Bob, age and gays


President Robert Mugabe, only beaten by Iraq President Saddam Hussein in terms of grabbing world headlines, is not even the longest serving surviving leader.

According to a list compiled by Roberto Ortiz de Zarate, he is ranked number 28 and is beaten by at least eight other African leaders who are not making as much news as he is.

Top of the rank among the African leaders is Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo who has been leading his country since 14 April 1967.

Omar Bongo of oil rich Gabon has been at the helm since2 December 1967, while Mugabe’s closest ally at the moment, Muammar Qadhafi has been leading Libya since 1 September 1969.

Eyadema is at number 6 while Bongo is at number 8 and Qadhafi is at number 9.

The next ranking African leader is France Albert Rene of the Seychelles who has been in power since 5 June 1977. He is at number 18.

He is followed by Daniel arap Moi who is at number 22 but may be stepping down to give way to Uhuru Kenyatta if he wins the presidential elections.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola are almost neck to neck at 26 and 27 with Nguema coming into office on 3 August 1979 and dos Santos on 21 September 1979.

President Mugabe came to power six months later on 18 April 1980.

Topping the list of the world’s longest serving leaders, which includes unelected leaders such as kings and queens, is the Bhumibol  Adulyadej,  the King of Thailand who has been on the throne since 9 June 1946.

Queen Elizabeth of England is number 3. She was crowned on 5 February 1952.

The longest serving non-monarch is Fidel Castro Ruz who has been at the helm of Cuba since 16 February 1959.

But it seems President Mugabe is not only making news as one of the few incombustible survivors”. He is making news in a way that makes a mockery of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo’s public relations campaign, as it not only derides Mugabe but Moyo as well.

A search for Mugabe’s profile on any of the leading search engines brings up this website that claims to be the official home page for Robert G. Mugabe. Mugabe’s portrait is flanked by the Zimbabwean flag and the country’s coat of arms.

But the mockery begins. “After the recent spate of biased and mischievous reporting by the colonialist foreign press, I have ultimately decided to reveal to you, the honest and hard-working citizens of Zimbabwe, a little more of Mugabe- The Man,” the opening page says.

“I know you love your leader as much as you love your country. I know you deserve to see what kind of man I am. To those of you that already know me, this will simply be a joyous refresher of your cherished memories of me. To those with the still unfulfilled desire to know me better, I welcome you to an intimate glimpse of Mugabe- The Man”.

The site then goes on to show the browser several aspects of Mugabe. His fight, his early years, his love, himself, his dreams and his guest book.

The website, probably done by one of those who hates Mugabe for his stance against gays, says Mugabe’s love is not the First Lady Grace, but some man called Colin, who he is depicted in a compromising position with.

And Moyo is not spared. He is shown in a nun’s robe in one of the pictures on the site.


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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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