Former President Robert Mugabe

By Tafara Shumba

Former President Robert Mugabe’s recent weird demand of cash payment for his monthly pension of more than $13 000 and his pension lump sum of nearly half a million, has exposed his egocentricity which could be a major factor that took Zimbabwe to the current quagmire.

The revelation that, while he was President of Zimbabwe, Mr Mugabe has been receiving monthly cash payments of $20 000, further exposes a different Mugabe from the one that the nation used to highly regard and esteem with utmost veneration. Little was it known that the old man was an absolute opposite of what the public eye has been seeing all along. It has become clear now that Mr Mugabe has been indicating right while turning left. In him, Zimbabwe had a first degree whited sepulchre, a cash and land baron.

Most of the banks are giving out less than $100 to depositors per week. It’s an insult to depositors for one individual to demand $13 333 monthly payment in cash, an amount that can accommodate over 600 depositors per week. Unless he is now a cash baron, Mr Mugabe must embrace the plastic money system that he used to encourage people to use. One wonders what he really needs that cash for; in an economy that has embraced e-transactions and plastic money.

The revelation that, all along he has been getting his salary in hard cash can explain why he never attempted to fix the cash shortage challenge. Mr Mugabe was not in touch with the reality on the ground. It is, however, not too late for him to get a feel of what others have been experiencing all along. He did not appreciate the common challenges that his erstwhile subjects were facing on daily basis. He was living an alienated life where everything was flowing.  This can explain why he is refusing to hang the political boots. He still hopes to enjoy a heavenly life in a sea of poverty.

Mr Mugabe is suffering from adjustment disorder and his family can do well if they assisted him to cope with the new reality. He is in a denial mode and this has manifested in the way he is hobnobbing with some political protagonists to whom he is pledging his generous goodwill in a presidential race against the incumbent President.

 President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been very patient with the old man. He created a soft landing ground for Mr Mugabe with a lucrative severance package which is second to none. Unfortunately that goodwill is not being reciprocated.  Mr Mugabe must just retire from politics and enjoy his pension peacefully, and that way will guarantee him a place in the history of this country. He must know that Zanu PF is bigger than an individual. Reverend Ndabaningi Sithole, the first Zanu leader was fired after he wavered on liberation ethos. Mr Mugabe must just accept his fate. It will be sad indeed for him to miss a place at the side of his late wife, Sally Mugabe’s grave which was held in reserve for him.

Elsewhere in the media, the former president has been advised to match his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma. He has reportedly volunteered to campaign for ANC in his home province of KwaZulu. Mr Mugabe must campaign for Zanu PF in his home province of Mashonaland West. Thabo Mbeki was unceremoniously pushed out of ANC presidency but he was never as antagonistic and bitter as Mr Mugabe. His peer, Dr Kenneth Kaunda was defeated in an election and conceded defeat graciously. Today he is much esteemed in Zambia where he has remained a Statesman.

It appears Mr Mugabe would even support the presidential candidature of the devil just to scupper the chances of President Mnangagwa to retain the top job in the land.

Still on his duplicity, during his incumbency, Mr Mugabe has been preaching the ‘one man one farm’ gospel. He even later changed that policy to ‘one household one farm.’ It’s like a prostitute preaching virtue. The nation has learnt with shock last week that the former first family owns a stunning 21 farms. Twenty-one farms when the waiting list of farm seekers is ballooning by each passing day.

Quoted in one publication, an academic, Professor Stephen Chan advised President Mnangagwa that he should not be drawn into a war with someone who has nothing to lose. Indeed, Mr Mugabe’s moves could be a ploy to divert the President’s attention from real economic issues. One risk of arguing with a fool is that he can draw you into mud where he will beat you with experience.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.