Opinion / Columnist
Vatican City: Are these Robert Mugabe's 34 sins?
27 Apr 2014 at 10:32hrs | Views
If EU sanctions were to apply in Vatican City, some people like Robert Mugabe and his wife would probably protest to the Holy See especially as Mugabe is reportedly having problems with his right eye and knee.
As Robert Mugabe once more sneaks into the Vatican City for the canonisation of John XXIII and John Paul II, he might be emboldened by the experience last year at the inauguration of Pope Francis when the Holy Father ‘raised his eyebrows', shook hands and bowed his hand in greeting him in a move seen by some commentators in West as controversial given the travel ban then in force.
It should be pointed that Robert Mugabe was instrumental in the liberation struggle which ended with Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 and that he was once honoured by world leaders including the Queen of the United Kingdom. For some years soon after independence under Mugabe's leadership, the Zimbabwean currency was stronger than the British pound. However, the country not only lost its currency, but later adopted the US dollars and as many other currencies as it could get to create a multi-currency economy with 90 percent unemployment rate.
As a result, some people wonder if Robert Mugabe could use ‘the day of the four popes' since two living popes will be attending the event, to make 34 serious confessions about what many view as some of his "sins" since coming into and holding on to power for three decades and four years. Herewith a starter pack of some of offences allegedly committed by or with the full knowledge and or approval of the Zimbabwean tyrant:
1. Accusing the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference in April 2011 of spreading lies when it condemned violence perpetrated by Zanu-pf supporters.
2. Allowing his partisan bishop to wreak havoc in the Anglican Church
3. Doing little until too late to end attacks on the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe including the alleged murder of 89-year old Anglican priest Jesca Mandeya by security operatives
4. Rigging polls – 2002, 2008, 2013
5. Fiddling with the voters' roll
6. Forcing millions into the Diaspora- some killed by crocodiles crossing the Limpopo
7. Disenfranchising approximately 1 million young voters at home and about 3 m abroad
8. Refusing to release the electronic voters' roll used in the disputed July 2013 elections
9. Unleashing gross human rights violations
10. Conducting Operation Gukurahundi –approximately 20,000 people murdered
11. Conducting Operation Hakudzokwi – approximately 300 people were gunned down
12. Launching Operation Murambatsvina – approximately 300,000 left without shelter
13. Developing cold feet on corruption – Willowgate, salary gate, diamond gate etc
14. Launching chaotic and violent farm seizures – killing some farmers and their workers
15. Owning 12 farms between him and his wife despite promising fair land re-distribution
16. Forcibly evicting approximately 300 Mazowe peasant farmers and dumping them by the road side
17. Ruining the economy under the guise of indigenisation and political patronage
18. Hitting out at the "vile West" resulting in mass unemployment
19. Overseeing the collapse of the health care system
20. Buying his daughter a Hong Kong house as thousands died of cholera in 2008/9
21. Visiting Singapore and or China for treatment approx 16 times while hospitals back home have no drugs, and no sufficient staff
22. Undermining the war on HIV/AIDS by raiding the Global Fund's $7.3 million bank account
23. Ruining commercial agriculture resulting in present day mass food shortages
24. Power shortages – ZESA outages since 1990s projected into 2020 and beyond
25. Water shortages – unclean water in all the country's cities resulting in typhoid deaths
26. Poor road network despite collecting millions of unaccounted for dollars in road tolls
27. Falling education standards – poorly paid teachers, no textbooks, squandered exam fees
28. Withholding food aid, seed and fertiliser to political opponents
29. Poor housing – compare Mugabe's US$10million Borrowdale home and Epworth's slums
30. Forcing teachers who earn less than US$500 to pay $2 towards his birthday
31. Abducting, arresting and torturing human rights activists e.g. Jestina Mukoko
32. Overseeing the disappearance of human rights activists e.g. Paul Chizuze
33. Torturing and murdering journalists e.g. Mark Chavhunduka (2002)
34. Failing to pay civil servants the promised US$375 by Feb 2014 since electioneering in 2013.
35. If only Pope Francis knew about the foregoing "sins" perhaps he would have second thoughts about Mugabe's possible return to the Holy See before the next election hopefully in 2018. He is currently 90 years of age.
About the author: Clifford Chitupa Mashiri is an author, former diplomat, international relations expert, political analyst, and a doctoral candidate at London South Bank University, and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Source - Dr Clifford Chitupa Mashiri
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