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His Excellency, the President of Zimbabwe

Today, this happened to me:

Robert Mugabe wishes to add you to his MSN buddy list

I accepted, and the following conversation ensued:

Conversation with at 2006-05-05 11:50:18 on (msn)
(11:50:09) Robert Mugabe: Aha. Hello, Mr Hitchcock.
(11:50:25) Jonathan: Hi there
(11:50:50) Robert Mugabe: How's the 'Bosch
(11:51:07) Jonathan: all good
(11:51:30) Jonathan: How's Zim?
(11:52:23) Robert Mugabe: It's beautiful. Many farms are being harvested, and my people are happy.
(11:53:02) Jonathan: delighted to hear it
(11:53:41) Robert Mugabe: I was hoping to get in touch with someone of your capabilities - we're having a hard time monitoring all the emails coming in to the country, and I thought perhaps you might have some interest in preventing subversion in our fine nation.
(11:53:53) Robert Mugabe: You will be suitably compensated, of course.
(11:54:13) Jonathan: in what currency?
(11:54:40) Robert Mugabe: Land, naturally. The only currency that matters. How does a sugar farm in Triangle sound to you?
(11:55:10) Jonathan: I'm diabetic
(11:55:37) Robert Mugabe: Ah. Tobacco?
(11:55:50) Jonathan: smoking aggravates diabetes
(11:56:01) Jonathan: so does caffeine, by the way, but I drink coffee anyway
(11:56:09) Jonathan: how's Chipinge?
(11:56:35) Robert Mugabe: I happen to know of a family that are planning to leave... imminently. You could perhaps take their bakkie back from the airport when you arrive.
(11:56:52) Robert Mugabe: So you'll do it?
(11:57:05) Jonathan: I didn't say that
(11:57:12) Robert Mugabe: Only one thing - you'll have to change your name. I don't trust people named Jonathan any more.
(11:57:42) Jonathan: I could change it to Morgan?
(11:58:41) Robert Mugabe: Yes. I like that. A person whos not afraid to speak his mind. Although I would have thought perhaps you would choose someone with a larger mental capacity, and less of a tendency for puppetry.
(12:01:41) Robert Mugabe: Of course, should you decide not to work for me, you must remember that your sister's safe-keeping is also in your hands
(12:01:50) Jonathan: why is that?
(12:02:50) Robert Mugabe: Some friends of mine are keeping an eye on her. You might say they're an integral part of her life. it would be so sad if they were to have to leave.
(12:03:05) Robert Mugabe: If you know what I mean
(12:03:16) Jonathan: I'm not sure I do
(12:03:21) Jonathan: to which sister do you refer?
(12:03:39) Robert Mugabe: Talitha.
(12:04:48) Robert Mugabe: I believe you haven't seen her since January?
(12:05:00) Jonathan: not since January *last* year
(12:07:00) Robert Mugabe: Shame. I haven't seen my sister for a while either. One can get used to their absence, but it's never good.
(12:07:18) Jonathan: I have a worry
(12:07:33) Jonathan: I heard Batman was taking an interest in Zimbabwe
(12:07:50) Robert Mugabe: I see. I what manner?
(12:07:57) Jonathan: planning to 'save' it
(12:08:40) Robert Mugabe: But I have already done that - no need for fictional characters' involvement.
(12:09:13) Jonathan: I merely say what I've heard
(12:10:58) Robert Mugabe: And you no doubt heard it from monitoring various strange "news groups" on the internet. As I said, a man of your capabilities is wasting his time in South Africa, and especially looking at such nonsense.
(12:11:15) Robert Mugabe: you could be a hero in Zimbabwe.
(12:11:56) Jonathan: I'd have to think about it
(12:12:54) Robert Mugabe: Of course. I gather you've had some appealing offers from various organisations around the world. Believe me, we can more than equal any offer you've been made.
(12:13:11) Jonathan: they offer portable property
(12:13:50) Robert Mugabe: Why bother? You can have everything you need in one place, and make a life fit for a king. (12:14:45) Jonathan: but that's so constricting
(12:16:31) Robert Mugabe: It's all a amatter of perspective. You can travel wherever you want in the world, but you have to accept some limitations. On the other hand, where can you have a better quality of life than here in Africa?

(Note: the Batman reference was because some friends of mine made a huge poster that they held up at the cricket in Zimbabwe that said "Only Batman can save Zimbabwe from Robert Mugabe now". It was a sort of pre-Chuck Chuck Norris joke.)

(It turned out to be James Reeler, a friend of mine from Zimbabwe who is now studying in Cape Town.)