Saturday, 8 September 2012

How’s Robert Mugabe Doing, You May Be Wondering. He’s Fine, Just Fine

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Robert MugabeTed Obvious writes from Harare: In case you’re wondering how President Robert Mugabe is doing these days, I can tell you that he’s doing just fine. (The latest joke going around Harare is that Madonna has been over here recently, finding out whether she can adopt an 88-year-old boy called Robert, but was refused on the grounds that he would need a much bigger home.)


Yes, Robert turned 88 last February, but he has no plans of stepping down. Despite malicious rumours that he was looking for a successor he has no immediate plans to leave the job he has grown to love and enjoy. The important thing is that Bob the Croc, as he is lovingly known among his friends, feels that the international community has taken his advice to shove its demands to introduce democratic change in Zimbabwe up its collective you-know-what. Have you heard anyone saying anything about the lack of democracy and freedom in Zimbabwe? Exactly, no one’s interested anymore. It’s all about Syria these days.


Mr Mugabe was supposed to stand in the presidential election last year, but decided not to bother. Even though he was going to win it anyway, thanks to the way politics work in Harare. Meanwhile, his boys continue to put serious pressure on the opposition, making sure that if a snap poll takes place at some point, the current Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, Robert’s main political partner/opponent, would not stand a chance.


Morgan, if you are not aware of it, has been supposedly ‘sharing power’ with Robert for the past 4 years, all thanks to the deal they had struck, supposedly under pressure from the democracy loving West. According to the arrangement, Robert retained control over all the country’s money and mineral wealth, not to mention security forces and the army, and Morgan was put in charge of running his office and pretty much nothing else. But everyone pretended that it was a great deal and that democracy was once again knocking on Zimbabwe’s door.


Mind you, President Mugabe has been on record saying that he was fed up with the power sharing arrangement and would get rid of it before the next elections.


What a guy, eh? And what dress sense.


zimbabwe war veteransSay what you will, but Mr Mugabe looks great for his age: smooth-skinned, with not a wrinkle on his face, very articulate, strong physically, if you consider the way he held on to power for more than 30 years, despite all attempts to unseat him. I was informed by his office that he keeps in shape by counting his money every day and watching TV programmes about his greatness. The word is that Robert is possibly one of the richest men in Africa, if not the whole world, and intends to stay that way.


But the most important thing is that the people of Zimbabwe love and respect their leader. You should have seen the birthday party they laid out for him this year. Thousands of young people descended on the capital, to rejoice and tell their President what wonderful lives they were leading, despite the occasional pang of hunger and a beating by the cops and the war veterans. No one remembers which war that was, but the veterans are still held in high regard in Zimbabwe and are allowed to take any plot of land they fancy or anybody’s possessions.


I’ve also been informed that most African leaders continue to send their high fives to Mr Mugabe, at every opportunity, and President Obama – every time he is asked about Zimbabwe – tends to say something like: ‘It’s all up to the Zimbabwean people.’ Not to mention that other Western leaders are too busy sorting out their financial crises and grabbing oil from other countries. Zimbabwe, so that you know, has no oil. Just saying it to clear up things.


It just goes to show that the Croc commands huge respect, not only within his own country, but in the world generally. And that’s not a bad thing, if you look at it from the point of view of the Zimbabwean generals, top cops and the war veterans who are sharing the spoils of his success.


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