In just eight years (2000-2008) Mugabe caused the migration of over three million Zimbabweans, all of them fleeing joblessness, hunger and political instability. Thousands more fled the countryside into the cities, to escape the violence that accompanied Mugabe’s chaotic land reform.
Scores fled to neighbouring countries, in search of medical treatment, during the cholera outbreak of 2008 in which 6,000 Zimbabweans died. Recently, Grace – either as proxy for her husband or in her own capacity – evicted hundreds of farmers from Mazowe, to gratify her insatiable appetite for land.
What gives Mugabe the right to speak of refugees? Does he read copies of the state-controlled newspapers, in which the horrors of his rule have been carefully edited? With what authority can he lecture Africa on industrial growth? Either he is not aware of the damage he has caused in Zimbabwe or the speechwriters played a devilish prank on a confused old man.