Political expedience was on full show in Harare last week at the meeting between presidents Jacob Zuma and Robert Mugabe. As the two men patted each other on the back and talked about reforming the UN and progress in Africa, many of their increasingly impoverished citizens were wishing them out of office. Behind the scenes, there may have been some frank talk about important and relevant bilateral issues, but on the face of it, it was an exercise in denial — a day off for both men from the harsh political and economic realities in their countries that have resulted from their poor choices and personally driven political agendas. Mugabe appeared to enjoy the fact his counterpart was visiting him at a time of mounting challenges in SA. "Comrade president, we need each other even more as we face renewed assaults on our independence and sovereignty," Mugabe said. Despite surely being aware that he was speaking in a country brought to its knees by its aged leader and his associated sycop...

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