Wed, Mar 23, 2016
Apart from anti-West speeches and the notorious land grab of the early 2000s, the man has a sense of humor to rival the best in the comedy business.
Zimbabwe’s President Mugabe has been around for 92 years, 36 of which have been spent as leader of Zimbabwe. Apart from anti-West speeches and the notorious land grab of the early 2000s, the man has a sense of humor to rival the best in the comedy business. He also has a knack for controversy that makes Malema look like a saint. Move over Trevor Noah, let President Mugabe take that stage.
Nothing excites the world as much as a wedding and indeed when President Mugabe hinted he planned to put a ring on Obama’s finger, we all went crazy. Speaking on Zimbabwean national radio, President Mugabe said, “I’ve concluded – since President Obama endorses the same-sex marriage, advocates homosexual people and enjoys an attractive countenance – thus if it becomes necessary, I shall travel to Washington DC, get down on my knee and ask his hand.I shall travel to Washington DC, get down on my knee and ask his hand.” Who knew Obama could land himself a pan-Africanist that easily?
President Mugabe however, immediately changed gears and went on to show his disdain for the US Supreme Court ruling that legalised homosexual marriage across all 50 states of America. Our one question to the good Zimbabwean statesman though, should Obama tell his friends that he found a suitor or you cancelled that Washington D.C trip? The poor man has been waiting.
“I have died many times – that’s where I have beaten Christ.I have died many times – that’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once,” runs the famous quote by President Mugabe. For a man who is proclaimed dead every January, this quote pretty much sums everything up. So what is the secret to these resurrections? “There are things one must do for oneself. Don’t drink at all, don’t smoke, you must exercise and eat vegetables and fruit.” That is the rule of thumb if you want to die and rise again every January. Now that some students want 21 February, President Mugabe’s birthday to be declared a national holiday, maybe a Presidential Easter for all the times he has risen from the dead is not such a bad idea.
“Britain is a very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses.Britain is a very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses.” Need anyone say more? The man was discussing the issue of exiles who he said had used his name to seek asylum and “If you said ‘Mugabe’, they would just say ‘come in, come in’….but see now , they are saying these people are too many, they are causing tension in Britain, let them go back.” He urged them to come back from the cold country with small houses promising new jobs and economic development. This is another joke that the whole ruling party must have been in on as they promised more than 2 million jobs but if anything, thousands of jobs were lost as a result of a ruling in the Zimbabwean courts that allowed termination of contracts without notice.
After Desmond Tutu said President Mugabe resembled a caricature of an African dictator and was Frankenstein, the President did not take it lying down. He took the game to another level retorting, “He is an angry, evil and embittered little bishop.He is an angry, evil and embittered little bishop.” This was back in 2004 and in 2013, the President of Zimbabwe took another pot-shot at the Bishop, this time for his pro-gay stance.
“….then we have a respectable man, an archbishop. Tutu should just step down because he supports gays, something that is evil. We say no to gays.”
Maybe the Zimbabwean President just did not like Archbishop Tutu who also did not have too many kind words, “I really feel ashamed in many ways because Mugabe used to be such a splendid leader.”
Can these gentlemen call a truce though? They inspire too many people to resort to back-street spats.
“Are we now like Nigeria where you have to reach your pocket to get anything done?”Are we now like Nigeria where you have to reach your pocket to get anything done? was the question. President Mugabe in this instance was speaking at a luncheon for his 90th birthday and he continued, “You get into a plane in Nigeria and you sit there and the crew keeps dilly dulling without taking off as they wait for you to fly the plane.”
This veiled attack on Nigerian corruption is contrary to the position reported by the Global Corruption Perception index that ranked Nigeria 144th and Zimbabwe 157th in 2013. In 2015, Nigeria sat at 136 and Zimbabwe at 150. Zimbabwe is more corrupt in this metric and the fact that a joke was even made about Nigeria exposes it.
President Mugabe has captured our imagination in more times than we can recount. Politics aside, here is a man who knows how to light up our days with laughter and surprise us at every turn. Sometimes the surprises are not exactly pleasant but the shock factor is worth it every time.
Image Credit: Telegraph
Tatenda is an advocate of cultural identity and African development. Interact with him on http://africanaforum.blogspot.com/
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