President Mugabe has allegedly stated that it is stupid for Zimbabweans to seek greener pastures in the United States. He added that this never works for them as they usually return to Zimbabwe worse off than they left.
“What is that you get in America which you cannot get in Zimbabwe? I have not yet seen a person who, after working so many years in America, has come home with so much money, they return poor only to start looking for jobs here again. Where were you taking your money during all those years spent in America?”
The president added that Zimbabwe is blessed with a lot of resources which should be exploited by Zimbabweans rather than going to America where they are seemingly unwanted. He urged Zimbabweans to “work hard to transform our natural resources.”
Mugabe made this statement at his 93rd birthday bash which held in Rhodes Preparatory School in Matopos, Matabeleland on February 25.
Zimbabwe, formerly referred to as the breadbasket of Africa has now been derisively called the “basket case of Africa”. The southern African country has gone from having an abundance of resources to having barely enough, due to president Mugabe’s mismanagement of the country’s resources.
Zimbabweans and foreign leaders have called for President Mugabe to step down, and allow someone competent to lead Zimbabwe forward, but this has fallen on deaf ears. At Mugabe’s birthday party, he once again stated that he will not be stepping down.
“People who are busy forming their own groupings saying ‘Mr Mugabe must go’. I ask myself where should I go?” Mugabe said in a speech that was broadcast on state radio and television.
According to him, those who were demanding that he pick a successor were “imposing”, adding that if ZANU-PF want him to step down, a congress meeting will have to be held.
“Others are saying ‘President, choose a successor before you retire’. Is that not imposition? Me imposing someone on the party? No, I don’t want that,” Mugabe said.
“This is an issue for the congress to choose. We can have an extraordinary congress if the president retires, but you said I should be your candidate in the next election.”
Zimbabwe’s Presidential elections will hold in 2018. If President Mugabe wins, he will rule the southern African country for another 5 years.
Some Things never Change in Zimbabwe
According to ReliefWeb the drought experienced in some parts of Zimbabwe has put about 4.1 million people at risk of starvation, who are now dependent on foreign food aid.
Despite this, President Mugabe enjoyed a lavish birthday party over the weekend.
According to the organizer of the party, who is also a ZANU-PF youth league leader, Kudzai Chipanga the cake weighed 93kg, a symbolic representation of Mugabe turning 93. The cake was also shaped like the map of Africa because according to Chipanga, “Africans love Mugabe.”
Mugabe’s birthday which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars received a lot of backlash for being insensitive to the impoverishment of Zimbabweans. Last year, Mugabe’s birthday bash held in Masvingo province and reportedly cost $800,000 despite the severe drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon in the southern African country.
“It is not like we are taking grain meant for drought programs to feed people at the celebrations. These are voluntary donors,”Tongai Kasukuwere had said when the party was being accused of being insensitive with their decision to continue with Mugabe’s birthday.
See some pictures from Mugabe’s birthday, courtesy of AFP: