Flattering Mugabe will get you everywhere

2013-05-05 10:01

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If there is anything Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe seems to enjoy – at least from ambitious politicians within his own party – it’s flattery.

In the state media, a story centering on Mugabe is not complete without referring to him by his titles: “The Head of State and Government, Commander In Chief of the Defence Forces, Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe.”

This is a serious matter considering that on his birthday, which is known as the 21st February Movement – two journalists from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and Star FM, the two state-owned radio stations, were fired for reading an online biography that alleges Mugabe is of Malawian descent.

ZBC editor in chief Tazzen Mandizvidza said one of the journalists, Hazvinei Sakarombe, was suspended for broadcasting “wrong information” about Mugabe.

The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe said the decisions taken by the two stations were unfair labour practice.

The latest volley of flattery came from the Minister of Information and Publicity, Webster Shamu, whose ministry controls the radio stations that fired the two journalists.

Minister Shamu this week said if things were to go his way, he would have chosen to be a biological son of the president.

“If I was given the option to choose my father before birth, where would I go? I would have been Chatunga’s elder brother. I would have been number one at First House, at President Mugabe’s house.

“I would have said that’s where I want to be born,” Shamu told a press gathering at the Harare International Festival of the Arts.

But it was not the first time he has sweet talked Mugabe. In 2011, he claimed Mugabe was the most educated president in the world and his body was like “Cremora”.

“There is no president the world over who has degrees like President Mugabe. He is brainy and that’s why he is feared. You fought the liberation struggle for a long time and you (Mugabe) should also rule for as long as you want,” Shamu said.

Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu, who has been in the firing line on allegations of massive corruption, writes personal letters to President Mugabe.

When he signs off, he says: “Your ever obedient son, Obert Mpofu.”

Mpofu told the press he is proud to be Mugabe’s son.

Vice-President Joyce Mujuru has also waxed lyrical about Mugabe.

She once told a gathering that Mugabe received a divine calling to rule Zimbabwe at a tender age.

Thereby, anyone who opposes Mugabe is going against the will of God.

“People are wasting their time by opposing President Mugabe,” Mujuru said in January.

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