Can Mugabe be taken seriously?

“Any food items and other materials that have been ‘donated’ for Mugabe’s birthday bash should be handed over to the Jairos Jiri Centre and other orphanages in Bulawayo.”

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe of late has had a lot to say about his ministers – both the good and the nasty..

Tourism minister Walter Mzembi must be the happiest of the lot in ageing Mugabe’s Cabinet after he was showered with praises by the 90-year-old leader last week.

He was described as one of the best ministers as he led the seemingly out-of-touch Mugabe in receiving a dubious award from the European Council on Tourism and Trade (ECTT). A simple research on the ECTT will show that its credentials are questionable.

Mugabe has his reasons for praising Mzembi, but questions would be asked about his judgment if they have anything to do with the dubious award.

The long-serving Zanu PF leader, who is struggling to manage a debilitating battle to succeed him by his lieutenants, saved his venom for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo.

Mugabe on Friday branded Moyo a “devil incarnate” and accused him of appointing editors at State-owned newspapers who had links with the opposition.

He went on to accuse Moyo of sowing divisions in the party through the State media. This is the same Mugabe who dismissed Moyo as minister in the same portfolio in 2005 for allegedly plotting a palace coup in Zanu PF through the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration.

Moyo was brought back to government by the same president after last year’s elections. If Mugabe can reappoint a “devil incarnate” into his Cabinet what other mistakes is the president making?

The fact that he has to take to funeral wakes to complain about a minister he directly supervises exposes Mugabe as an indecisive leader.

He went on to say he is “terribly, terribly disappointed by some of our leaders” in apparent reference to his Cabinet, but does not tell the country what he would do about those he finds unsuitable.

Mugabe often complains about the calibre of his ministers only to recycle them in his successive Cabinets. Can such a leader be really taken seriously?

His rants about the appointments of State media editors with opposition links also betrays his lack of tolerance.

State media institutions are not extensions of Zanu PF and it is that sense of entitlement by the likes of Mugabe that has brought this country to its knees.