PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s bold utterances that Zimbabwe is not in crisis and his declaration that country’s economy is second only to South Africa on the continent, is nothing, but daydreaming.
Comment: NewsDay Editor
What is more is the fact that after his pronouncements, Mugabe, who was sitting on the front row at the World Economic Forum in Durban, South Africa, where he shared the stage with American actor, Forest Whitaker and Donald Kaberuka, the special envoy for the African Union Peace Fund, among others, went into deep sleep soon afterwards.
Besides, Mugabe’s utterances are a clear indication that the President is out of touch with reality, hence, the disconnect with the prevailing situation in the country.
It is regrettable and unfortunate for the country’s leader to show lack of remorse for the damage his ruling Zanu PF party has inflicted on the country’s poor majority.
It is not in doubt that virtually everything in this country has gone wrong from endemic corruption, economic collapse, social breakdown, lawlessness and maladministration are negatively impacting on the country’s poor.
Yet, Mugabe, who prides himself as the continent’s iconic leader, is gallivanting around the world seeking medical treatment in other well-up countries simply because Zimbabwe’s health system is in tatters.
Given Mugabe’s ripe age of 93, it is foolhardy for the President to continue to attend high profile meetings that require alertness on the part of the delegates.
Perhaps it is time for the President to send his Vice-Presidents to represent him or at most ministerial delegations well-versed with matters at hand.
We have no doubt that his continued attendance at these high profile gatherings will humiliate the country someday after something monumental happens.
One wonders how a President with an estimated 63 ministers including deputies, and Vice-Presidents continues to claim to represent the country at forums like WEF. Why appoint them if he does not trust they can deliver?
It is something for Mugabe to claim Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate of 90%, but it is something else to claim we are the second largest economy after South Africa on the continent with the grinding poverty prevailing in the country.
The President is living in cloud cuckoo land. We have no doubt that Zimbabweans are thankful for his role during the liberation struggle, but for a country with almost 15 million citizens to continue to be led by a 93-year-old is a curse for the nation.
Morally, traditionally and otherwise it is unAfrican and wrong for those around him to continue to force Mugabe to represent them at the ballot box, regardless of the charm they may think he has.
If anything, the President is clearly suffering from exhaustion, dissonance, self-importance and is morally empty.
Zimbabwe is in the middle of a banking crisis crippling the economy, with the majority of Zimbabweans sleeping in bank queues every day to access between $20 and 50 of their money per day.
Company closures are massive and many people have lost their jobs, and Mugabe’s government recently declared the state of national roads a national disaster.
Where on earth has this happened? A whole government declaring the poor state of roads a national disaster, as if this happened in one day. Was it not government’s admittance that they have failed?
So if there is no crisis in Zimbabwe, then Mugabe himself is the crisis.