Zimbabweans literally running SA - Mugabe

Cape Town – President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday said Zimbabweans were "literally running" the South African economy, adding however that he was not to blame for the high number of citizens who had fled the country, a Business Day report said.

Addressing a rally in Mutare, just a week before elections, Mugabe took a number of well-aimed potshots at South Africa, among them its education system and its support for gay rights.

Mugabe said he was ashamed of the high number of Zimbabweans in SA, who took most of the jobs in hotels and other business.

"We feel ashamed of the influx of Zimbabweans in South Africa. If you go to their hotels, there are Zimbabweans all over. The same applies to other businesses. Zimbabweans are literally running the South African economy. South Africans end up attacking Zimbabweans because there are just too many in that country," Mugabe said.

"...The blame of their migration is heaped on Mugabe. People say they are running away from Mugabe and I am now their passport to enter foreign lands like Britain and South Africa.


"Even Mrs [Janet] Banana [wife of the first president of Zimbabwe], when she went to the UK she said she was running away from Mugabe's oppression, yet she wanted to settle with her children there. How evil am I to oppress an old lady like Mrs Banana?"

Mugabe also condemned SA for upholding gay rights. "We are unlike South Africa, which upholds gay rights. We will deal with them here. Gay rights are not human rights. I am despised in some parts of the world because I said gays and lesbians are worse than pigs and dogs because these animals know their mates. We cannot allow our children to be worse than wild animals," he said.

Mugabe, according to Herald Online also took a swipe as US President Barack Obama for advocating homosexuality.

"Then we have this American president, Obama, born of an African father, who is saying we will not give you aid if you don’t embrace homosexuality," Mugabe said.

"We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality. John and John, no; Maria and Maria, no."


Mugabe said despite economic challenges facing Zimbabwe, the country still had a better education system in Africa.

"We have built schools, our children are educated. We are being admired that we have the best literacy rate in Africa at 91%. Even South Africa tinoikunda [We are better that South Africa], Equatorial Guinea is in second place at 86%."

Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to be proud of their country and not lie in order to get asylum in Western countries.

According to Zimbabwe.com, Mugabe insisted that those who went to foreign countries were not doing any better than those they left behind. Extending an invitation to the exiles to return home, he said his government had a plan to create jobs in infrastructure development and mining.

"You have your country; you fought for it, why are you running away? Why run to Britain, a very cold and uninhabitable country with nowhere where you can say you can live happily? The houses are very small, why go there? So that you can say I went to England? Can those who went there show us what they did with their time?"

Mugabe is set to face his long time rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in a make or break election on 31 July to end a shaky coalition government formed in 2009 after disputed polls that resulted in the death of over 200 people in 2008.

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