Robert Mugabe: Zimbabwe second-most developed country in Africa

President Robert Mugabe rejects claims Zimbabwe is a fragile state despite crisis

That was after Mugabe told a panel discussion that Zimbabwe was second to South Africa in terms of development in Africa.

"Mugabe needs to travel to other countries and see why Zimbabwe is a fragile State".

"I would go so far as to say that his mere presence is a symbol of the fragility of our country, and we need to re-invent our brand".

"We are not a poor country, can't be a fragile state", Mugabe said, despite thousands of households already coping with food scarcity due to lack of rainfall for two consecutive seasons. About 90 percent of our people are living below $1 per day. Banks frequently put limits as low as $20 on the amount of cash depositors can withdraw and occasionally require customers to lug their withdrawals away as bags of heavy coin.

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Ironically, his admission that Zimbabwe has resources in abundance fits into the "resource curse" description which says that countries with an abundance of natural resources tend to have less economic growth, less democracy, and worse development outcomes than those with fewer natural resources.

"They don't talk of Zimbabwe as a fragile economic state".

"We have a bumper harvest, not only maize, but also tobacco and many other crops".

Laughing, Mugabe slowly said: "That isn't true". "Please help and die for this, ' what would we have said?" asked exasperated Zimbabwean filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga. The denial of the crisis at this level is astounding, to say the least.

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Mugabe then bizarrely added that the southern parts of the continent were lucky to have little Islamic influence.

"In the Islamic world, the belief is that the more violence you exert on the population, the more they listen", he said.

Ghana was nowhere to be found on the list of first 10 countries in Africa with the highest literacy rates in the UNDP's human development index for Africa.

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