Blatter, Mugabe on corruption – what irony

Everyone at the Vigil was delighted to see the photographs of FIFA President and Commander in Chief Sepp Blatter holding hands with Mugabe and discussing ways of dealing with corruption. Even people with only marginal interest in Zimbabwe – and they are the vast majority in the UK – could not fail to see the irony.

Robert Mugabe & Sepp Blatter
Robert Mugabe & Sepp Blatter

It was like a meeting of Ian Smith and John Vorster to discuss democracy. There is hardly a soul in the UK who believes in the honesty of FIFA – perhaps fewer even than support Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

The irony got even more pronounced when Mugabe went off to Juba to explain to our newly liberated brothers in South Sudan why they should love his friend President Ali Butcher of Khartoum who – like his other friend, Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi – is wanted by the international criminal court. Vigil supporters applauded Botswana for rejecting the AU’s defence of these monsters.

Vigil supporters were disappointed but not surprised by the latest suggestions from Harare that the GPA inter-party negotiators have agreed that elections can’t be held before the third quarter of next year. Every day that passes sees another delay. The Vigil suspects there won’t be elections next year at all. Too many people are happy with the status quo: what unites all Zimbabwe’s politicians is self-interest.

They increasingly talk the same language. Listen for instance to Finance Minister Tendai Biti speaking in London about land reform being successful! As Muckracker in the Zimbabwe Independent says: ‘The members of the Commonwealth Business Council who Biti implored to come here and invest are unlikely to do so when senior members of the government ignore confiscation of property and lack of compensation….

Biti sounded as if he was speaking for Zanu (PF). He claimed the country’s judiciary measured up to any other around the world. “The judges and officials are well-read,” he claimed, “well-trained and respected globally.’

Vigil supporters were sorry that Mr Biti didn’t come and speak to us outside the Embassy. It would have given us an opportunity to talk to him about the new tourist promotion posters “come and hear my story” in the Embassy windows. We particularly like this one: ‘Wonder what it feels like to tee off in Paradise? (picture of someone looking like Tiger Woods) James Mwanza (with a golf club over his shoulder), 28 years old, Eastern Highlands.

Come and hear my story’. With Zimbabwe being the second poorest country in the world, the number of 28 year old golfers in the Eastern Highlands must be fairly small. And if we went to ‘hear my story’ it would be: my father is a Zanu (PF) chef and we are very busy dealing in diamonds.

The Vigil suggests that if Mr Biti wants to know what’s going on in Zimbabwe he could read the latest article by the exiled Zimbabwean commentator, Tanonoka Joseph Whande: ‘Who shall we believe, Zuma or SADC?’

FOR THE RECORD: 75 signed the register.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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