Mugabe Explains Why He Won't Go


Zimbabwe's dictator, Robert Mugabe, arrives for a Heads of State meeting at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in this photo taken 16 hours ago.


Well, this latest Zimbabwe news is simply out of this world. Literally.

The dictator Robert Mugabe is now claiming that the reason he will not leave office is because it was not he who was in charge of the country for the first ten years after independence and that even the spirits of Zimbabwe's dead elders and freedom fighters from the late 1800s realise this and are protecting his "mission".

Mugabe has roped in the "national spirits of Zimbabwe" in his quest to justify his continued hold on power. It now emerges that he is in possession of the walking sticks, clubs and other paraphernalia that belonged to the last known medium of Chaminuka, the First Chimurenga (Liberation War) hero of the late 1800s.

Mugabe told his governors that the Lancaster House constitution which restricted his powers in the first ten years after independence meant that he was actually just a "surrogate ruler" for the British. "During those first ten years, they liked us because their constitution only allowed us to protect their interests in Zimbabwe."

This warped thinking means of course that Mugabe sees himself as having run Zimbabwe only since 1990. Still, that would be  nineteen years. Which is a long time. But he told his audience that for "nine years after 1990, we were simply trying to find a way for us to wean ourselves from Britain." So he reckons that took the British supremacy in Zimbabwe to 1999, when he launched his often-violent land reforms. He thinks, therefore, he should be left alone to sort out the real business that he intended from the outset, because he has been truly in charge since 1999 only. This real business, the way he sees it, is "the economic independence of Zimbabwe"

But do you not think it strange that, in order for us to achieve this economic independence, we should turn to using United States dollars, South African Rands and other foreign currencies?

Still, Morgan Tsvangirai has decided t throw the old dog a bone and the people of Zimbabwe, more than any other people, appear to be guarded in their welcome of this development. One man said to me on Saturday that this deal "is too good to be true."

A "disciple of Marxism/Lenninism" as he himself has described his philosophy, Mugabe is a fanatic, as all disciples tend to be. Like Adolf Hitler, it is now clear he believes in a Diety and Providence who not only appointed him but will also protect him until his mission is accomplished.

He mocks Nelson Mandela, saying the gods have kept him fit even after 11 years in Rhodesian jails and yet had been less kind to Mandela after his 27 years behind bars. This is because the spirits, he says, shelter him like a hen does with its chicks. This, he told his audience in Zvimba, is proof enough that even the spirits consider his job unfinished.

During the liberation war, villagers also believed and retold stories of the miraculous protection afforded by mysterious beings to the freedom fighters. Wakes and all-night parties were held, at which these mediums were consulted. 

Whenever a detachment of guerillas got into a new chieftaincy, they would head straight to the chief mediums of the respective areas and consult them. The mediums invariably gave the guerillas the spirits' blessing (there were, after all, several guns pointed at their faces throughout the "consultation").

So, much like the zeal with which a convert to any one of the world's religions is prepared to go through all manner of tribulations, Mugabe believes that he also has to go through all of this "suffering" now as he presses ahead on what he calls his "principles".

One of the governors says, listening to Mugabe, it was clear the dictator clearly believes in the patent truth of his sentiments to such an extent that he genuinely can not understand why nobody else, within Zimbabwe at least, will see the sense in his position.

"Ours was a transitional government for ten years," he told his audience. "Everything was dictated by the British. I was not a President, but a Prime Minister."

It could be justification, yes. Or it could be, as Morgan Tsvangirai said after meeting him privately in the wake of the signing of the GPA in September, Mugabe "genuinely believes what he says."


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