President Robert Mugabe has told the world that his country is the second most developed in Africa in comments that are likely to befuddle suffering Zimbabweans.
The Zimbabwean leader is out in South Africa’s port city of Durban, venue for the World Economic Forum on Africa.
Reports from the international convention say President Mugabe took guests by surprise when he placed his country second to South Africa in terms of development on the continent.
Mugabe had made a surprise appearance on a morning panel discussion on fragile states Thursday.
He shared the stage with the likes of American actor Forest Whitaker, the Unesco Special Envoy for Peace, and Donald Kaberuka, the special envoy for the African Union Peace Fund.
Anton du Plessis from the Institute for Security Studies, after saying that corruption and bad leaders contributed to the problem of fragile states in Africa, asked Mugabe if he agreed Zimbabwe was a failed state.
In his response, President Mugabe said with a laugh, “That isn’t true”.
He continued: “Zimbabwe is the most highly developed country in Africa. After South Africa, I want to see another country as highly developed.”
The veteran leader went on to boast about his government establishing 14 universities and scaling a literacy rate of over 90%, the highest in Africa.
“And yet they talk about us as a fragile state,” he said.
“We have a bumper harvest, not only maize, but also tobacco and many other crops. We are not a poor country.”
President Mugabe did not end there but also tried to drag America into the basket of fragile states.
“If anyone wants to call us fragile, they can. You can also call America fragile,” he said to some in the audience laughing.
Mugabe said America had to go “on its knees” to China to save some of its companies.
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Source: South Africa Today Africa – Southern Africa Zimbabwe News