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Message mfonobong nsehe
When addressing guests during his 85th birthday celebrations in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe recently, Robert Mugabe vowed to continue seizing the lands belonging to white farmers and settlers. How heroic. I have wondered over and again what point Zimbabwe’s dictator, Robert Mugabe has been trying to make by seizing the farms and lands of white farmers, and making life in his country as miserable as hell for the whites. Mugabe’s legacy of evicting white farmers in his country to the admiration of his people is the only thing, albeit stupid, that he can do that will endear him and earn him the respect of his people.

Zimbabwe is currently struggling with the world's highest inflation rate of all time. But that is not all: There is a food shortage and a severe cholera epidemic which, according to the World Health Organization has affected well over 83,000 Zimbabweans. More than half the population is believed to need food aid, while just 10% of adults have a regular job. Most of the country’s people are poor; education is not so easily accessible by the majority, and the media is suppressed and intimidated.

Indeed, Zimbabwe is not really the most pleasant country to live in at the moment. If you think I am kidding, ask the one million people who have left the country to seek refuge in South-Africa. They are now termed ‘refugees’- and their country is not undergoing a civil war. The country is a deep mess, and rather than Mugabe focusing on solving the serious economic and social problems at hand, he is unleashing terror in the minds of white farmers, who to some extent are partly instrumental to seeing to it that Zimbabweans have food to eat. Mugabe has no respect for the authorities. He snubbed the South African Development Council’s tribunal ruling that his government’s plan to evict white farmers from their land was illegal.

Mugabe, always the strong-headed one was quick to dismiss the tribunal’s ruling as rubbish. ‘Farm invasions’ have continued in Zimbabwe.I appreciate the fact that Mugabe’s government is pushing so that Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans have greater control over industries and land in the country. If his intentions are genuine, then it is laudable. He wants his people to be in charge of their economy and their land, and that is a good thing.

But for some reason, there’s a huge part of me which thinks Mugabe does not really care a hoot about giving the land back to his Zimbabwean people. This is a subjective opinion. I think he knows he has failed in leadership and in government. He has not been able to turn around the economic woes of his country. I feel that he knows he cannot succeed in any other area in his leadership of Zimbabwe, and so, the only thing he figured would make him look like as a success would be his ability to throw off white people off the land.I am not deceived by Mugabe’s pretence to be so much concerned about restoring the land back to the people.

He is only so much concerned with his own gains. I know it is a serious accusation to make, but I am seriously hoping that someone would come out and prove me wrong. We know of the $5.8 million mansion he has in Hong-Kong and his numerous other investments, albeit not mentioned, which he has around the world. We know of the lavish lifestyle that his wife, Grace, lives while Zimbabweans live in abject poverty. And so, Mugabe, solve the more important issues affecting Zimbabwe, and leave the white farmers alone. Stop using your so-called, ‘land reform’ program to put your government in positive light.

So far, it has been a pathetic failure.

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Mfonobong Nsehe is an Africanist and founder of Echo Africa- a start-up think tank that addresses African issues.
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