Non-stop praise

State media is a nonstop conveyor belt of praise for Mugabe. If the president wanted praise singers, he should have hired poets and court jesters who run before him, singing elegies and lining the ground with their own coats.

Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe

Every good leader needs an honest advisory council – perhaps even more than he needs a presidential guard. Somebody close to Mugabe should serve him the undiluted truth, which is that the he cannot continue to behave as though we are still in the prosperous 80s.

For the head of state, overseas trips are sometimes unavoidable. However, there is need to critically assess the size and makeup of the President’s entourage.

On his China trip, for example, President Mugabe took with him tourism minister, Walter Mzembi, whose sole objective was ‘to append his signature to a bilateral agreement’ (the minister’s own words). Surely, in this age of Fedex, Skype, WhatsApp and email, ministers can easily thrash out the minutiae of contracts over the phone.

I for one would donate airtime, if a phone call would negate the cost of a first class ticket to Beijing. During the Franco-Africa summit of 2013, The Telegraph revealed that Mugabe and his entourage took half the floor of the Plaza Athenée, occupying 33 rooms. The presidential suite is £2,850 a night and the cheapest room, £350.

According to the Telegraph, when Grace arrived at the hotel, two aides followed behind burdened with the First Lady’s shopping bags. Imagine for a moment, how many loaves of bread one could buy on £2,850.

In 2010, President Mugabe was spotted in a New York drug store. Being fit as a fiddle, it is likely he was only looking for Aspirin.

Post published in: Analysis

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