Opacity on Mugabe travels fuels speculation

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President R.G.Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe was last week the subject of rumour, as people speculated about his health and ultimately his death, only for him to make a triumphant return at the weekend.

NewsDay Comment

Now speculation is whether this was a Machiavellian move by Mugabe, where the Prince pretends to be dead to hear what friend and foe think of him so this influences how he deals with them on his return.

There are also rumours on the nature of the family issue Mugabe was attending to.

Whatever the case, this is an indictment on Mugabe’s information department, particularly his spokesman, George Charamba, who when quizzed about his boss’ whereabouts, chose a cryptic and unhelpful answer.

Instead of being forthright and direct, Charamba told the media to resort to their “default” position, rather than saying where Mugabe was.

As an elected official, Zimbabweans have every right to ask and know where Mugabe is, and this means people like Charamba should be able to give updates, rather than self-serving statements that do not benefit anyone.

As a spokesman, Charamba should know that in the absence of information, speculation fills the void, as nature abhors a vacuum.

And because the government was not providing information on Mugabe’s whereabouts and the reason for his trip, people came up with all sorts of theories to explain his absence and what seemed like a hasty and unexplained departure from a Sadc summit.

Any person was bound to speculate when Mugabe left Swaziland, was barely in Zimbabwe for two hours and the next thing he was heading to the East.

Had the government been clear that this was a private or scheduled visit, then there would be no reason to speculate on Mugabe’s health and death.

While the government and Zanu PF would want to maintain Mugabe’s aura and pretend he is “fit as a fiddle”, surely at 92 he is no spring chicken and has some health concerns worrying him, and instead of these being a secret, carefully managing such information will reduce all manner of conjecture.

The State is not doing the President any favours by failing to provide adequate information on his travels, as this will only fuel speculation that is harmful to him and his family.

In future, the State should provide accurate information on Mugabe’s health and travels and there will be no need for speculation on his death, which can be embarrassing to his family and some of his supporters.

17 COMMENTS

  1. What is your take news day editor its simple you hate the man RGM actually you wish him dead

  2. That naturally, President Mugabe is in his sunset days is an open secret. Notwithstanding, Zimbabweans, with the aid of the media should stop micromanaging every step he makes blowing their opinions and wishful thinking out of proportion and creating unnecessary speculation and anxiety. The absence of Mugabe (persona) in the country is not the immediate remedy. Spend this time and energy enforcing collective reforms in all areas that Mugabe has manipulated. The earlier you succeed in demanding them during his presidency, the better. Be forewarned that in the event that your wishful thinking materialises, any automatic Zanu PF successor (if the law stipulates so) is freshly going to prolong ‘Mugabeism’ indefinitely denying a chance to create a level competing field. This may end up creating chaos and/or irreversible damage. Lets pray for his health and implementation of the necessary reforms during his lifetime. He may be the only thread holding the country and probably a blessing in disguise. His automatic ‘absence’ may create a moment of madness in the country, the Somalia style. Lets evaluate both sides of the coin and the safer side. After all, can Mugabe rule for another two terms, all factors constant, generally speaking? Watch out!

  3. That’s a fact Manchester Kenya, we need to take advantage of the old man’s presents to bring about positive reforms, else regrettable chaos

  4. When my 92 year old grandfather even visits the toilet & takes longer than usual to re-emerge naturally we all get worried & rush to knock at the door to see if he is okay (i.e still alive). Therefore when a 92 year old president of a country makes an unusual maneuver out of the ordinary everyone in the country including the press get curious, its human nature

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  6. It seems the Zimbabwean private media and opposition parties subscribe to the very negative narrative that if President Mugabe dies, that will be the end of our problems. Why speculate on someone’s health, anyway? Even if President Mugabe was to die as many as a thousand times, there wont be a solution to our problems because there is nothing that brings together those in opposition, other than their hatred of President Mugabe. It’s a case of a dog chasing after a car and then do nothing after catching up with the car after it has stopped!

    We need to engage as Zimbabweans across the political divide and come up with a common national narrative. Even if President Mugabe goes away on a family trip for over a month, the country will always run!

  7. The issue must never be whether Mugabe is dead or alive. Instead it should be why so many citizens wish him dead. In other words he is already dead in their eyes. That is worrisome kuti your own people almost ray for your demise.

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  8. the fact that mugabe is 92 is an undeniable fact. and no amount of money or medical attention can cure old age. soo if there is weird happenings to his state, we question. we have a right to know his where about’s, his health status and where he has died or had a close encounter with death.

  9. kkkk makarova dondo together with your Eddy Cross,just climb down and apologize for lying to the nations you liers,next time dont speculate but tell the people correct news,Only God gives long life

  10. Life Expectancy for Zimbabwe is 38. It has been extended by another 10 to 15 years to about 48 to 53 years. So any person above 40 years has at best 2 terms otherwise if above 48 just like most front runners have the same chances of survival like Robert Mugabe at 93. Strictly speaking Mugabe is like 53.

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  11. One writer wraps it all the car dog chase in short hate the man but he will live on to the promised land only God knows

  12. “Had the government been clear that this was a private or scheduled visit, then there would be no reason to speculate on Mugabe’s health and death” kkkkkkkkkkkk so if there is no an update about mugabe’s movements wat guarantees you journalists to suspect death. this is funny heyi.unprofessional journalism

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