President Robert Mugabe, without a hint of irony, yesterday lashed at pro-democracy groups — including music icon Thomas Mapfumo — for demonstrating against him during his visit to New York last week.
Addressing Zanu PF supporters at Harare International Airport upon his return from the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting, Mugabe however, said he was thankful to the December 12 Movement which “neutralised” the Zimbabwean protesters.
“Now, think about it, we are the only country who had these people,” Mugabe told the bussed supporters.
“He (Evan Mawarire) leaves here alone and rushes to America to recruit other people two, three, four and says let’s go. Zimbabwe was the only one, it’s embarrassing, it’s a shame, a great shame, there were no other countries.
“They say there is no democracy, in here? Are there no squabbles the whole world, aren’t there people with their own disgruntlements?
“Why are they not found at the United Nations? And you find only Zimbabweans, don’t they think? We hear (Thomas) Mapfumo was also there, to do what? Only that group of Zimbabweans.
“Zimbabwe; the whole world, what a shame, a great shame,” lamented Mugabe.
Exiled clergyman, Mawarire who was hounded out of the country by Mugabe and his Zanu PF allies, after staging a successful crippling strike on July 6, organised Zimbabweans in the US to demonstrate against the long-serving nonagenarian during the UN meeting in New York, last week, over the deteriorating economic situation in the country.
Chimurenga music maestro, Mapfumo, was among the people who heeded Mawarire’s call to embarrass Mugabe in front of the global media which came out in full force to cover the UN General Assembly meeting.
Mapfumo has been living in the US since 2002 and is among Mugabe’s most rabid critics.
Yesterday, Mugabe betrayed a man clearly hurt by the protests which he countered through the vociferous December 12 Movement which has stood by him yearly when he is at the UN.
“They (Mawarire, Mapfumo and others) were sent by the whites. They were instructed, we say down with them and the whites who sent them. The British, the Americans who sent them, down with them,” denounced Mugabe.
Meanwhile, Mugabe castigated fellow African presidents for “warming” up to the western countries, claiming they were against the elevation of the continent to the permanent post of the UN Security Council.
Describing them as cowards, the Zanu PF leader said he would drum up support for fellow African countries to leave the UN.
“This year we have resolved to unite so that when our demands to reform the UN are not met… although we haven’t finished the discussions.
“We want to resolve that if they continue refusing; they must not cry foul if everyone unites to form another organisation.
“I don’t know if everyone will be willing to unite with us, because it requires people who are strong. But now we have people who fear, they are no longer those who formed the OAU now (Africa Union), they are cowards.
“So we are going to go around strengthening them in the coming days,” said Mugabe.