Photo source: BBC/AP
Meglomania has its own peculiar twist on the truth - especially when it involves King Robert I of Jongwe, who in a recent audience with his 'loyal-unless-you-wish-to-be oppressed' subjects, has apparantly declared that his deep desire is to win next year's presidential elections (freely and fairly with just a modest amount of ballot stuffing of course) and then retiring from the throne having never been beaten in an election. The man is deluded by his self-congratulating sense of his own importance, of course, and this is yet another prime indicator that the king's pride is at the root of his longevity. He really does think he is the sole and single-handed saviour of Zimbabwe. Journalist, Michael Gwaridzo, has reported:
A senior army source said: "Mugabe told army chiefs that he is going to leave office next year and requires the help of the army to secure victory. The president said next year's election was a do-or-die poll, and Zimbabwe needs to win the election to shame what he called 'Western governments bent on re-occupying us'."Observers believe Mugabe wants to win the election in order to preserve his dignity, but may then seek to pass the country's leadership to a favoured successor. However, he still faces what in a functioning democracy would be the insurmountable task of securing the votes needed to win.
You can read the whole story here, and check out African Path, a great source of blogs and writing by Africans about Africa. Kudos to Joshua Wanyama in Kenya for his initiative in this website. One more quote from Gwaridzo's story is telling for me:
Conditions inside the country are now so bad that even middle-class Zimbabweans have been forced into desperate measures to survive. Nancy Chaguma, a qualified chartered accountant in her twenties, told The Sunday Telegraph that she has been forced to turn to prostitution to provide for herself and her brothers and sisters."The economic situation is Zimbabwe is so dire," said Miss Chaguma. "And one has to be enterprising to survive. I didn't become a prostitute by design and I know the risks of the profession. Although I insist on using protection every time, I consider myself dead already, because Mugabe has turned us into scavengers in a land that was once of milk and honey."