By Sij Ncube
HARARE, September 3, 2015 – A desperate man clings to straw so they say.
This could aptly apply to President Robert Mugabe who in the past few months has hosted several business characters and delegations purporting to be knight whites ready to rescue the comatose economy.
His administration has signed several “mega” deals with China, Russia and Belarus, for example, as Mugabe seeks to improve the fortunes of the country whose economy is burning.
Some seedy characters have been guests at the State House in a clear sign the 91-year old Zanu PF leader is groping in the dark to reverse the economic melt-down which critics attribute to his stealing of the July 31, 2013 elections.
Nothing of substance has materialised from the mega deals which have largely received rave views in the state media.
Monday’s visit to Harare by Nigerian mogul, Aliko Dangote created much hype in Zanu PF as sycophants blindly view it as the permanent solution to Zimbabwe’s economic misery.
But it is Mugabe’s embracing of his sworn enemies the IMF, the World Bank, the West and the diaspora which critics say points to the actions of a very desperate man now clinging at straws like a drowning person.
He has previously referred to the diaspora as British Bottom Cleaners he accuses of being complicity in his perceived demonization by the West.
But with the economy burning amid fears the government would soon run out of cash to pay civil servants as well as bankroll its operations, critics say it is the reason why Mugabe has made a major volte face, appealing to his enemies to rescue him about three years before the next crunch election.
With the warming up of the Chinese economy after Beijing devalued the Yuan few weeks ago and dwindling revenue collections locally, Mugabe is a very desperate man, critics say.
“Mugabe is evidently desperate, he needs every bit of help from everyone, the shocking slump of the Yuan has further exposed his administration and leaves him government in a dire situation,” says South African-based Zimbabwe journalist, Trust Matsilele.
“Surely, he is not appealing to the middle class of the diaspora but diaspora with capital, the challenge he faces is the same challenge that drove the same citizens into the diaspora, respect of private property,,” added Matsilele.
Chofamba Sithole, commented that a one directional foreign policy in a multipolar world was always going to be woefully inadequate and unequal to the abiding wisdom of the Chinese themselves, who long figured out that the colour of the cat did not matter as long as it could catch mice!
Obert Gutu, MDC -T spokesperson says Mugabe shouldn’t be taken seriously anymore in his appeal to everyone who cares to listen to him on his pleas for help.
“He is now senile. If anything, he should publicly apologize for forcing millions of young and highly skilled Zimbabweans to flee into the Diaspora as economic refugees.
“Mugabe’s ruinous and disastrous economic policies have ransacked the national economy leaving millions of people as vendors and economic refugees in neighbouring countries and also overseas,” said Gutu
“Today, there is no single family in Zimbabwe that does not have at least one family member living in the Diaspora, thanks to decades of Zanu PF political repression, corruption and general misgovernance. As the MDC, we once again call upon Robert Mugabe to immediately step down and save the nation from further suffering. He can retire to Gushungo farm and tend to his dairy cows and also write his memoirs.”
Sibanengi Dube, a political activist, said Mugabe is short minded, pointing out that he forgets that Zimbabweans in diaspora ran away from him “pathetic” administration of the country.
“Now he expects kudus taking refuge in a river to embrace a ravenous lion,” said Dube.
Vivid Gwede, a political analyst, believes Mugabe has always appeared to have this insincerity of biting the hand from which he needs something.
“Nothing shows this than the treatment of the diaspora both in words and denial of even voting rights. But again reality may be sinking in that Zimbabwe’s growing challenges do not need individual efforts, but all Zimbabweans to play their part. The government has always referred to the diaspora but with a problem of an insincere suitor. May be the reality has sunk that the mega deals are not that life-changing in fact.”