Enjoying cake while nation eats crumbs

HARARE - This coming Saturday Zimbabwean masses will once again witness President Robert Mugabe cutting a gigantic monster-like cake, perhaps which some have never seen in their lifetime.

Mugabe will cut and swallow cake as part of his celebration for attaining 89 years last week Thursday.

The cake will surely be big enough, but the bulk of the proletariat will not have access to a piece of their share.

As Jesus once reckoned, “it is not fair to take children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” the cake won’t be for many but save only for the royal family and some countable few within the inner cabal.

But just like dogs, the rest of the masses who will be celebrating with the octogenarian leader in his last year before being a nonagenarian will of course have opportunity to eat crumbs falling from Mugabe’s table.

They will be gathered at a nearby stadium or a convenient place, where delicious foods will be served. To those who are very inquisitive, they will question themselves that if they ate such kind of food every day, what kind of human beings they would have been on this wretched earth.

All sorts of gifts have been pledged by individuals and corporates alike, some genuine and some smokescreens to cover up something. At this critical juncture granting favours or gifts to Mugabe is sort of an investment.

In a country where black empowerment rhetoric and other populist policies are rife, it will certainly mean that some will be more empowered than others. Obviously behind the scenes questions will be asked before one is granted privileges, “wakamboiteiwo?” (What have you done worth rewarding you with ‘empowerment’)?

At a time Mugabe enjoys cake, it is also important to reflect how majority of Zimbabweans including the ones who will be ululating at the birthday celebrations have been reduced into paupers under the tutelage of the 89-year-old leader’s regime.

There is no more pride in going to work.

The masses attending the celebrations will act as a clear testimony and constant reminder to Mugabe that over 80 percent of them are loafers, and have heavily been disempowered and marginalised in an economy where only a few, the politically-connected ones have access to national wealth.

Stampede of people to get a spoonful of food at the bash will again act as another reminder on how the majority is failing to afford a decent meal.

Thousands who constitute the crowd shall also exhibit to Mugabe how hypocritical and deceptive people have learnt to become precisely on Zanu PF’s purported programmes.

Having realised how costly it has become to snub such programmes as there is danger of being labelled, “an enemy,” “a sellout” or even more berserk “agents of regime change” the people especially local ones will have the highest turn-out.

That is the only escape route to ensure the birthday ghost won’t haunt them. They have endured enough pain.

But Mugabe as alert as he has always been, will secretly know that it’s politics of the stomach.

Electoral statics of 2008 still prove to him how all Zanu PF affiliates of today have become present day Ananias and Safiras of this world.

Even the bhora musango architects, whom Mugabe certainly know have a question to answer will line up one by one, crafting and dishing out the sweetest lyrical praises that any individual has ever received.

They have no choice; it is all but the art of survival.

Had the people been sincere enough would Mugabe have been in all this mess, where the power he has been enjoying over the years is now shared, where his popularity has waned dismally and all legacy having been devastatingly shattered?

But Mugabe appears not to have solutions, at least for now, except of course to enjoy cake whilst people eat crumbs falling off his table. - Alexander Rusero

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