Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Old Boys' Network

This from the stated-owned Zambia Daily Mail of 8 July 2009:

Mugabe, African role model - Rupiah

PRESIDENT [Rupiah] Banda [of Zambia] has described his Zimbabwean counterpart, Robert Mugabe as a role model to all Africans who fought for and cherish African nationalism.[...]

“President Mugabe is a role model. Lesser men would not be standing where he is now, they would have been broken by the intrigues of his enemies. You are such a dedicated African Mr President…what a selfless leader you are,” he said.

He was speaking yesterday at this years’ Lwiindi Lo Kuzyola Mukuni N’gombe traditional ceremony, also attended by Mr Mugabe, at the Simukale Shrine in Mukuni village [in Livingstone, Zambia].

The ceremony, which is a commemoration of the Toka Leya people’s history, ended in song and dance.

For a good insight into the problems of the African continent, look no further than the few short paragraphs above. Both Mr. Banda (age 72) and Mr. Mugabe (age 85) were freedom fighters in their respective countries. That was decades ago, although you wouldn't know it from Mr. Banda's words. But the most chilling part for Zambia and Zambians is Mr. Banda's descriptions of Mr. Mugabe as a "role model" and a "selfless leader". I wish I could truthfully say that these words were little more than diplomatic hyperbole, but I can't. That's what makes them so chilling--and baffling.

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