Let the dictator go to Lisbon and make a fool of himself

BY JOHN MAKUMBE
President Robert Mugabe's invitation to attend the forthcoming EU-Africa summit in Lisbon, Portugal later this year must be treated by all peace-loving Zimbabweans with the contempt it deserves.

It is my considered view that it is pointless to waste energy criticising or fighting against the Portuguese authorities’ decision to invite Mugabe to Lisbon. Mugabe’s participation in the EU-Africa summit will certainly be a non-event since it will not make any meaningful difference to the severe hardships that face Zimbabweans of all walks of life here at home and abroad.

Mugabe must be accorded the opportunity to continue to make a fool of himself on the international stage. He must be allowed to display his folly right in front of his fellow African leaders so that they may become more aware of his obsession with hate politics, racism and dictatorial inclinations. I believe the Lisbon summit will provide Mugabe with this opportunity to, once again, display his lack of statesmanship.

I am aware that Mugabe may well receive another standing ovation for whatever hot air he will spew forth in Lisbon, but I also know that he can never receive such a standing ovation here at home where his own people have been reduced to hunter-gatherers by his disastrous politico-socio-economic policies. We should remain resolute in our stance that the solution to Zimbabwe’s escalating crisis rests firmly with ourselves. We are our own liberators – through any and all possible peaceful and democratic means available.

It is my fervent hope that maybe Mugabe may finally see the light while he is in Lisbon, and make a deliberate decision to put an end to the repression that has been the trade mark of his presidency in this our beloved country.

Perhaps a bright light will shine on him and make him realise that virtually all Zimbabweans now regard him as the primary cause of their pain and suffering. Will it not be embarrassing for Mugabe to be rubbing shoulders with other African leaders whose countries have single digit rates of inflation, while his own country’s rate is by far the worst in the world?

Further, Mugabe’s forthcoming visit to Lisbon accords Zimbabweans in the Diaspora a golden opportunity to mobilise support against the dictator’s repressive policies and practices. Diasporans could take advantage of the EU-Africa summit to organise street demonstrations, seminars and workshops on the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe. They could also organise video shows in order to effectively inform as many nations outside Africa as possible on the pain that the people of Zimbabwe are having to endure as a result of Mugabe and his demonic party’s evil rule in Zimbabwe.

This forthcoming summit could also be used as another media opportunity by international media houses to show footage pertaining to the difficult living conditions in this country. Television and radio stations should be approached to provide extensive coverage of the Zimbabwe situation during Mugabe’s Lisbon visit.

Magazines and newspapers could also provide extensive coverage in this regard in order to saturate the international community with information that will effectively and accurately depict the evil character of Robert Mugabe.

It is regrettable that the forthcoming Lisbon summit will enable Mugabe and his hangers on to abuse the scarce national resources for their own benefit. With the national economy in free-fall, unemployment well above 85%, and poverty rapidly approaching 90%, this is not the time to gallivant around the world in the name of African solidarity. But let the dictator go to Lisbon and display his senility for all and sundry to see.

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