New Constitutional Deal in Zimbabwe

Amazing, but presumably true, BBC News reports that Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe have struck a deal on a new constitution that will pave the way for elections. I guess what really shocks me is the photo:

Tsvangirai and the old crocodile together again

Tsvangirai and Mugabe together again

After reading Peter Godwin’s book on Mugabe’s reign of terror, which documents the devastating violence committed against Tsvangirai; and following the relentless animosity between these two; well, you just wouldn’t imagine them yucking it up together in a spirit of comradery.

But I guess that’s why I find politics so interesting. It’s nice to be surprised.

That said, most Zimbabweans are going to be pretty skeptical that any deal is going to stick, and will now reacquaint themselves with fears of pre-electoral violence.

Bob Mugabe’s Birthday of gay- and foreigner-bashing

When you’ve ruined a country, blaming other people is definitely an appealing political strategy: low cost, and often pretty effective. Long-time dictator Robert Mugabe played this tired song once more at his recent 88th birthday party in Mutare…

NGOs come with these stupid ideas, some to destabilise us. Quite often they support one party. We say to them get away from our country. Leave us to solve our political problems. Leave us to manage our own systems (see Mail & Guardian).

He also had a few choice words for the growing international pressure to recognize gay rights:

Please, young men and women, you don’t have the freedom for men to marry men and women to marry women. You have the freedom for men to marry women. That’s God’s freedom. That’s what created you and me.

And not surprisingly, the culmination of a speech knocking down these other actors was a plea for “unity” of the Zimbabwean nation…

We used to fight each other. Time has come for us to do our politics in a much more cultured way. Although our differences are ideological and sometimes quite negative, we should not regard them as a source of hatred.

Apparently, about 20,000 people attended the old crocodile’s celebration (Mail online), but in a country with massive poverty and fear of state-sponsored beatings, it’s easy to understand why an individual would show up for some free food and cake.

Mugabe and the very best fast food chicken

Even if you are not a big fan of fast food, if you travel through Southern Africa, you really do need to sample Nando’s — a truly delicious and increasingly ubiquitous Portuguese-style chicken emporium. In good fun, they feature our friend, Robert Mugabe, in a recent commercial… which due to a few political sensitivities was taken off the air. But for your viewing enjoyment, I post it here.