Following Doc Mtusi’s brilliant apologia pro vita sua (see previous post), i was concerned that this blog was all getting a bit too heavy. We all need to let our hair down from time to time. So let’s play a game. It is a game for all the family. It requires sharp observation skills as the answers are not always apparent – parents are therefore encouraged to allow younger children to join the teams (since they are often much quicker at this sort of thing – well, mine are anyway). The aim of the game is simple enough. See if you can spot where the differences lie – and who you think might be to blame. Top prize goes to the one who not only spots the differences, but who also wipes out the differences (preferably by removing the perpetrators from office… oh, and by preventing their successors from doing pretty much the same thing).


1. Zimbabwe ‘on the road’

Zimbabwe’s traffic problems have been instantly solved (thanks to recent congestion charging/fuel rationing for those who don’t really need it) – get around town in comfort, style and speed.

A. Bob’s Wheels

B. Other folks’ wheels

(photo credits – Washington Post and GPSA)


In Robert Mugabe’s recent address to Zanu-PF’s central committee, he called, for “clean leadership,” condemning “arrogant flamboyance and wastefulness: a dozen Mercedes-Benz cars to one life, hideously huge residences, strange appetites that can only be appeased by foreign dishes; runaway taste for foreign lifestyles, including sporting fixtures, add to it high immorality and lust.”

OK then, but then get this:

Mugabe’s own S600L was custom-built in Germany and armoured to a “B7 Dragunov standard” so that it can withstand AK-47 bullets, grenades and landmines. It is fitted with CD player, movies, Internet and anti-bugging devices. At five tonnes it does about two kilometres per litre of fuel. It has to be followed by a tanker of gas in a country running on empty. Mugabe has bought a car pool of dozens of lesser Mercedes S320s and E240s for his wife, vice-presidents and ministers. (From Odious Debts – July 2005)


2. Zimbabwe ‘from the air’

Get away from it all! Enjoy all those huge open spaces, the beautiful views, fresh air. Guaranteed never to see anyone at all.

A. Porta Farm, outskirts of Harare – June 2002

B. Outskirts of Harare – April 2006

(For more, see Amnesty International’s Porta Farm report and follow links)


3. Zimbabwe ‘on the ground’

Celebrate those happy events in style in the NEW ZIMBABWE, aka Africa’s Breadbasket

A. Retail Therapy

(From ABC News: report July 27 2007 and BBC Africa report July 4 2007)

B. Many Happy Returns?

(From NYTimes: report Feb 22 2007)


4. Zimbabwe ‘from the top’

Rise to the top of the political tree to enjoy all that life has to offer.

A. Old School: the divine right of kings

(From The Zimbabwean)

B. New School: the usurper’s comeuppance

(From Daily Telegraph: report March 15, 2007; The Guardian: report March 15, 2007)


SO… How did you do? Not as easy as it looked perhaps? Can’t wait until to the prize giving ceremony – date still pending… Watch this space.


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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Martha

    I thought the game would be easy but it is as hard as spotting Bin Laden in the White House.

  2. ericdarylmeyer

    Well put, thank you…

    The most difficult part of the story to me is the recent “early retirement” of Archbishop Ncube, one of the few Zimbabwean voices willing to speak against Mugabe in the name of God. In my (brief) experience in Zim, the churches seem to be allergic to thinking politically, but the church is perhaps the last coherent social organization left. If Xn’s were to stand against Mugabe (like monks in Burma!) the regime wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    God well,

  3. mahlakoleng

    the zimbabwe issue is not taking seriously by the people of zimbabwe, when the going gets tough they run away to south africa and the point i am trying to make is why can’t the people of zimbabwe fight back they have voted mugabe in power and must strongely voice their say so people from the rest of the world could do something to help them. it is cleary that the zimbabwean government is run by people who have no ground and morals because they should have voted mugabe out of power. it’s about time the zimbabwean to fight back amandla (power back to the people)

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