Has Mugabe lost his marbles?

HARARE - Given the recent and blistering attack on Lindiwe Zulu by President Robert Mugabe — and at a time Zimbabwe has been desperate for friends, if not made steady progress in its re-engagement efforts — one cannot escape the temptation that: The gods first make “mad” those that they wish to destroy.

Otherwise, how else can one explain this vitriolic and astonishing attack by the Zanu PF leader on President Jacob Zuma — and by extension Sadc — at his party’s election manifesto launch at the Zimbabwe Grounds on Friday.

At the rally, Gushungo not only panned Sadc and threatened to pull Zimbabwe out of the regional body, but also fired a broadside at Msholozi - via one of his most trusted lieutenants and diminutive ambassador Lindiwe Zulu — also appearing to be the de facto lead facilitator in the Zimbabwean political crisis.

To the region and entire country’s utter disbelief — and in a televised horror show by ZBC TV — Mugabe described the unassuming but impressive Zulu as “an ordinary, stupid and idiotic street woman”.

What a strategic blunder and howler for a man, and party which owes its “political power” to South Africa (SA)!

While one would have thought this undiplomatic lingo and forte is a speciality of the likes of serial political flip-floppers in Zanu PF’s ranks, the saddest thing about this senseless and unprovoked attack was that many in the rented crowd chuckled at this sad affair.

In essence, the laughs, clapping and clenched fist air-punching implied the crowd was ecstatic because it was funny and witty, if not clever politicking, yet the whole charade was patently not funny at all.

These fellow citizens were clearly blinded to the ginormous folly of His Mature Excellency’s attack because of their reverence to the dear leader.

This could have also been a result of mere politeness, or fear of Chipangano, and ubiquitous spooks at the venue.

Back to the matter at hand, Zulu’s crime has been her recent rational suggestion that Zimbabwe should have considered postponing its forthcoming elections, as per Sadc’s recommendation given to our leaders in Maputo last month, to pave the way for the implementation of agreed, but outstanding media and security reforms.

This was meant to avoid yet another violent, chaotic and contested election in Zimbabwe, as happened in 2008, when we had to beg Sadc and South Africa (SA) to come and rescue us — from our murderous, raping selves!

So, the crucial question is: Why did Mugabe embarrass himself and this nation so spectacularly and in public like this?

Let us first get the elephant in the room out of the way — Mugabe’s age. Yes, Gushungo is pushing on 90 and will be a staggering 95 by the time he finishes the “new first term” if he wins the presidential race on July 31!

I think that would be an official African record, although I stand to be corrected.

And as they say, nothing is more dishonourable than an old man, heavy with years and the scars of life and high office, who now has no other evidence of his good works or having lived long except his age.

In his excellent feature about the Zimbabwe Grounds rally published in the Daily News on Monday, my young and diligent colleague Xolisani Ncube richly recounted how old, tired and uninspired the Head of State and Government, and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces looked as he entered, walked and addressed the crowd.

To digress a bit, I felt a tad sad reading that brilliant, award-winning feature.

For here was a man who used to be revered almost universally in this beautiful nation, in lieu of his admirable energy and intellect, but who has now been reduced to a pitiable whimper by the powers of mother nature and time.

Surely, his supporters owe this former Zanu PF lion a well-deserved rest?

But make no mistake, there was also method to the madness of Mugabe’s attack on Sadc and Zuma.

This was to pre-empt and put the region, and the wily South African president on the backfoot, just in case things don’t go as planned for him and Zanu PF in the harmonised elections — and in that event, the alleged kleptocracy that has lorded it over us for the past 33 years has to once again resort to its unsavoury ways to stay in power.

Yes, dear reader, only Sadc and Zuma have the care, appetite and wherewithal to intervene in Zimbabwe’s toxic politics.

We are now largely a lost cause to the hated and fatigued Westerners, who wouldn’t lose an hour’s sleep were we all to be abducted suddenly by aliens from Mars!

This is sad but true, despite Mugabe and Zanu PF’s fake obsessions with imagined sanctions, imperialists and extra-continental regime change merchants.

So, Sadc and Zuma have to be put under control now, in this warped strategy. They are seen by hardliners in Zanu PF as having already done too much damage to the party over the past four years, since the street-wise Zuma toppled Mugabe’s poodle, Thabo Mbeki, by agitating for a level political playing field in the country.

And of course, Mugabe and Zanu PF do not care about the consequences of upsetting Zuma and Sadc as long as they remain in power — just as they did not care when they told the West where to get off a decade and-a-half ago.

But this is a terrible miscalculation on the part of our rulers because Sadc and SA cannot be wished away like the British and the Americans, who have very little tangible interest in us and our country. Indeed, we neither have oil, for example, nor are we a bulwark against global terrorism.

On the other hand, Sadc and SA have real vested interests in our affairs. After all, up to three million political and economic refugees are eking a living across the Limpopo, with another estimated 200 000 of our kinsmen taking valuable employment opportunities away from the Batswana over our western border.

And just as apartheid SA brought the Rhodesians to their knees, the South Africans can bring tremendous pressure to bear on Zimbabwe if they choose to.

They have a full menu of sticks and “torture” tools that they can use to cause real havoc in this country if they continue to be pushed to the limits.

This is why SA reacted very angrily and unusually openly to Mugabe’s provocation. They know and understand their power.

One of SA’s miffed officials duly described Mugabe as a “laughing stock and mampara (fool)”, adding pointedly that our president was “effectively biting the hand that feeds him”.

Indeed, just as SA also effectively engineered our government of national unity, and to all practice and sense kept Mugabe in power, they have the muscle similarly to stoke Mugabe’s and Zanu PF’s demise.

So, and as a direct result of this poor behaviour and choice of words by Mugabe, relations between South Africa and Zimbabwe are destined to plummet, unless something gives in, in the next few weeks.

This will have a negative impact on everyone, from Mugabe to Zanu PF and the government, as well as ordinary Zimbabweans — given SA’s political and economic standing within the region and the international community.

Has Mugabe lost his marbles to be acting so recklessly?

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Comments (32)

He lost his marbles long time ago when he was a mere goat herder.

Zimofa - 9 July 2013

The writer of this article, oh yes, we have seen a hell lot of them before, is a shameless bootlicker of the Western founded and funded MDC. The real reason why Lindiwe Zulu, a well known harlot and carpet-interview specialist - and no wonder Zuma gave her the post of Special International Affairs Advisor, had to be put in her place is because she had gone too far!! SADC clearly never said that the court decision had to be trumpled upon as she suggested!!! Lindiwe Zulu, in addition to being well paid by Imperialists to steer Zimbabwe into Imperialists' pit, together with her bed-fellow-boss, actually attempted to strip Zimbabwe of its Sovereignity by blatently ignoring Zimbabwe's court rulling in advance. Surely that could not be left to the bitch Lindiwe Zulu to happen. The pathetic demand for security sector reforms is now clear who is behind it all. If there is a need for security sector reforms it is in South Africa where it must take place. Zuma is in Government there but not in power as the army, the Navy, the Airforce and all important security and intelligence apparators and judiciary are all in the hands of Apartheid appologist-whites whose loyalty is not to Zuma and Zuma - rulled (let me say so sparingly -as Zuma does not rule South Africa) South Africa but to apartheid principles. If Zuma were at all educated, he would be well advised to change this harlot of his and appoint someone who relies on brains to conduct international affairs rather than the butt.

George Sebedebe - 10 July 2013

The writer of this article, oh yes, we have seen a hell lot of them before, is a shameless bootlicker of the Western founded and funded MDC. The real reason why Lindiwe Zulu, a well known harlot and carpet-interview specialist - and no wonder Zuma gave her the post of Special International Affairs Advisor, had to be put in her place is because she had gone too far!! SADC clearly never said that the court decision had to be trumpled upon as she suggested!!! Lindiwe Zulu, in addition to being well paid by Imperialists to steer Zimbabwe into Imperialists' pit, together with her bed-fellow-boss, actually attempted to strip Zimbabwe of its Sovereignity by blatently ignoring Zimbabwe's court rulling in advance. Surely that could not be left to the bitch Lindiwe Zulu to happen. The pathetic demand for security sector reforms is now clear who is behind it all. If there is a need for security sector reforms it is in South Africa where it must take place. Zuma is in Government there but not in power as the army, the Navy, the Airforce and all important security and intelligence apparators and judiciary are all in the hands of Apartheid appologist-whites whose loyalty is not to Zuma and Zuma - rulled (let me say so sparingly -as Zuma does not rule South Africa) South Africa but to apartheid principles. If Zuma were at all educated, he would be well advised to change this harlot of his and appoint someone who relies on brains to conduct international affairs rather than the butt.

George Sebedebe - 10 July 2013

The old man has really gone bonkas. Needs to be booted out before he is totally berserk.

Sekeramayi - 10 July 2013

Iih what a manifesto. Watched in shock as the hopeless party talked of pulling from sadc and bringing back the Zim dollar. No to my vote old man

Deliwe - 10 July 2013

George Sebedebe u ain't serious man. Bootlicker???? U must be the other side's bootlicker.The Old Man should not have said that given his level of education compared to any other Hd of State/Gvn, Comm In Chief of the D/Forces. Man he stooped so low that I can't in my capacity as a citizen of Zimbabwe believe it. Zimbabwe is not an Island among other nations. Who are we(he) to trodd on regional or international bodies? Is that shared by all Zimbabweans at large? or is it age progression(retard)? Apparrently guys we are capable of thinking and choosing just like any other human being. Zimbos are not Zombies to say the least.

Hlongwane - 10 July 2013

This mada man is gone come the 1st of August. Bullshit.

Haruna - 10 July 2013

I could not believe the words were coming out of an 89 year old man addressing a public gathering. It was a shame an now I understand why my friends were telling me to abandon his part.

Nyorodo - 10 July 2013

You should expect that from our grandfather. That is typical of that age

COMMON SENSE - 10 July 2013

What marbles for this yester-year Gagulu? They long rolled off his ancient forehead! KKKKKKKKKK

Jonso Musorodamba - 10 July 2013

George Sebedebe. It is clear you a staunch ZANU PF supporter and the problem with this party is to support, without reason, anything uttered by its leadership, no matter how stupid it may be. Just because he is the President, a saint, you may wish to say, does not mean every statement he makes has wisdom. You become a bootlicker when you refuse to see anything wrong with your leadership and instead, choose to through vitriol at those that see it. Zimbabwe is in shambles now, (zvauriwe urambe futi), becoz bootlickers like you chose to be cheerleaders, nyika ichienda kumawere. What a shame!

mwanawevhu - 10 July 2013

Mugabe was right. He needed to put that slovenly Lindiwe Zulu in her place. This is Zimbabwe, a sovereign State, not some backyard shack which should take orders from an ugly excuse of a woman full of Msholozi cum in the mouth!!!

bizora2 - 10 July 2013

What else would you expect from a 90 year old who is being cartwheeled against his wheel to the pedestal of national politics he should have quit 20 years ago. It would not be surprising if Mugabe is wittingly soiling Zanu PF 's campaign in order to lose so he can rest. I have a funny feeling the old man wants out but finds himself sorrounded by hungry hounds with no other plan or candidate. They are praying that Mugabe wins then maybe meets his ancestors mid-term before someone else takes over. Its not going to happen. This sorry lot has lost the plot and Mugabe at his age does not know what top say when and where.

Sachidza - 10 July 2013

mugabe was wright.sadc decision was for mdc without zanu pf input

oliver bunza - 10 July 2013

Mugabe has reached a dead end.Kicks of a dying horse are dangerous.George if we talk of reforms we are not saying firing of the army,police etc but we are demanding depoliticization of the security.They should stick to their constitutional mandate,to defend the state's sovereignty against invaders with arms of war and not civilians.If at all people have gone wrong in their thinking teach them rather than calling them traitors.To say "nyika haiende nepen" is the same as saying we will get out of power only through bloodshed.In short you are declaring war on civilians.For what crime?I HATE THE POLICIES OF ZANU SO COME 31 JULY I AM GOING TO EXPRESS THAT

My Vote Counts - 10 July 2013

I agree with the article but I want to go a step further and advise all Zimbabweans that WE DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR SADC, SA etc to remove send Mugabe to rest. We have a chance to on the 31st of this Month. Lets all vote this old man out and ensure a new Zimbabwe. Ofcourse we will need the region in case the old man will refuse to vacate the office but we will have done our part.

TaTanga - 10 July 2013

"Let us first get the elephant in the room out of the way — Mugabe's age. Yes, Gushungo is pushing on 90 and will be a staggering 95 by the time he finishes the “new first term!" '– You almost killed me with laughter. Kikikikiki.

Kingsley Mpofu - 10 July 2013

CHRIS GOKO Your ideals , opinions and comments indicates shallowness and real deficiency in terms of issues at stake on this trival stand-off. The political propotion level you are giving this Zulu"s issue really amazes me. The way you try to create bull-ring between Cde Mugabe and Cde Zuma using Zulu as a beit is astonishing. Keep it up

dungas - 10 July 2013

zulu was overstepping her madate & so she needed someone toremind her that zimbabwe is a sovereign state not a province of south africa

mudhara - 10 July 2013

age is only a number, he is healthy, good looking and intelligent nekuti anozvibata. vazhinji venyu vari kutaura about his age munotori zvima sicklings nechakare, kana 50 yrs hamsvitse ndokunge matombopindawo mu thirty ne nyasha dzamwari,

reason - 10 July 2013

Vanhu veZanu varwadziwa ne-article iyi. Eheka, chokwadi chinorwadza.

Moses sharuko - 10 July 2013

"loughs,clappings and clenched fistair-+punching"those that follow blindly.How could a crowd do such in light of all that stupidity?That was foot and mouth,president

nathaniel - 10 July 2013

Just who is this Mugabe to be allowed free rein to lash out at anybody in so foul terms? What has Lindiwe Zulu done? Where has diplomatic etiquette gone? Surely when Obama spoke in SOuth Africa about the need for credible, free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, he did not stoop so low as to label Mugabe a dictator- which everyone knows Mugabe is-nor did he foul mouth anyone. The bare truth is that anyone who dares criticise this rogue Mugabe led party becomes demonised in the foulest terms. Why does Mugabe equate ZANU PF with Zimbabwbe when it is clear that his party supporters are in the minority? Zvino helicopter zvadzaramba kubhururuka, how will the senile old man conduct his campaigns in the intractable rural areas? ZANU PF had better stage a coup with their equally foolish Generals who think everyone in the Army supports their whimsical fantacies! Nonsense!

Hwezhachikara - 10 July 2013

robert has since been a basket case from day one, he has always been auctioning off zim from the 80s to the libyans etc and now he sold it to the chinese hell he cant even get treated in zimbabwe, his kids cant even study in zimbabwe, he turned zim into a joke and the latest stupid comment is no suprise that he is delusional. Pathetic.

RickSantorium - 10 July 2013

Sebedebe tell me what is wrong with the West, why do you have a rabid hatred of the West. We all know if the West invest in your country they really make sure you have world standard infrastructure. For how long are you going to lie about the formation of MDC. We formed MDC not Britain not American but us Zimbabweans and 68% last election endorsed MDC ask the securocrats they know this 68%. Thambo Mbkei (RSA) helped Mugabe back in power. Now tell me what is wrong in just taking our time and create an environment of a free and fair credible election? What is wersten about it? And if a head of state can be heard using foul language what do you think, imagine mumba baba vachingoti stupid, idiot munogarika mumba imomo? Sebedebe maybe you have benefitted from bootlicking your ZanuPF leaders but most of us surviving on vending have not and now ZanuPF wants to create more vending sites and flea markets is that what Zimbabwe wants? A fea market country so where is production in flea markets and vending stalls? Shamwari you may win but Zimbabweans will be putting their heads on the axe. Seriously we must start to learn how behind we are from other countries. Visit now some counries we used to laugh at and you will be ashamed of what is happening in Zimbabwe. Sebedebe there are foreign companies in many countries who are never threatened as we do it hear. Companies are operating with an axe on the head and most companies and would be invetsors including us blacks would want to see zanupf gone and gone with its bush behaviour. Gandanga haridye derere style vachipedza mbudzi dzedu.

wamaromo - 11 July 2013

this is politcs its a dirty game. south africans no its just a game they are playing. they spoke in advance to woodwink galeble zimbos. the same happened before

leo chito - 11 July 2013

ana Sedemede Mugabe aneta kanhi munomumanikidzirei, 90 yrs ko mashaiwa vadiki vane vision. hutsinye uhwo

tata - 13 July 2013

Running a country, like any other occupation such as teaching, medicine, engineering and so on and so forth, must be enjoyed and not endured! It is clear that Mugabe last enjoyed his occupation when he was in jail studying his numerous degrees! Ever since he took over the reigns of power Mugabe has endured his occupation. All that he has seen is the spilling of innocent blood and crisis after crisis of governance: Gukurahundi,fight to establish a one-party state, ESAP, violent land reform programme, fight against MDC, Murambatsvina, record hyperinflation, fight against targeted sanctions and now fight against SA and SADC. This man will go down as one Head of State who never enjoyed his tenure of office!

Alois Matongo - 15 July 2013

Anhuwee ndaneta izvo munioramba muchiniitisa izvi makore avepo asi imi hamusvunuri kani. MuParty mangu hapana anoda kupihwa ushe hwacho saka zvino ndodii? Hama dzemurume chisingapere chinoshura!

Chisingapere Chinoshura - 15 July 2013

Zanu Patritic Fools u should have retired your old man before he started making a fool of himself.Are u telling the world all of u are not foolish enough to lead that mafia group.U heartless ,selfish cowards who cant stand challenges.What is kuzvitonga when there is no freedom.IAN SMITH was a better devil coz our parents could afford a meal on our tables.

TOENDEPI - 16 July 2013

mazimbabweans hatidzidze SADC will not solve our problems,we have to do what Libyans,Egyptians have done,mudhara uyu will never give up power,not without a fight

munhu - 16 July 2013

mazimbabweans hatidzidze SADC will not solve our problems,we have to do what Libyans,Egyptians have done,mudhara uyu will never give up power,not without a fight

munhu - 16 July 2013

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