Happy birthday, Comrade President! – NewsDay

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MR President, today, you turn 93 amid a new clarion call by First Lady Grace “Dr Amai” Mugabe to vote for you in 2018, even as a corpse!

GUEST OPINION: Luke Tamborinyoka

President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe

The call is revealing, coming from someone well-privileged to have the intimate details and contours of your physical frailties and general state of health.

That Grace is now referring to you in cadaverous terms may yet be revealing, even to those alien to the verbal and non-verbal nuances in the complex field of communication.

Addressing a bemused crowd in Buhera on Friday, Grace went into her usual drivel and invective, accusing, particularly the Lacoste faction, of seeking your retirement on grounds of old age and long service, when they themselves have served with you all these years.

If Mugabe must go, then they too must go with him “so that we take over”, she told her stunned audience.

The “we” remains unexplained, but it could as well confirm that she is keen on taking over from you.

The snippets from your interview aired last night confirm that you agree with your wife that there is no one fit to take over from you; that you are keen to succeed yourself, even as a corpse!

It may well be true that your wife has turned out to be your true spokesperson, aptly representing your views on the succession issue.

This may be because your official spokesperson, my totem-mate, who bandies himself as a nocturnal columnist (Nathaniel Manheru), is now playing megaphone to the faction of violence that is now desperate to take over at all costs!

Today, you celebrate 93 years of life.

On the eve of your birthday, last Friday, when those close to you ought to have been celebrating your life, your acerbic other half was on the forefront fulminating about your death.

Grace told dumb-founded Buhera villagers that the nation will still vote for your corpse in the next election.

The irony was lost on her that at a time when we were expecting your family to be celebrating your life, they were already poisoning your impending birthday with morbid news about your death, as if they know something that we the ordinary Zimbabweans do not know!

On the eve of what should have been a celebration of your life, Grace was peddling a grisly message of your death through her typically misguided evocation of you as a corpse.

Where we expected a celebration of life, we were told to celebrate your death by voting for your corpse.

This was bad messaging, to say the least. Yet one cannot expect fake doctors to appreciate this disaster.

Indeed, the message calamity was way beyond counterfeit doctorates!

Today, February 21, as the only leader we have known for almost four decades, you proudly celebrate a bounty 93 years on mother earth.

Indeed, as proud Africans, we join you in thanking God for such a long life.

That this long life has been in tandem with our long period of misery, is a story for another day and not fit for this your special day.

As cultured Africans, we all revere the old; we salute them as the reservoirs of our culture and tradition.

But certainly, in this day and age, we cannot expect you or anyone of your generation to be able to run a modern economy.

As I have always said, it would be a betrayal of the Twitter generation to allow an analogue politician like you to lead them in this digital age; a man eight years older than Lidya Tsvangirai, the mother of your gangling political opponent, whose political shadow continues to loom large over your paling silhouette.

Zimbabweans are suffering.

The call from the nation and the rest of the continent is for you to retire and spend your last hours enjoying roasted nuts in Zvimba!

Yet, on the eve of this your special day, Grace has chosen to place, on the political market, your image as a corpse!

The nation so loves you, so she told us, that even if in the soft requiem of your demise, your name on the ballot would still win an election.

Why would you allow this mordant woman to speak death on the eve of your special day?

Grace is taking Zimbabweans for granted. So she thinks Zimbabweans are so stupid to expect you to deliver in death what you failed to do when you were alive?

Moreover, the dastardly corpse imagery could not have been more misplaced, what with your planning to host a lavish birthday bash in Matobo this Saturday.

The venue is home to the many unburied corpses of Gukurahundi that remain an indelible imprint to your own legacy in that part of the country.

But today is no day for morbid expressions.

We leave that to uncultured people, who conjure death and corpses at a time they should be celebrating your life!
I just have one message for you on this special day, Your Excellency.

Yesterday’s people cannot solve today’s problems. Today’s problems need today’s people. Yet you do not even belong to yesterday’s generation.

At 93, you certainly belong to “yesterday but one”.

Happy birthday, comrade President!

Luke Tamborinyoka is the Presidential Spokesperson and Director of communications in the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai. You can interact with him on Facebook and Twitter.