Will Mugabe ‘take’ off like the Clintons did?

When Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House in January 2001, after eight years of living inMugabe
rent-free luxury, conservatives were in a tizzy over reports that the Clintons not only trashed the house, but also made off with furnishings that didn’t belong to them. It turned out that the reports of vandalism were untrue, and that Bill Clinton had mistakenly assumed that the Oval Office desk belonged to him. After all, no other president had spent so much time under it. Actually, Clinton didn’t take the desk, but he and Hillary did take scores of other items that apparently were gifts to the White House, not to them.

Reporter: "Did you take items from the White House that didn’t belong to you?"

Bill Clinton: "It depends on what your definition of ‘take’ is."

Reporter: "Did you move them to your new home?"

Clinton: "No, I didn’t. I didn’t move anything."

Reporter: "Did the moving company move them for you?"

Clinton: "Yes, the moving company did. But we have reprimanded them. And we’re returning some items, paying for some items, and donating some items."

Reporter: "Who are you donating to?"

Clinton: "Uh … Chelsea."

After they were criticized for taking $190,000 worth of china,
flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts with them when
they left, the Clintons announced last week that they would pay for
$86,000 worth of gifts, or nearly half the amount.

Their latest decision to send back $28,000 in gifts brings to
$114,000 the value of items the Clintons have either decided to pay
for or return. [Link]

It makes me wonder what’s going to happen in Zimbabwe when Robert and Grace Mugabe move out of the State House, as they might do very soon, if Mugabe and his supporters can’t manipulate election results. The 84-year-old leader has been in power for 28 years and has probably put his name on everything in the State House, including the kitchen sink.

Mugabe: "We need to take everything. Everything must go: sofas, chairs, beds, lights, plates, cups, bowls …"

Grace: "All the bowls?"

Mugabe: "Yes, yes, all the bowls, even the toilet bowls."

Grace: "What about the tables?"

Mugabe: "Yes, yes, all the tables, even the vegetables."

Grace: "What about the pets?"

Mugabe: "Yes, yes, all the pets, even the carpets."


If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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