Robert Mugabe: Zimbabwe second-most developed country in Africa


"Zimbabwe is not a fragile state, it is one of the most highly developed countries, second after South Africa", he said at the World Economic Forum for Africa.

"We, as the Congolese Solidarity Campaign and the [Congolese] community in Durban and others parts of the land of SA, have raised our voices and said "no" to the continued destabilisation of our motherland", the statement said. The country was once known as the breadbasket of southern Africa.

Almost 84.5 percent of Zimbabwe's population of 15.6 million people is Christian with an estimated 1 percent Muslim, according to the 2015 International Religious Freedom Report by the U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Twitter responded to his remarks in customary Twitter style: memes.

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Asked by Anton du Plessis from the Institute for Security Studies if he thought Zimbabwe was in the category of fragile States, Mugabe sagged in his chair and slowly retorted: "That isn't true".

Zimbabwe has been struggling to pay its civil servants recently and is ranked 24th on the UNDP's Human Development Index for Africa.

Despite living in a democratic country, more than 100 families in Zimbabwe are now being forcibly evicted from their home farmlands by First Lady Grace Mugabe. "Yes, we have our problems. but we have resources, perhaps more than the average country. and our agriculture is very viable and this year we will have a bumper harvest", Mugabe said, highlighting the nation's production of "maize, tobacco, many other crops". We are not a poor country.

"I can call America fragile, they went on their knees to China", he added.

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Afghanistan-based political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said at his age, and considering that he has travelled across the globe, Mugabe should know that neighbouring countries such as Mozambique that were once far behind Zimbabwe in terms of development are now pulling ahead with thriving economies. About 90 percent of our people are living below $1 per day.

Last year, more than four million people were in need of food aid in Zimbabwe after rains failed.

The state-run Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency put unemployment at 11.3 percent in 2014. Zimbabweans grumble that his constant absences bring government operations to a halt, although it can still manage to arrest journalists who write unflattering reports about the president's medical condition.

Mugabe is running again in next year's elections even as concerns about his health grow.

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