Zimbabwe Review

Reflections on Zimbabwe

Mugabe on fear

Posted by CM on March 23, 2007

mugs.jpgPresident Robert Mugabe has been attacked from all corners of the globe for the shocking recent images of prominent opposition officials who had been brutalized by the police and other branches of his government. Apart from his now standard comments about a western plot against his government, he has not responded directly to the torrent of world criticism.

I find it interesting that today’s first direct response by Mugabe to all the verbiage that has been devoted to him lately was to deny a newspaper headline’s speculation that he was lisolated and afraid. Writing in the Financial Gazette under a column headlined “Mugabe : Virtually Alone and Frightened,” Bornwell Chakaodza said Mugabe’s “they can go hang” quip to his western critics was “bravado to no purpose.”

Mugabe found this the kind of verbal provocation that he could not ignore. He came out with guns blazing, thundering ” Someone wrote that I am a frightened man. Frightened by who? Little men like Blair? Nothing frightens me. We went to jail, we are hardened. I have seen it all.”

Rather than just the intemperate letting-off of steam of a cornered politician, perhaps this comment provides deeper insight into how Mugabe sees the sorry mess of Zimbabwe’s situation.
It seems to be that the whole world may be against me and the country may be collapsing around me, but I am the most macho of them all! With this kind of attitude, presenting facts of the country’s economic decline is much less of a “taunt” to him than the red flag of “accusing” him of being afraid, a colossal affront to his ego.

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