Zimbabwe’s long time President Robert Mugabe has said his government is prepared to listen to the concerns of international investors as the country struggles to halt disinvestment that many blame on controversial economic policies.
He was speaking at the National heroes’ shrine in an address to mark the annual commemoration for guerillas killed during the war of liberation against white minority rule.
Zimbabwe’s president was inspecting the guard as the country remembers its liberation war heroes. The commemoration was boycotted by the opposition. They say there is little to celebrate and that the event is partisan.
Zimbabwe’s 91 year-old ruler is unperturbed by the criticism. He says,“They misguided elements whom we share Zimbabwe with have the absurdity and fertile imagination to suggest who in their unsolicited and weird and wayward opinions should be declared a hero.”
A hero to the west once, President Mugabe’s controversial pro-black economic policies has been accused of driving away international investors and ruining a once prosperous economy.
His message on Monday that the country is willing to listen to the concerns of investors is a sign of softening of hard line policies.
An assurance too, that government will move to end thousands of jobs losses that have occurred since last month’s constitutional court ruling job termination laws.
“That part of our law is stupid so we are amending it, it has proceeded to draft a bill and introduce in parliament,” says Mugabe.
And finally a salvo against Britain and call for the return of illicitly removed remains of 19th century liberation war icon including prominent spirit mediums.
Mugabe adds that, “Surely keeping decapitated heads as war trophies in this day and age in a national history museum must tanks among the highest forms of racist moral decadence sadism and human insensitivity.”
After almost an hour long address, the 91 year-old leader laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. An object of scorn in the international community, but still defiant and adored as a true hero by his supporters.
Meanwhile, Mugabe has accused Zimbabweans of failing to protect Cecil the lion.
It was the long-time rulers first public reaction to a killing that has put his country in international headlines.
He urged Zimbabwe to protect its resources against vandals and those who want to illegally acquire it.
Cecil, a lion favoured on photographic safaris, was allegedly illegally hunted and killed by an American dentist Walter Palmer outside Hwange National Park. Authorities are in the process of applying for his extradition.
“Even Cecil the lion is dead. He is dead but he was yours to protect but you failed to protect him. There are vandals who come from all over of course,” says Mugabe.