”

That could be true, his deputy did question the sanity of a vendor who sells produce on the streets, positing that the man should rather get a job. That is how out of touch with reality he is, plus, what a lame joke right? What job? Where? In Zimbabwe? Hilarious! There are more chances of finding a rabbit and a mouse in bed!

Nonetheless if his informants are spreading falsities and convincing him that all is well in a country literally crumbling to pieces, and he has the audacity to believe them, then Mugabe is dancing on the frills of blind fantasy.

If Mugabe is aware of the dire state of the country, but convinced that the present state of affairs is acceptable and in the long-term beneficial to the general inhabitants, then he is dancing on the frills of tyranny and zero foresight, if he has not traversed them already.

Whether Mugabe is unconcerned, or hopelessly misinformed or both, it is still a damning testament of his headship. You see, governance must have deliverables and measurable outcomes. Yet despite the impressive rhetoric used by Bob, which leaves township youths dancing and village folk expectant, the statistics rudely display that he has overseen Zimbabwe’s slump from a gross domestic product (GDP) the same as Korea’s and near that of China in the late ’80s, early ’90s, to having no GDP to talk of in 2008.

When assessed through the barometer of governance, Mugabe’s repertoire is found strenuously inadequate. Zimbabwe’s economy is on auto-pilot with no currency of its own, unemployment is at a record high and we are pumping forced migrants into other countries like a deranged machine gun on steroids.

He has overseen the demise of almost all of Zimbabwe’s industry. Companies close daily, millions still live in rural reserves and Zimbabwe is now a net food importer.

What a spectacular fall from grace, for a country that was a bread basket. I won’t even touch the sacrosanct — corruption. That minefield needs a part two.

And then the unimpressive “sanctions” trump card, which is continuously employed in defence of “bad governance”. A father who makes excuses is in my book no father at all. Cuba did well under stiffer sanctions, so too has Iran. If one is a leader, they ought to make solutions. I can never negotiate with my two-year-old son to sleep on an empty stomach because of the economy; he will throw a Zulu-style tantrum. Yet we have been hoodwinked into accepting a sub-standard lifestyle by Mugabe and his administration.

Secondly, sanctions had nothing to do with Gukurahundi, or the duo of war veteran payouts and the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which slaughtered the economic stability of Zimbabwe way before sanctions came around. Similarly, Sanctions played no part in the decimation of the agriculture sector by angry war vets and thugs. They play no part in grand corruption in parastatals either.

It is distasteful how the entire world is carried away by Mugabe’s other abilities and omits the significant. I refuse, and I will reiterate, Mugabe is a remarkable man, but his governance of Zimbabwe is just bad. And yes, I said it! An ambiguous indigenisation policy that puts off foreign direct investments is bad governance, so too is persecuting a widow and obsessing with factionalism when millions are hungry.

No need for special diction there, it is just dreadful!


  • comment-avatar

    hitler and stalin and pol-pot also hugged children and held complex philosophical beliefs.
    but the only truly remarkable thing about them, and mugabe, is their self-serving brutality.

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    Yayano 7 years ago

    So true, Mugabe has spectacularly failed on every front and yet he thinks he is God’s gift to Zimbabwe. What kind of gift is that?

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    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    A huge monster!

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    kalulu 7 years ago

    I disagree with the writer of this article who states that Mugabe is intelligent but I agree with him that he is an orator, however, intelligence and oratory are two different entities.

    If he was intelligent he would have had insight before plunging the healthy economy that was left intact by the Smith regime into a basket case.

    If he was intelligent he would by now have realised the impact of corruption which has brought the country to its knees and yet he keeps pointing fingers at non existing enemies and not identifying the role he played in causing the collapse of the economy.

    Surely he does not deserve the honour to be called ‘intelligent’ because he is more of a fool than an intelligent person. I would have agreed with the writer if ‘killing ones subjects for holding divergent views which are different from his views is a sign of intelligence’.

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      Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

      I agree with you @kalulu, intelligence and Mugabe do not mix. I think it’s one of modern myths to suggest that Mugabe is intelligent because his actions over the last 35 years point to something else.

      I will consider Mugabe daft because of the evidence before me. If surely he was intelligent how would he destroy the agricultural base when he knows the economy is agri based.

      If he was intelligent why would he kill more than 20,000 innocent civilians just so that he can entrench himself in power.

      If he was intelligent why would he destroy the health delivery system of his own country and now he has to fly overseas himself to get basic treatment.
      Isn’t it cheaper in the long term to buy the equipment and equip local hospitals rather than spent all the money on military hardware for perceived non-existent enemies, chartering a whole plane for a routine check-up.

      Where is the intelligence when he continues to be obsessed by factional fighting in his party six months after the so called faction leader was expelled from the party?

      Where is the intelligence when he is hoping from plane to plane to attend some trivial meetings around the world where other nations send foreign ministers or ambassadors and leaves the economy unattended and in free fall?

      Surely you cannot associate intelligence with Mugabe, the two cannot mix. It’s just a myth.

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    Johann 7 years ago

    Kalulu. I agree with you. One can use intelligence for good or bad. Intelligence used for evil endeavor cannot be called clever because it is destructive not creative.

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    R Judd 7 years ago

    Mugabe has been poison from the beginning. He was never anything but what he is now

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    Zvomukonde 7 years ago

    Maynard Manyowa, no he is not a remarkable. If it was not for the divided shona he would be gone by now.

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    Isu Zvedu 7 years ago

    I wish to add. Mugabe knows very well how to kill opposition members, how to kill his own country and how to kill descent. What the writer is alluding to is reminiscent of that combi driver who carved the name Chidhumo or Masendeke, or Scud Missile on a public transport, depicting heroism to a murderer and holding it in high esteem as if that is intelligence.

    This is what is so skewed wrong with zanoids. They think the foxy approach to politics by Mugabe, comparing himself and squaring up with an free-hand Morgan Tsvangirai/ Joice Mujuru/Margret Dongo while he is armed to the teeth and surrounded and protected by an army of armed men is power and heroic.

    That man is evil.

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    He choses to be ignorant which is evil. The Emperor’s New clothes springs to mind. Tales of Narcissistic destruction will haunt the future of this tyrant.

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    Chanisa 7 years ago

    Criminals too have a clear rationale for their actions. There are always suckers for a conman’s tricks, and the writer of that article is one among many. A man’s worth is judged by his positive impact on the people he is supposed to benefit, not on empty rhetoric, no matter how lofty. Mugabe is a megalomaniac whose brand of charisma gave us Hitler’s wars, Pol Pot genocides, Stalin’s progroms and Idi Amin’s comedy.