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Monday, September 17, 2007
ROBERT GABRIEL IS NOT "MUGABE" BUT "MATIBILI!"
ZimDaily exclusively revealed on Wednesday last week
that Mugabe is a Zimbabwean of Malawian origin. His
father, Masuzyo Gabriel Matibili, was an immigrant
(LINK TO ORIGINAL "ZIMDAILY" ARTICLE!)
Many ZimDaily readers missed the point: it is not
about Mugabe's Malawian roots but about the Bill he
assented to and made it a law that stripped millions
of Zimbabweans of their citizenship and their right to
vote in the crucial 2000 and 2002 plebiscites.
The government enacted a law late in 1999 just before
the crucial 2000 parliamentary elections which saw the
opposition shocking ZANU PF by snatching 57 seats in
the 120-seat chamber, the first time an opposition
party came closer to toppling Mugabe since
independence in 1980.
Had more than six million Zimbabweans, both black and
white of foreign descent, voted, the scales could have
tilted the other way.
That was at the height of the chaotic land grab that
saw more than five thousand white commercial farmers
forcibly moved off their farms ostensibly to parcel
them out to their cronies in ZANU PF and government.
White-owned businesses were taken over, too, in the
name of black empowerment.
Zimbabweans of foreign descent, who formed the bulk of
those working on farms and in mines were the most
affected. They suddenly found themselves homeless and
jobless and had they been allowed to vote, they could
have "voted with their stomachs", sending ZANU PF
Comments from ZimDaily readers worldwide ranged from
sober to extreme hatred of anything from Malawi.
"What is wrong with Malawians?" asked a reader after a
flurry of innuendos and derogatory remarks about
Mugabe and his ancestry.
Indeed, there is nothing wrong about Malawi or
anything from Malawi. In fact, we have had many
Zimbabweans of Malawian descent who have done
extremely well in their various endeavours.
The late finance ministers Bernard Chidzero and
Ariston Chambati were Zimbabweans of Malawian descent.
So too were broadcasters Brighton Matewere and the
late Benedict Mazonde and renowned journalist Bill
Saidi, now deputy editor of The Standard newspaper.
The list is endless.
Besides Bantu migration, Malawi was part of the
Rhodesia and Nyasaland federation. In other words, it
was one country. Therefore, there was free movement of
people within the federation.
What many readers were against are the double
standards applied by the Mugabe regime. Unless, they
said, many disenfranchised Zimbabweans living within
and without our borders were allowed to vote and have
their citizenship restored, then Mugabe cannot
legitimately continue running this country as he is
also a Zimbabwean of foreign descent. Unless, of
course, he renounces his claim to Malawian
That also applies to his nephews and niece ---
Patrick, Robert and Sarudzai Zhuwao--- Sabina Mugabe's
children. Their father was a Mozambican immigrant
However, a brawl between imbibers at an elite Harare
sports club on Wednesday night takes the biscuit: it
was sparked by a "You are as ugly as Robert Mugabe"
slur. Apparently, the victim was a Zimbabwean of