So, Zimbabwean president Robert Gabriel Mugabe was presented with a 1955 Ford Zephyr, which he apparently owned from 1963, as a gift during his 91st birthday bash last week.
According to reports the black Zephyr (now with personalised number plates RGM 1963) was Mugabe’s first car, though half of Zimbabwe’s media wrongly identified as a Ford Montero) was procured by the Friends of Joshua Trust working with the Zanu-PF Youth League.
It was bought from a vintage car collector in South Africa for $12 000 (about R145 000).
COLOURS OF HISTORY
Beverly Pullen of the Friends of Joshua Trust, quoted by the Zimbabwean media, said the car, being in good shape for its age, “is symbolic of our president”.
Its black colour “reflects the president’s fight for majority rule”, the red seats “represent the blood shed to attain our freedom” and the silver linings represent “the strength and durability of the president”.
Staying with the theme, she said the white wheel covers represented “the peace being experienced in the country” and the 92 000 miles (about 147 000km) it has covered was a reflection “of the long journey the president has travelled”.
One cannot but reflect on the irony of it all, the old Ford being a product from the “imperialistic and colonialist British”, much vilified by Mugabe.
One can also but wonder how the workers at Ford’s Dagenham plant would have appreciated the symbolism now suddenly attributed to their handiwork of more than half a century ago.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s once thriving vehicle assembly business is facing extinction because of the Mugabe government’s policies.
Oh, the delicious irony…