Home » General » Nothing Dramatic About Hospital Visit [editorial]

AT times the media make headlines out of sunrise on a dry Savanna day, short-changing readers in the process.

Nowhere was this evident than in the case of the President’s visit to Singapore last week during which he was to go for a routine eye check-up.

Despite the fact that the President did not sneak out of the country nor claim to be going north only to turn up south, British station channel 4 would rather have the world believe that by picketing a private hospital in Singapore, they had stumbled on a scoop.

Yet when the President left for Singapore last week, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba issued a statement informing the media that the President Mugabe had left for Singapore on a private visit during which he was to have a routine eye check-up.

And when the President visited the private hospital for his eye-check up, the same media that had been carving headlines out of his purported eye problems claimed the extraordinary out of the ordinary.

This again is not to say the President had not made known to the nation that he was having problems with his right eye.

In an interview with ZBCTv ahead of his 90th birthday, President Mugabe said he had had cataracts removed from his right eye but was otherwise as fit as a fiddle.

And that was evident as he strolled into the hospital in Singapore. He did not arrive by ambulance, neither was he on a gurney or wheelchair.

There was no drama to talk of but just mischief on the part of those who were hoping for a bad story where there was none.

Actually the remarkable thing is how fit the President is at 90, which is more than can be said for many who speculate on his health.

There can be no alternative to that remarkable story.

Tied to that is the scandalous story of one Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese-British businessman — whatever that means — who takes every opportunity to throw pot shots at Zimbabwe.

His recent outburst was in Rwanda where he told people that Africa was crazy in having a 90-year old president starting a new term.

To Mo Ibrahim, only the younger generation should be in leadership on the continent. That is his concept of democracy.

While Mo Ibrahim drew laughter whenever he made such disparaging statements that some among us mistake to be only directed at President Mugabe, when in reality they are a jibe at the millions of Zimbabweans who elected him, what was lost in the laughter was the fact that the self-serving businessman was not proffering any solutions to the ills on the continent.

We find it quite ironic that this self-styled “philanthropist” loves to make money from an Africa that he doesn’t want to live in. And ignores the conflagration in his own country, Sudan while developing telescopic vision where Zimbabwe is concerned.

While he passes himself as a philanthropist, Mo Ibrahim is best known for a non-performing leadership prize that has been awarded to only three recipients since its launch as we report elsewhere in his issue.

We would like to remind Mr Ibrahim that democracy is not what he says it is, it is what we Zimbabweans practice by electing leaders not on the basis of age but vision and capacity.

It is taking control of and participating in our economy, and we do not need any non-performing prize to know this.

Source : The Herald