A tale of two presidents- Mugabe and Obama


When United States President Barack Obama last week told the nation that Washington was speeding up the training of ISIL forces- Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant- this was quickly brushed off as a slip of the tongue. He meant the training of Iraq forces.

Even the White House did not delete what he said but put Iraq in brackets instead.

“Meanwhile, we continue to ramp up our training and support of local forces that are fighting ISIL on the ground.  As I’ve said before, this aspect of our strategy was moving too slowly.  But the fall of Ramadi has galvanized the Iraqi government.  So, with the additional steps I ordered last month, we’re speeding up training of ISIL [Iraqi] forces, including volunteers from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province,” Obama said during a press briefing broadcast on national television.

Only days earlier there had been media reports that the United States created the Islamic State which it is now fighting against in Iraq and Syria.

When Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told the party’s congress in December that the opposition Movement for Democratic Change had won 73 percent of the vote in the 2008, it was described as an admission of the MDC victory and not a slip tongue.

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the 2008 elections but was denied victory when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said he had won only 48 percent of the vote when an outright victory of 50 percent plus one was required.

The official results were only released six weeks after the poll.

Tsvangirai said Mugabe had conceded defeat and was ready to hand over power but changed his mind. But even in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation shortly after the elections Tsvangirai said he had won but he put his victory around 50 percent plus.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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