This one, for me, was by far his funniest because I had seen the build-up in the early hours of the morning.
Let’s start at the beginning. As most of you will know Zimbabwe has been working tirelessly to try and raise the much needed aid and investment required to kick-start their economy. In this regard Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had been doing a tour of the planet where he achieved what can best be described as mixed results.
One of the major problems he encountered was the fact that President Robert Mugabe was still … er … “President” Robert Mugabe, which didn’t sit too well with many of the world leaders.
Notwithstanding, the Zimmies have been toughing it out in their new Government of National Unity hoping that Uncle Bob will go-along to get-along with all the nice people. This would, or so they hoped, facilitate Tsvangirai’s way.
Today Mugabe was presented with a golden opportunity to break new ground and clear the air in a meeting with US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson. Indeed so great was the expectation of what such a meeting could yield that a local Zimbabwean analyst suggested:
“Zimbabwe is currently rebranding to encourage trade and investment and needs all the positive developments to attain its economic targets and the re-engagement is a positive contribution in that direction. It would be more realistic if the engagement is taken to an even higher level of a summit between Mugabe and American leader Barack Obama. This should then lead to the removal of sanctions illegally imposed on Zimbabwe by the British, the United States and their allies.”
Of course all of this is based upon the fact that Uncle Bob, knowing how important this meeting is to Zimbabwe’s future, would behave himself.
We didn’t have long to wait.
According to the Herald, Mugabe said nothing came out of those talks.
“You wouldn’t speak to an idiot of that nature. I was very angry with him, and he thinks he could dictate to us what to do,” Mugabe was quoted as saying.
He said regional leaders supported the formation of a power-sharing government in February and then “you have the likes of little fellows like Carson saying ‘do this, do that’.”
“Who is he? I hope he is not speaking for Obama. I told him he was a shame, a great shame being an African American,” Mugabe was quoted as saying.
I was in tears.
How many of you watched Uncle Bob on TV when they announced the GNU? He was having a full go at Gordon Brown and Great Britain. Tsvangirai and the MDC were all dying of embarrassment in front of the cameras. It was one of his other classic moments.
Here we have a very important summit taking place in Libya with local analysts carefully trying to plot the way ahead in the hope that lifting of sanctions is at hand.
Then in went Bob!