Zimbabwe is not poor – Mugabe (and social media responds)

President Robert Mugabe has torched a weird storm on social media when made claims to the effect that Zimbabwe as not only not poor, but is the second most developed behind South Africa.

He was speaking at a World Economic Forum discussion in his discussion entitled Eye on Fragile States:

We are not a poor country and we can’t be a fragile country, I can call America fragile, they went on their knees to China. Zimbabwe is the most highly developed country in Africa after South Africa.

The response to his statement on social media with some defending his position, making reference to actual infrastructural development compared to a lot of African countries. A user said she had been to 15 countries and Zimbabwe fared a lot better than most.

Others have criticised the view with prominent social media personality Mike Tashaya saying:

This is the stuff that holds us back sadly, purely because we believe we are all that. Ok fine say we are 2nd to SA why not strive to be the best instead.

On his post, some buttressed his point while one among others side said:

Of course people need to travel to open up their narrow minds. Believe me, I used to be one of those people who thought all other African countries had infrastructure pretty similar to Zim. I remember leaving the UK to go and work in Uganda, thinking ‘this will just be like going back home’. Boy was I in for a rude awakening. And the funny thing was that the whole time I lived in Uganda, I had to bear the brunt of their jokes about how bad things were in Zim. You only have to spend 5 minutes in Uganda to see the irony of all that. But they were comparing the Zim economic situation to their own context, which made them think that their country was far more advanced than ours. I remember a time when one of their Ugandan bosses heard them making fun of Zim, and she told them how she had visited Zim in early 90s and had seen an ATM for the first time, something that she hadn’t seen in any other African country. Then she went on about how well developed Zim was, citing examples. That story managed to shut them up

Mind you, if the President had gone to that forum and said the country was a bit shit, people would still have complained.

As for us here at 3-mob HQ we have traveled quite a bit and it is easy to confuse where countries are building from to get to where Zimbabwe is to them being developed. We have fallen off a bit but when you hear people compare Zimbabwe with some countries they’ve never been to themselves, it is just a bit weird.

That said, we don’t have not enough data to say we are number 2 either.