To Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, where the months following the African nation’s 2008 election and subsequent ‘run-off’ have been characterized by dirty tricks, intimidation and violence. Observers note that the incumbent President, Robert Mugabe (84 - right), has resorted to illegality after losing the support of a starving and penniless populace, desperate as he is to retain overall power in what has effectively become a personal fiefdom. “They’ve a unique kind of democracy in Zimbabwe nowadays.” Humphrey Martika, a former British Ambassador to the country who now lives permanently in London because ‘there are less machetes here’ told Home Defence. “For instance, an opposition party can poll more than 50% of the votes and still not win. That’s a lot of support, particularly when you consider the ruling Zanu-PF johnnies made it abundantly clear to thousands that a failure to vote for Mugabe would result in unemployment, personal injury and possible decapitation. And still he lost. At that point ‘Bob’, as I knew him back before he tried to kill me, decided it would be best to make the election process up as he went along.”
There then followed internal strife, multiple killings and international condemnation as Mugabe began the vote-rigging all over again, throwing opposition leaders in prison for alleged parking offences and pretending to listen when a Thabo Mbeki-brokered power sharing arrangement was mooted. That might have got the rest of the world off his back for a while, but
the Great British government (or ‘Gov GB’ as they’re now known) weren’t so easily fooled.
“We showed we mean business when the Foreign Secretary [David Milliband, 22] criticized Mugabe’s
government in really quite harsh terms.” Continues Humphrey Martika. “When that didn’t work, and it
became clear sanctions were having no effect on Bob personally, the Prime Minister considered military
intervention. Unfortunately the likes of Russia and China told us not to be silly and so we stopped.
Besides, our armed forces would only have come under attack from a bunch of weapons Britain sold
Bob back in the good old days. That would have been a particularly unpleasant irony.”
“This only left one course of action if we were going to make Mr. Mugabe change his naughty ways and think about what he’d done.” Humphrey noted, a twinkle in his eye.
Robert Mugabe has been President of Zimbabwe since 1980 on a crowd-pleasing ‘throw out the colonialists’ ticket, yet his career began as a heart-warmingly eccentric schoolteacher, much like Robin Williams in ‘Dead Poets’ Society’, before the future leader spent a decade exiled in Salisbury prison. Mugabe eventually came to power by deposing former leader Canaan Banana (honestly), a man with a silly name who was imprisoned for the very African crime of consensual buggery. Other enemies of the new ruler died in what were officially recorded as car crashes, although investigators said at the time their cars would have been a lot less likely to crash if they hadn’t been riddled with bullets.
For the past three decades Mugabe has ruled the country with an iron fist, booting whites out of family-owned
farms, presiding over record levels of inflation, and bringing the life expectancy of Zimbabweans down to the
mid-thirties even as he compares himself favourably with Hitler. But not everything has gone the leader’s way.
Last year Parade magazine placed Robert a disappointing seventh in their annual ‘Worst Dictators Of The
World’ list, a ranking close associates say Mr. Mugabe hopes to improve on in the next poll. It was back in 1994 that Mugabe was appointed an Honorary Knight of the Realm by the British Royal Family for quelling an uprising in the neighbouring Congo and services to the arms industry. At the time Prince Phillip proclaimed himself a big fan, Queen Elizabeth’s spouse telling Mugabe at the ceremony how he admired “the way you’ve managed to keep those uppity natives under control” saying he found it “damn inspiring.” Now that’s all changed. “In response to Mugabe’s increasingly naughty behaviour, the government and Royal Family have put their heads together and decided this award could be his Achilles heel.” Palace correspondent and Windsor insider Mandy Honeytrap informed HDUK. “While the ‘Grand Cross In The Order Of The Bath’ might sound meaningless to you or I, those who know the bespectacled tyrant say this Knighthood actually means a great deal to him, despite the lip service Mugabe pays to anti-colonialism. The Queen thought that taking it away might make him stop.”
Added Honeytrap: “The last time a similar honour was removed the unfortunate culprit was Naseem
Hamed who lost permission to call himself ‘Prince’ after being caught drunk driving. He hasn’t done
that again, so the Queen thought she had found a foolproof way to keep her subjects in line. Although,
in this case, it was a lot less cut and dried. Phillip was against it for one. He said that cutting off an
octogenarian Nazi sympathizer who had offended many set a worrying kind of precedent. In the end
she had to withhold sex to win him over.”
Mugabe’s honorary knighthood was formally annulled by the Foreign Office a couple of months
ago, but there seems to have been little let up in the thuggery, torture and mass murder since.
Indeed, when Home Defence crept into Harare’s centre of government in disguise, all blacked up
and clad in a flowery muumuu, the dictator’s acolytes refused to let us interview Mugabe, saying he was very busy supervising the creation of a new currency because “the last one didn’t work”. We did however manage to have a few words with one of his deputy hooligans, asking the man what sort of impact the withdrawal of this honour was likely to have on his boss, to which the acolyte replied: “Not much. Knighthood or no knighthood, there’s no shortage of people around here willing to call