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At 88, same old Robert Mugabe, Makorokoto,Amhlophe

25 Feb 2012 at 06:03hrs | Views
President Mugabe on Tuesday celebrated his 88th birthday. Congratulations! Makorokoto! Amhlophe! The good Lord has saved him from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He has satisfied him with long life. (Psalm 91)

The President gave wide-ranging interviews to both the print and electronic media, and these gave broader insight into the man, the leader and the father that he is. From the interviews, one could feel that there are no new tricks that you can teach him, and that he has not deviated from the principles that made him and his comrades-in-arms rise up to fight the settler colonialists until this country gained independence from Britain in 1980.

I have listened to countless of his speeches at different fora, including those made during the war of liberation. I have also read countless of those speeches before they are interpreted and/or misinterpreted and arrived at one conclusion â€" he hasn't changed. He remains resolute on the direction that Zimbabwe and Africa should take. It is a vision that is larger than most people's imaginations driven by pedigree nationalists and revolutionaries who will not forsake their principles for thirty pieces of silver.

During one of the interviews with The Sunday Mail's Nomsa Nkala, President Mugabe as a father, also initiated his son Robert, Jr into manhood by dragging him into the court of public opinion and consciously told him how to deal with difficult and/or embarrassing situations.

To some people it was a bit harsh that the President told the world that his son had flunked his Advanced Level examinations. But that is what parenthood is all about: "Spare a rod and, you spoil a child". Days later Robert Jr was a news item, and he has to learn how to deal with that on his own.

But the bottom line is that this was a pointer to his son that there is a real world out there, a world that is competitive, a world that also requires people to remain focused on their goals and, a world that handsomely rewards diligent workers.

The energy he exerts in basketball should also be exerted in all areas of life, including his academic work. As the young man moves around with friends, he might complain saying, "Asi mudharawo futi, haaite. Manje so!" (But how could the old man do that to me?), but he got the message.

This is how we have seen President Mugabe remarking on issues regarding the people he has worked with in Government and/or in Zanu-PF. He calls a spade, a spade, using the most unlikely terminology.

But, to turn 88, and still be serving is something many people in and outside politics have not managed to do.

I thought of an hourglass or sandglass or sand timer that "measures the passage of a few minutes or an hour of time. It has two connected vertical glass bulbs allowing a regulated trickle of material from the top to the bottom. Once the top bulb is empty, it can be inverted to begin timing again. The name hourglass comes from historically common hour timing." Two hourglasses juxtaposed make the figures 88.

It is a blessing. The moment he entered the political arena, daggers against him were drawn out, and this is more than fifty years ago. If the Lord did not deposit something special in him that bothers the enemy, he would have crumbled decades ago, and his political career would by now be history.

Instead, it has become a multi-million dollar industry, globally. You do not demonise someone if he or she is not a threat to you. You also do not shower praises, just to flatter that person. Honest praise always produces results for all to see.

For example, since the liberation struggle, artistes have sung praising President Mugabe's leadership â€" including Chimurenga music guru Thomas Gandanga Tafirenyika Mapfumo.

More than three decades after independence, more songs continue to be released by different age groups. The competition among some of the groups is astounding, showing that if he were what his enemies say he is, then why waste talent.

Only history will endorse the validity of the claims that the musicians say in their songs. On June 30, 2011, The Herald published an interview I had with New African magazine, Baffour Ankomah under the headline, "President: The last bastion of Africanism.

I reproduce some of Baffour's remarks regarding President Mugabe and his quest for a sovereign Zimbabwe: "Regarding March 28, 2008 and President Mugabe's last election rally: As I stood in Gwanzura Stadium amidst all the cheering and chanting of party slogans, I felt that most Zimbabweans in and outside the stadium had not yet understood the "war" their country was in.

"Perhaps, because it was not a hot war with bombs and airplanes flying about, most Zimbabweans had not factored â€" for lack of a better term â€" "cold war" that the imperial powers had unleashed on their country.

"I had earlier spoken to the former Zimbabwean foreign minister, Stan Mudenge, who had told me what Robin Cook, the now deceased foreign secretary of Britain, had told him years before. 'Stan', Cook had told Mudenge, 'you guys must get rid of Bob (President Mugabe).'

"Stan said he had told Cook back: 'For the same reasons that you guys want him out, we want him in.' "Cook then went on the offensive: "OK, you guys must not say we didn't warn you: If you don't get rid of Bob, what will hit you will make your people stone you in the streets.

"What Cook said was pregnant with meaning. And, as a Ghanaian who had studied in depth how the imperial powers had overthrown our first president, Kwame Nkrumah, and succeeded in getting Ghana back in their sphere of influence, and also having then lived in Britain for 23 years and watched how Britain and its allies were so hung on bringing Zimbabwe down in the vain hope that it would spur the people to take to the streets and overthrow President Mugabe's Government, my soul was grieving that most Zimbabweans in 2008 did not appreciate the enormity of the war confronting their country.

"Perhaps, the fact that a multi-million rate of inflation can be wiped out overnight by the inauguration of an inclusive Government and, the adoption of the US dollar as the main medium of exchange in Zimbabwe, should tell the people who were pulling the strings behind their suffering.

"The imperial powers had unleashed a silent and unseen war on Zimbabwe, and they had mobilised all their media in the effort to crush Zimbabwe.

"As an African who knew the value of land â€" both the spiritual and economic aspects â€" to our people, I watched in utter horror, from my base in London, how the British (and the Western media in general) had drawn a line in the sand and were standing on one, the white side, saying we will support our people â€" the British and European-descended people of Zimbabwe â€" wily nilly.

"The whole thing was about land and who controlled it. The human rights issues and the alleged economic mismanagement, though important, were just a convenient digression. The imperial powers had calculated that if they could get President Mugabe out of power, the land issue would be dead and buried. And they nearly, very nearly, got him in the March 2008 elections.

"For me, the passion for Zimbabwe that you talk about, comes from a philosophical base. If we all don't support Zimbabwe and the country is crushed by the imperial powers that will be the end of the aspirations of the African people who face the same skewed land ownership problems in Southern African and elsewhere.

"I may be dead and lying in my grave, but one fine day the people of South Africa and Namibia will rise up and fight for their land, hugely encouraged by the Zimbabwean example. "That was one of the main reasons why the imperial powers wanted a failure in Zimbabwe â€" the contagion effect. But God bless their poor hearts, it's too late now; the train has already left the station. And whether they like it or not, it might be two or three or even ten generations down the road, the people of South Africa and Namibia will rise up and sort out their land problem.

"And, that is the untold story that we at New African want the world to know about Zimbabwe â€" the pride and shining example that Zimbabwe gives to African nationalists across the continent. I have looked throughout history â€" both the pre and post independence history of Africa â€" every African leader (and he could have been traditional or political) who was assailed by the imperial powers was defeated in the long run. Except President Mugabe! "He is the only African leader still standing, after 10 years of sustained and intensive assault by the combined might (and I use "combined" advisedly) of the imperial powers. That needs a PhD course to unravel . . . "

Source - zimpapers
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