Mar.01, 2015 DICKTATORS MAXIMI

Mugabe: It's My Party & I'll Barbecue What I Want To

Zimbabwe's "democratic" leader for the past 35 years, Robert Mugabe, is not one to shy away from lavishly celebrating his birthday, despite the fact he presides over one of the poorest and most economically dysfunctional country in the world. And why wouldn't he? He has assumed the role of the Father of the Nation (in the logic of finders keepers, since he spearheaded the independence movement) and to prove it he has rebranded his birthday as the "21st February Movement".

 

You may recall his 88th birthday bash when he has several gargantuan cakes commissioned, one of which was shaped as a 5ft crocodile and another 88kg one as mountains. Well, this year he decided to swap confectionary wild fauna with barbecued wild fauna. For real. Namely the party menu for the day, held on Sunday the 28th, had "two elephants, two buffalo, two sable antelopes and five impalas". Lest you think this might have been too much food, keep in mind that there is an estimated attendance of 20,000 supporters, so just to be safe "there may even be three elephants and I am thinking of adding a crocodile" as the catering organizer eloquently elegantly put it. Considering that guy is the head of a wildlife conservancy, he knows what he's talking about. 

 

Of course wildlife conservationists, opposition figures and people with some sense of rationality were up in arms so to speak, both for the cooking of endangered species and for the excessive cost of the bash ($1million). But after 35 years of continuous rule and a life expectancy of probably a couple of hours, it's a safe bet that Mugabe couldn't care less.

 

On the contrary, at his party speech he criticised the US for demanding Americans be allowed to come to Zimbabwe for safari, kill some lions and take them back home as trophies as wasteful and tasteless. Everybody knows that lions make for a great casserole and should thus be eaten instead.

 

Peculiarly, after all these decades of, by his opinion, stellar governance, he has surprised many recently with some self-criticism. It could have been a "je m'en fous" attitude related to his advanced age or maybe his brutal appetite for some elephant ribs, but in any case he admitted there were some itsy bitsy flaws in his land reforms. Apparently all this land that he appropriated from the white folks ("colonialists" if you prefer the colloquial term) did not cultivate itself! Who would have thought!