Postcard from Harare


Our ruler and his entourage have met Ms Maloni, Italy’s neo-fascist prime minister.

What is unusual about this is that we don’t often mix with her kind. Our body politic gives its wordy and fulsome support for Palestine, Russia, Cuba et al and soups up its antagonism towards Europe and the West almost daily.

The occasion here was the Italy-Africa summit focusing on agriculture and the continent’s food production, or lack of it.

It was all smiles and bonhomie, and backslapping among the 20 African leaders present in Rome. Lest it be forgotten, Ms Maloni was elected on a far right ticket, normally anathema to us. Maybe she wants Africa to improve and feed itself better so fewer boat people need to flee across the water to Italy and Greece.

It is illegal migration that has swung the pendulum the rightwards all over Europe. (Strangely, the rightist fiercely anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders in the Netherlands is of mixed race which is why he bleaches his hair! His mother came from Indonesia, the former Dutch East Indies.)

Ms Meloni would not have told our ruler that she owes her position to the original fascist movement of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler’s chum. Nor that if Mussolini was alive today he would have won the last elections hands down, such are the conditions in Italy.

Corruption there is huge – so we do have a common bond after all.

Ethnic differences and economic inequalities between Italy’s north and south, the haves and the havenots, are stark. Yet more common ground for our ruler and many of his counterparts in the developing world.  

Far away on another continent,  my personal bete noir, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, replaced Gen. Somoza’s fascist dictatorship with one of his own, eventually abandoning his revolutionary credentials and holding on to absolute power by hook or crook for the past two decades. 

Giorgia Meloni is 47, Ortega is 78, our Mr Mnangagwa is 81. Take that, those who think Biden, 81, is too old to run against Trump, 77.

When Ortega’s fight began …

Ortega now …

Meanwhile, this scarf business seems to be catching on, but who started it?  In the early post-colonial days Kenyatta and Banda carried traditional fly whisks. The trademark of Zambia’s Kaunda was a flowing white hankie.

It is said that Iran “encouraged” the South Africans, and their scarfed legal team, to argue the case of genocide against Israel at the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague. Iran is also said to have given Ramaphosa’s African National Congress a shedload of money for re-election campaigning as its popularity wanes ahead of elections this year.

Principles seem not to matter when there’s money around and the begging bowl needs a refill.

1 Response

  1. allen pizzey says:

    Nice one Goose. Again.

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