Have the grace to worm your way into our pres­i­dent’s heart

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - PEOPLE -

DEAR Madam Grace,

Under nor­mal cir­cum­stances I would have called you Com­rade, but it seems un­likely you’re in the mood for rev­o­lu­tion­ary greet­ings.

It is quite re­mark­able that you have achieved what no­body else could in 37 years – get Robert Mu­gabe to stand down. This is es­pe­cially im­pres­sive at a time when it was be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to get him to stand up.

I un­der­stand you were born in Benoni? Shame. It’s not your fault. You were just lit­tle when you moved to then Rhode­sia to live with your mother.

You should have mar­ried Ian Smith. He was prob­a­bly a bit young for you, though. In­stead you mar­ried the dash­ing Stan­ley Gor­eraza, an of­fi­cer in the Zim­bab­wean air force.

I can only imag­ine how you and he must have cel­e­brated when you got a sec­re­tar­ial po­si­tion in Robert Mu­gabe’s of­fice.

Any­way, you even­tu­ally did the right thing and got di­vorced and Robert also did the right thing and dis­patched Stan­ley to the em­bassy in China.

In one of his more gen­er­ous moods, Robert later hon­oured your ex-hus­band for his long ser­vice in the air force by adding a bar to his medal.

That’s more than enough com­pen­sa­tion for steal­ing a man’s wife but I can’t help feel­ing Stan might have pre­ferred to be given a bar in, say, Bor­row­dale.

Look­ing back, it might have been a tiny mis­cal­cu­la­tion on your part to get Robert to fire his vice-pres­i­dent, Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa.

Who would’ve thought a war vet­eran with strong mil­i­tary ties would have had the army in his cor­ner? I’m no po­lit­i­cal strate­gist, but it seems to me you should have moved a bit quicker with your plan.

If Bob had ab­di­cated the week be­fore and in­stalled you as pres­i­dent, you could have had the de­fence force rounded up and jailed.

You could have bor­rowed our army to im­prison your army. We’re not us­ing ours at the mo­ment. Give our sol­diers a mut­ton curry pie and a Coke and they’ll do any­thing.

When I watched the most peace­ful coup un­fold on the tele­vi­sion, fol­lowed by pic­tures of him shak­ing hands with the gen­er­als, I as­sumed that Bob was be­hind the whole thing.

I read some­where that you had started hit­ting him. I al­ways as­sumed he en­joyed it. Per­haps he only said he did to keep you happy – some men are like that – and the only way he could get the beat­ings to stop was through mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion.

Be­cause the coup wasn’t a coup, it took six days to get your hus­band out of of­fice. Which isn’t too bad when you con­sider it takes that long to get him out of the bath.

When our piti­ful ex­cuse for a pres­i­dent called for calm and re­straint, do you think he was talk­ing di­rectly to you?

After the em­bar­rass­ment of hav­ing South Africa cap­tured by an over­weight im­mi­grant fam­ily from Ut­tar Pradesh, the last thing the re­gion needed was to have you burst from state house shriek­ing and swing­ing a nine-plug ex­ten­sion ca­ble at any­thing that moved.

I don’t mean to be in­sen­si­tive but your coup was far more im­pres­sive than ours. You had tanks rolling down your streets.

Our coup hap­pened in dark­ened rooms with sacks of cash be­ing passed from one sweaty hand to an­other.

It’s still hap­pen­ing.

It’s the slow­est, most te­dious coup ever. You wouldn’t be­lieve the lies and de­nials that we have to put up with.

Did you re­ally try to poi­son Mnan­gagwa with ice cream? Nice. Even your as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempts are classy.

None of this clumsy stab­bing in the leg with an ar­senic-tipped um­brella for you. Well done. One must ap­pear to be so­phis­ti­cated at all costs.

How is Robert bear­ing up? He seemed a bit tired of late, tak­ing spon­ta­neous naps while talk­ing and even walk­ing.

I don’t sup­pose his health mat­ters much to you any longer. What a tremen­dous weight off your mind, let alone your hips.

It couldn’t have been easy be­ing mar­ried to a 138-year-old man. Does he still wake up in the mid­dle of the night and or­der Win­ston Churchill to be shot?

Where are you, by the way? I hope you’re on hol­i­day some­where nice. You cer­tainly de­serve a break. One minute you’re shak­ing your booty to a North Korean march­ing song on ZBC while pick­ing out an out­fit for your inau­gu­ra­tion and the next you’re hid­ing in a laun­dry cup­board.

Ap­par­ently you have a farm in the south of Namibia. You should go there. You’ll love it.

Okay, Keet­man­shoop isn’t ex­actly Sin­ga­pore in terms of shop­ping and health care, how­ever, there are a lot of bot­tle stores and, well, that’s about it.

Do your two gor­geous boys re­alise they’re go­ing to have to get real jobs now? Poor lit­tle things. They must be dev­as­tated.

Still and all. Keet­man­shoop is a far health­ier en­vi­ron­ment for Chatunga and Robert jr than, say, Chiku­rubi Prison.

Try to in­ter­est them in sheep farm­ing. It’s bet­ter than al­co­holism. Not re­ally, but don’t tell them that.

Don’t let the fire go out of those crazy black eyes of yours. I’m a big fan. Not big enough for you to come and live with me, I should point out. What you could do, though, is worm your way into our pres­i­dent’s rot­ten lit­tle heart and be­come his next wife.

If you could bring Robert Mu­gabe down, you can bring Ja­cob Zuma down.

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