Mugabe thanks the Daily News

HARARE - Moved by a comment that the country’s most influential newspaper wrote in its edition of yesterday, regarding how Zanu PF is honouring him on his birthday, President Robert Mugabe yesterday thanked the popular daily for its “good message”.

In the editorial, Zimbabwe’s leading newspaper encouraged those organising the 21st February Movement celebrations to stop hosting such expensive bashes for Mugabe, and instead use all the money raised in his name for this purpose for worthier causes.

In a surprise telephone call yesterday, Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba contacted Daily News editor Stanley Gama to convey the veteran leader’s message of appreciation.

“President Mugabe read the whole comment you wrote today (yesterday) and clapped his hands saying the Daily News, although very critical, had conveyed a good message not only to him as an individual but the people of Zimbabwe.

“He (Mugabe) said I must contact you to express his appreciation of the advice you gave him.

“He said that the event raised $75 000 for children with disabilities and for their other daily needs like lotions, in the case of people born with albinism, and this money will soon be distributed throughout the country for the benefit of these disadvantaged members of society.

“The president agrees with many of the concerns you raised in the editorial and promised that the next events will be better organised especially on the need to raise money for the underprivileged.

“He asked me to tell you that he is a leader who listens to good advice no matter where it is coming from,” Charamba said.

Part of the comment read: “We want to recommend a different way in which Zimbabweans should honour him (Mugabe), to help heal our troubled country and also sway the hearts of those who wish him ill.

“There is no doubt that the 21st birthday movement is now associated with controversy, excess and factionalism, with many of those tasked with managing this annual jamboree seemingly hellbent on advancing their own narrow interests rather than celebrating Gushungo and his life, or advancing national goals.

“This is not just most regrettable, but also an avoidable bloat on the president’s legacy.

“Why for example, was money not raised this year in the president’s name to help the many victims of Cyclone Dineo in Matabeleland, instead of holding a divisive feast in the province which did little to lift Gushungo’s name and advance the interests of all Zimbabweans?

“And couldn’t the 21st February Movement be used to raise funds for scholarships and to build infrastructure at poor rural schools, or to either build or equip rural clinics as other worthy examples?”.

Gama thanked the president through Charamba, who is also the permanent secretary for the ministry of Information that is led by Dr Christopher Mushohwe, who has worked tirelessly to improve further the relationship between the government and the independent media since he was appointed to the position.

“It is very pleasing to see that the president reads, respects and is alive to our sometimes critical, but well-meaning journalism.

“Indeed, even when we are probing and telling the Zimbabwean story robustly like it is, as we always do without fear or favour, we do this because we love our country and want to see it succeed.

“In that light, kudos to the president for recognising and appreciating our watchdog role, and may all his lieutenants follow his laudable example,” Gama said.

Comments (13)

This is interesting. But Inga wani we have been saying more or less the same thing year in year out? Isu we have even stopped celebrating our birthdays so as to give our kids a different message.

selele - 28 February 2017

$70000 was raised but how much was spent on the birthday bash Did I misread the Daily news -----

gonyeti 2 - 28 February 2017

congratulations mr gama for the positive comment coming from the head of state and government. we urge you to keep on writing constructively for the betterment of our nation.

edgar mukunyadze - 28 February 2017

Clever Mugabe,,he is campaigning now&this is his strategy acting like he cares yet he doesn't.

Matsotsi - 28 February 2017

@Matsotsi, I could not agree with you more! Trickery and deception (buyer beware). In his mind, and those of his mouth piece (aka Charamba), Mugabe sees an article that does not criticize him in person but the organizers of and to his jamboree and jumps on the opportunity to look like he 'gets' it. Nyangwe ikaumburuka mudota kana mumudhaka, mavara e ingwe haaperi! This is meant to fool both the daily and its readership.

gudo - 28 February 2017

So you buy that? Come on guys don't be fooled by the sly old man....he obviously does not mean it, remember he is a politician. Come next year same story, he'll be forcing the public to fund his extraordinary birthday party

misty - 28 February 2017

Saint Gabriel foot! The devil reincarnate.. stealing, cheating, killing and LIES LIES LIES.

Will Blackman - 28 February 2017

This is what makes Mugabe stay in power forever. Tsvangirai was charmed out of his socks after having a cup of tea with the president. So was Biti. Now The Daily News is wagging its tail like a little puppy after that little pat on the head. Love him or hate him, the guy is a political genius.

Francis - 1 March 2017

Thanks to the daily news keep the work and don't listen to jealous people , Mugabe is a human being , kana akataura its fine , there is constructive and damaging journalism so let it be , hats off to Gama and team , keep telling it as it is.

mudhara - 1 March 2017

And the flattery is lost on the daily news. Perhaps you should pull out all the other "advisory" editorials you've done in the past and ask Charamba and Mugabe if they did not see those. Clearly Bob is up to something but I do not belive for one minute that he has suddenly awoken to the extravance of his party, the bootlicking of his followers or the fact that his legacy is not what is said when he is gone but what he himself could see and buried his head in the sand in the name of pursuing a life presidency

Kwidini - 1 March 2017

Mandela Day in South Africa is a special day in which everyobne is encouraged to take part in doing positive things for the good of their community like community cleaning or bringing food for the society 's disadvantaged. Instead of feasting until guests collapse as is the case with the President's bash the Zanu (PF) people can emulate that philanthropic culture and help cleanse the President's tarnished image.

tafa mutekwe - 1 March 2017

Dictactors do not stay in office because they are stupid. They are crafty and very cunning. Its worth to note that Mugabe had a terrible interview with Tazzen just before his b-day, in which he admitted to keeping cash under his pillow, openly disrespecting his lieutenants by saying none of them are fit to lead, etc. Second thing, the optics of him munching on food that him and his government banned are not good. Third, his wife's reentry into politics was terrible. These are just but a few exmaples of things that could have bad press for him but is anyone talking about that at the daily? No. Because they got their ego stroked! That is Mugabe's go to move, when he messes up.

gudo - 1 March 2017

Before I make a substantive comment, I suggest that you remove 'hurtful' from your list of 'civilised etiquette' requirements. Because anything can be hurtful to someone who hates criticism, especially leaders with dictatorial tendencies. As a result it censors out critical contributions leaving the space to bootlicking ones only, thereby giving a skewed impression of what society thinks of issues of critical national importance.

Samuel Maruta - 3 March 2017

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