Mugabe Attaks Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti, British
Harare, Zimbabwe, 10 August 2009
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe, the dictator of Zimbabwe, finished his speech a couple of minutes ago here in Harare at Heroes Acre, where the late Vice-president Joseph Wilfred Msika was being buried.
The speech was short, shorter than Mugabe's usual speeches at such functions.
Notably, Mugabe delivered a direct attack on the strategy of Morgan Tsvangirai and Tendai Biti to, as the Prime Minister said, "re-engage the international community".
Mugabe's specific words were:
"Let everyone in the Inclusive Government be clear that no nation wll ever prosper through handouts, with a dime here for drugs, a dime there for food and perhaps a farthing here for your budget".
Mugabe was referring to Tsvangirai's recent trip to the United States and to Europe where nation after nation pledged small amounts of money to Non-Governmental Organisation but nothing at all to help government programmes.
Using a Shona (local language) saying, Mugabe told the gathering: "Kwadzinorohwa matumbu ndokondzongoramba dzichimhayira?" Translated the statement means, "They keep running back to their abusers".
Unlike previous occasions, today Heroes Acre was absolutely filled to capacity, with more people streaming in even as Mugabe gave his relatively short speech.
Amongst those in attendance were Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, his two deputies, Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe, Dr Simba Makoni of Mavambo, South African Vice-president Motlanthe and Kenneth Kaunda, former president of Zambia, Deputy Presidents and deputy Prime Ministers from Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia and others.
The Vice-president's body was in a white casket, placed beneath pictures of those buried at Heroes Acre before him as Mugabe spoke.
He was also accorded the rare honour, even amongst National Heores, of a 19-gun salute.
Of course, Mugabe had choice words for the former colonial power in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), as is his wont.
He castigated what he called "especially the Anglo-Saxons, the British". He said the former colonial power "always say they will never be slaves, but they never say they will never be slavemasters."
As I write this, Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Mutambara , vice-president Motlanthe of South Africa and other dignitaries are standing at the open grave of VP Msika, wth Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara having already laid their wreaths.
Still, it is noteworthy that Mugabe's speech indicates that he has abandoned all hope of engaging with the West especially and in his castigation to Tsvangirai and Biti, the two men who have led delegations to the West, Mugabe pointedly asked: "Why we must only look to the former oppressors. Zimbabwe has its own resources."
It is an public indication of Mugabe's privately expressed view these last few weeks that the Coalition with the MDCs "has brought us nothing."