By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
22 April 2014
On Friday Mugabe lashed out at what he called Europe’s ‘homosexual nonsense’ and condemned its leaders for refusing to accept his hold on power. He also threatened to deport Western diplomats if they promote gay rights in Zimbabwe.
In a one and a half long tirade, Mugabe dared the opposition to organize protests against his rule. The Zimbabwean strongman who turned 90 years of age in February threatened that his fist can pack 90 tonnes of force if pushed against the wall. The warning against street action follows calls for nationwide protests by the MDC-T youth wing over rising poverty in the face of high level corruption, company closures and unemployment.
Harare-based SW Radio Africa correspondent, Simon Muchemwa said Mugabe’s speech showed that he had no idea how to solve the challenges facing the common man, and that he wasn’t even interested in doing so. Muchemwa said the people wanted to hear Mugabe’s solutions to rampant corruption, rising unemployment and poverty, not the same tired rhetoric.
Muchemwa added: ‘The feeling in the country is that Mugabe’s speech proved his inability to guide the country through challenging situations. The feeling is that he lives in the past. The issue of gays is certainly not one which anybody wanted to hear in the face of difficulties the country is facing.’
The Combined Harare Residents Association spokesman, Simbarashe Moyo, said instead of threatening people with violence Mugabe should honor the promises he made to the people ahead of the July 31st elections. He said: ‘If he is unable to deliver, as citizens we have every right to protest because that is legal. We have a right to protest in terms of the constitution.’
Moyo added: ‘Unfortunately, Mugabe’s speech proves that he is more of a violent leader than he is a problem solver.
This year’s independence celebrations came at a time when experts are predicting an implosion if nothing is done to address the economic problems. Last week many people, including respected war veterans, said the conditions Zimbabweans are living in at the moment are not those of a free people. The ZANU PF government is clearly failing to improve service delivery and to improve civil servants’ salaries as promised ahead of last year’s polls.
Mugabe’s speech also coincided with a BBC television interview in which he claimed that his monthly salary was only $4,000. Much to the viewers’ surprise the interviewer failed to ask Mugabe how, if his salary was that modest, he had financed his daughter’s wedding a few months ago. Bona’s wedding is said to have cost $5 million.
In the same interview, Mugabe claimed that Britain had lost its might and standing in the world because it was now led by people with ‘gay tendencies.’