University strips Mugabe of honorary degree
Edinburgh University stripped Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday of his honorary degree after reviewing evidence of a tribal massacre soon after he took power.
The decision by the university's senate comes after years of campaigning by students and Scottish lawmakers.
Three senior professors recommended that the degree be revoked after reviewing evidence about Zimbabwe in the early 1980s, including the massacre of at least 20 000 people in Matabeleland, which the university says was not available when the degree was conferred.
The Zimbabwe army's North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade are accused of slaughtering the civilians, who were accused of harboring rebels of the minority Ndebele tribe loyal to former opposition leader Joshua Nkomo.
Most Fifth Brigade soldiers were of Mugabe's majority Shona tribe.
"The university has been acutely aware of ongoing developments in Zimbabwe," a spokesperson for the university said while speaking on condition of anonymity in line with the institution's policy. He described the move as "unprecedented."
Mugabe, 83, will be told of the decision in writing and be requested to return the certificate he received for "services to education in Africa" in 1984.
"When he was given this degree, the West thought he was a saint, but all the time his people knew he was a monster, a tyrant and a killer," said Jaison Matewu, organising secretary for the United Kingdom branch of the Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's opposition party.
Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons earlier in that day that he "fully endorsed" the decision to revoke the degree.
Mugabe, shame of Africa
By Peter Thatia
East African Standard
Today, as Africa observes African Union Day, the omnipresent sense of hope
and possibility ushered into the continent at the turn of the millennium
continues to throb on. Most of the dictators of yesteryear are long gone and
the overall economic growth hit a record last year with an average of over 6
per cent. These achievements will be put to the fore today across the continent.
The greatest threat to the African dream today remains Zimbabwe, a country
where deprivation is being measured in extremes. Indeed, statistics in
Africa are being churned out in a pair, i.e. Africa scores this and that,
and this and that without Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has become a blotch in the conscience of Africa, its performance
playing havoc with every statistical figure about Africa. And while Africa
will be turning over a milestone, her failure to intervene in Zimbabwe will
certainly be given a blackout.
Flashback to the gloriously sunny Salisbury afternoon of April 18, 1980,
when a surging crowd of unprecedented proportions on the continent of Africa
roared in unison as the Union Jack and the flag of Rhodesia came down for
the last time. Robert Gabriel Mugabe had finally arrived.
If you asked any resident of Harare how it was during that time, he would
probably smile, close his eyes and blow a kiss. If he has been there since,
he would recount a tale that is a creation by sheer lack of forethought,
misfortune, stupidity, and tragedy. In a world dominated by warped
geopolitics where self-interest was the only moral, few saw it coming.
In his personal website
, launched in 2002 and recording over 300,000 hits so
far, President Robert Mugabe makes an interesting statement about himself:
"I know you love your leader as much as you love your country. I know you
deserve to see what kind of a 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 still unfulfilled desire to know me better, I welcome you into
an intimate glimpse of Mugabe The Man."
But just how much does Zimbabweans, and indeed the world, know about Mugabe?
Just how much are they willing to know about the boy who was abandoned by
his father, a man who went to make a life with another woman elsewhere, when
the boy was only ten years old?
Do they care about the genius who created the best education system in
Africa (by 2000 Zimbabwe had the highest literacy rate in Africa at 85 per
cent), or the devious schemer who went ahead to have two children with a
lover 41 years his junior (whom he later married) while his wife Sally was
dying with cancer?
A proud man
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is an extremely proud man. He doesn't suffer
opposition gladly - whatever kind of opposition. He'd go to any lengths to
wring competition at the neck - whatever the consequences. When Zimdaily.com
recently ran a scoop on how he ordered the death of his younger brother
Albert Mugabe in the mid-1980s because he had reportedly slept with his wife
Sally and impregnated her, the most some Zimbabweans could do was just to
yawn. Yet, indisputably, Robert Mugabe had a good dream for Zimbabwe, and
for more than a decade he delivered.
But the ruthlessness with which he destroyed the careers, lives and the
families of the very men who introduced and helped him into the big league
tells a profound story on where his own destruction started. The question of
political legitimacy, though having won to become the prime minister in
1980, was always going to be a big shadow obscuring his own star. The
liberation of Zimbabwe had been multi-pronged and too complicated an
exercise for one man to claim Captainship. To do this would have been like
committing a unilateral and covert act of war.
The mega-crisis in Zimbabwe did not happen in a day. The elements had been
taking place for decades in readiness for an explosion bound to wreak
devastating consequences. In four and a half decades of blatant betrayal and
cold-blooded scheming, it is only now that casual eyes are glaring up to the
truth that that the rudimental scaffolding had the character and the person
of Robert Gabriel Mugabe as its overbearing totem.
The cunning Tribalist
The struggle of the liberation of the then Southern Rhodesia has the
inerasable image of five courageous men: Joshua Nkomo, Ndabaningi Sithole,
Herbert Chitepo, Robert Mugabe and Canaan Banana, and in that order. Unlike
the case in other African countries, it was the unlikely candidate and a
late entrant, Robert Mugabe, who would receive the salute on the day of
independence, culminating in two decades of successful power-wrestling
mischief from the pioneers of the struggle
The political stakes in the first all-race general elections in Zimbabwe
were sky-high. Africa was failing big and the world awaited a new
regeneration in Zimbabwe. Whoever was going to win would automatically be
catapulted to the top of a brand new African agenda, a beacon of glitter
The grandeur of the symbolic prestige was tantalizing. The world awaited the
man who would cut the last tentacle still linking the British Empire beyond
the white cliffs of Dover.
The world expected Joshua Nkomo to win the all-race general elections of
February 1980. What they had failed to account for was Mugabe's own skills
in flinging mud and pulling the strings over all eyes, something that the
gentleman Nkomo was alien to. Indeed, Mugabe made it the main tool in his
election machine to remind all Zimbabweans that Nkomo was actually a Ndebele
and that Sithole had teamed up with Ian Smith during the last days of the
Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). As for Canaan Banana, he was
the son of a Ndebele mother and a Malawian father anyway.
The tribal stakes thus set by the Mugabe election machine, Mugabe won a
landslide victory against the combined forces of Nkomo, Sithole and Ian
Smith. He would teach them a lesson, setting the stage for the undulating
tremors that are gathering as the chicken troop back home to roost.
Today, Zimbabwe is the only place in the world where luxury flats are
occupied by squatters, closed stores are boarded up and rats scurry through
abandoned restaurants. Life expectancy has plummeted to the world's lowest,
34 years for women (69 years at independence) and 37 for men.
Catholic archbishop for Bulawayo, the courageous Pius Ncube, says even the
inflation rate, which the Central Bank governor Gideon Gono puts at 3000 per
cent (the world's highest), is propped up by lies. He puts the figure at
over 4000 per cent. Nurses no longer go to work because a trip to work would
wipe out your earnings. The national health fabric has literally collapsed.
Instructively, the Zimbabwean dollar was worth more that its American
counterpart at independence. Today, the official cost of a loaf of bread is
$Z875 but in reality it sells at $Z6000. In a speech delivered in Australia
last month, Archbishop Ncube said that school fees in Bulawayo were
$Z500,000 for the first term this year but when the students reported back
for the second term the fees had doubled.
Despite being ringed by two of Africa's greatest rivers, Limpopo and
Zambezi, a biting water shortage has led to the use of water hosepipes being
banned in the capital. Watering backyard gardens is an illegal offence that
is punishable by a jail term.
Zimbabweans are escaping from their homeland in droves. According to UN
reports, 109,532 Zimbabweans were deported from South Africa last year
alone. Botswana deported 32,264. Soldiers sent by the government to check
the tide at River Limpopo are themselves peeling off their uniforms and
abandoning their weapons at the banks of the crocodile-infested river and
swimming across to a better life as casual farm labourers in South Africa.
Not even in Somalia, a nation that holds the rare distinction as the only
country in the world to have endured more than one and a half decades
without a government, did the society collapse. Without a respite on the
escalating political, social and economic crisis in Zimbabwe, the country is
rapidly teetering past the point of no return. That there is no war in
Zimbabwe is a fact that mars poignantly intrinsic paradoxes in the whole
Mugabe made sure that every liberation struggle leader died an ignoble
Those who filled the ideological vacuum these great men left behind were
bound to ignite Zimbabwe in a way Mugabe was not going to countenance, and
now it was complicated because the twin evils of colonialism and capitalism,
against which Mugabe anchored his perceived morals, no longer rung any bell
in the younger Zimbabwean populace.
His latest bid to lock this generation out was his recent declaration that
as a proof of residence on the day of voting you need to produce utility
bills, something that the majority young population of Zimbabwe can't
produce because they are jobless.
Mugabe had suffered one of his biggest blows in 1997 when the new British
government of Tony Blair unilaterally decided to stop funding his land
reform programme on the basis that the initial Ł44m allocated by the
Thatcher administration was used to purchase land for members of the ruling
elite from Mugabe's own Zezeru clan. For this, Mugabe still refers to Blair
as a "gay supremacist" on national TV.
It is a paradox that even when Mugabe was murdering over 20,000 Ndebele
people in the 1980s with the Korean-trained Fifth Brigade the world still
referred to him as a statesman.
It was easy for the world not to recognise the build-up, whose savagery
exploded in 2000 after he lost the referendum, because the larger African
spectrum was even worse. Before Mandela came into the scene, Mugabe was
largely viewed as the last African hope and to a large extent acted the
part. No one would have compared him to the reactionary sergeants, colonels
and bandits who were running most of Africa in 1980.
Writing on the wall
The desperate maneuver to extend his tenure beyond the set 2008 to 2010 so
as to coincide with the parliamentary elections has dealt Mugabe another
blow. Recently Mbeki called him and put it to him that he was not going to
agree to potentially nasty presidential general elections in neighbouring
Zimbabwe in the year that he will be staging the World Cup in South Africa.
Being the only people who care about him nowadays, Mugabe obliged. To the
horror of the rest of the world, his old ANC friends still continue to
support him in South Africa.
Indeed, after South Africa stage-managed a press conference in Harare
following the 2002 poll and declared the elections fair, all the local and
international journalists who were present burst out laughing. Right now the
MDC is laughing at Mbeki's quiet diplomacy. Just who will have the last
laugh in next year's presidential poll remains to be seen but the writing is
slowly emerging on the wall.
(Many thanks for submitting this Ross -Ed)
(To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height:)
The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes
are mine and contain my food.
Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of
my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor
do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.
The stairway was not designed by Formula 1 and is not a racetrack.
Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help
because I fall faster than you can run.
I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry
Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to
ensure your comfort.
Cats can actually curl up in a ball when they
sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to
the fullest extent possible.
I also know that sticking tails straight out and
having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but
For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom.
If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to
claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try
to pull the door open.
I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have
been using the bathroom for years-feline attendance is not required.
The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other cat's butt. I cannot
stress this enough!
To pacify you, my dear cats, I have posted the following message on our front
To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit And Like to Complain About Our Cats:
Remember: Cats are better than kids because they:
- They live here. You don't.
- If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's
why they call it "fur"niture.)
- I like my cats a lot better than I like most people. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.
- Eat less
- Don't ask for money all the time
- Are easier to train
- Normally come when called
- Never ask to drive the car
- Don't hang out with drug-using friends
- Don't smoke or drink
- Don't have to buy the latest fashions
- Don't want to wear your clothes
- Don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and...
- If they get pregnant, you can sell their children
Who is Jack Shitt?
For some time many of us have wondered just who is Jack Schitt? We find ourselves at a loss when someone says, 'You don't know Jack Schitt!'
Well, thanks to my genealogy efforts, you can now respond in an intellectual way.
Jack Schitt is the only son of Awe Schitt. Awe Schitt, the fertilizer magnate, married O. Schitt, the owner of Needeep N. Schitt, Inc. They had one son, Jack.
In turn, Jack Schitt married Noe Schitt. The deeply religious couple produced six children: Holie Schitt, Giva Schitt, Fulla Schitt, Bull Schitt, and the twins Deep Schitt and Dip Schitt.
Despite her parents' objections, Deep Schitt married Dumb Schitt, a high school dropout. After being married 15 years, Jack and Noe Schitt divorced. Noe Schitt later married Ted Sherlock, and because her kids were living with them, she wanted to keep her previous name. She was then known as Noe Schitt Sherlock.
Meanwhile, Dip Schitt married Loda Schitt, and they produced a son with a rather nervous disposition named Chicken Schitt. Two of the other six children, Fulla Schitt and Giva Schitt, were inseparable throughout childhood and subsequently married the Happens brothers in a dual ceremony. The wedding announcement in the newspaper announced the Schitt-Happens nuptials. The Schitt-Happens children were Dawg, Byrd, and Horse.
Bull Schitt, the prodigal son, left home to tour the world. He recently returned from Italy with his new Italian bride, Pisa Schitt.
Now when someone says, 'You don't know Jack Schitt,' you can correct them.
Snippets from the papers
The plot to crown Luke Bok captain
Will the plan to "Africanise" Springbok rugby succeed?
Luke Watson will captain the Springboks in 2008 and Peter de Villiers will become the first black national rugby coach if a plan to "Africanise" Springbok rugby succeeds.
Full Story ...
Cape ahead on 2010 stadium work
The City of Cape Town has granted the 2010 directorate leave to apply for a provisional authorisation to continue with construction of the World Cup stadium.
Full Story ...
Facelift for local stadiums
The eThekwini Municipality is to spend more than R134-million revamping three of Durban's soccer stadiums to be used as practice facilities during the 2010 World Cup.
Full Story ...
10 Rugby stars set to desert Boks
A leading rugby administrator has revealed that overseas agents have been chasing star players in South African rugby with offers they could hardly refuse.
Full Story ...
For the record: New Springbok milestones ...
Springbok rugby set new records and reached milestones on the two-Test series against England which ended at Loftus Versfeld last Saturday (02-06-2007).
Full Story ...
Let's hear from you too!!
Let's make the next issue a Bumper one!
Our regular readers may have noticed that I have gone from a monthly issue to a bi-monthly one. The reason is simple. It is impossible to do a newsletter of this size on my own.
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You are probably sitting at the computer right now so how about it. Let our readers enjoy your story!
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Share it with other people around the world!
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Boerewors (Europe only, sorry people!)
We don't know what happened this year so far but we have not been out of the butcher's at all it seems! We can hardly keep up.
It is disappearing faster than we can make it! Nevertheless, we have fresh stock available all the time.
So if you need Boerewors just email us or call. You can either collect or we can mail it to you.
All our customers in Holland, Belgium and in fact, all over Europe are raving about the packing of and the condition in which the wors arrived at their doorsteps.
Just imagine some "lekker" pap and wors with a nice tomato and onion sauce!
Just give us a call on +32 (16) 53.96.25 or email us.
Our Boerewors is vacuum packed in quantities of about 500 gram.
The normal price is € 8.45 per kg but for the time being we will keep it at only € 7.95 per kg!!
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Droëwors for the UK and Europe!