The Soloist, Contributor
Someone must have omitted to tell Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe, that people who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones. On the other hand, perhaps now that he's well into his 80s, he's getting a little soft in the head and has forgotten all that and more.
I write against the background of his latest anti-Jamaica utterances and because I don't take kindly to anyone negatively criticising the land of my birth. I am particularly incensed when such sentiments spout from the lips of anyone who is not born in my country. I am like the mother of a drug-addicted, thieving, whoring, criminal child, who in spite of all his/her warts, still love him/her unconditionally. Hurt Jamaica, hurt me!
My friends tell me that Mugabe should have been certified insane a long time ago for the alleged disappearance or mysterious deaths of his wife's ex-lovers! And, when it comes to the treatment of his people and management of his country, he should be horse-whipped daily in exchange for being allowed to live. He started out on the right foot, but things have gone horribly wrong since then and the poor black people are suffering for it.
And then there are those friends who tell me he is speaking the truth. Huh? Not all Jamaicans are high on ganja. Many Jamaicans are too high on life and getting ahead successfully to even consider doing drugs. And so what if our women are now flocking universities in droves? Perhaps he's jealous because his own wife was not bright enough to graduate (according to Internet reports), her grades were 20s and below! Our women are brilliant and progressive, sir!
We do have many problems in Jamaica, most of us curse ourselves daily about them, but like the doting mother I mentioned above, we don't appreciate anyone throwing it in our faces, be they from Antarctica, America or Africa. On a week-long-trip to Zimbabwe seven years ago, I observed the following.
As I recall, the Zimbabweans I met all had body odour so strong, it would wilt a cactus flower.
Two Zimbabwean women I met, walked close to three miles from the market to my hotel for my used clothing in exchange for the artwork they produced, only for me to see them selling these same items in the market next day.
In 2007, they were paying Z$35,000 for a loaf of bread.
The Zimbabwe I visited, had previously prosperous farms with barns subsequently piled high with rotting paprika and other produce because the friends of Mugabe who bought those farms following their seizure by his government, knew nothing about running a farm.
I witnessed a convoy of some 20 black Mercedes-Benz armoured vehicles and two helicopters overhead, and was told by my guide that was how Mugabe had to travel in fear for his safety.
The street on which he lived was closed to the public from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, again to protect him from his own people.
The Zimbabweans I met were afraid to speak to me in public because they would be visited, questioned, jailed and even beaten that night by secret agents of the state hiding and watching us as we talked. I could go on, but space does not permit.
Mr Mugabe, take the mote from your own eyes before you look at other people's faults. Or perhaps that's wishful thinking on my part because if you do, you might ugly yourself to death when your face makes contact with a mirror!