As reported on Monday, Mugabe allegedly made a number of controversial assertions about Jamaicans while speaking to a number of business people, government officials and dignitaries during the Research and Intellectual Expo 2012. At this event, Mugabe lectured that people from the Caribbean island are drunkards, weed smokers and somewhat uneducated; sparking expressions of disappointment and anger from Jamaicans towards the revered African leader, including high-profile Jamaican artistes such as Sizzla and Tony Rebel as well as Opposition Spokesperson for the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange.
Now, Jamaica’s prime minister has weighed in on the controversial statements after her government moved to confirm that these comments were valid. Once verified, Simpson-Miller blasted Mugabe for what she labeled as distasteful and highly stereotypical given the continued progress that the island’s people have made over the years.
“The remarks, regardless of whether they were spoken ‘in jest’ as was stated in yesterday’s edition (September 12) of the New Zimbabwe Newspaper, were grossly unfortunate, misguided and untrue,” Simpson-Miller said in a statement.
“Any such remarks, therefore, must be dismissed as untrue and disrespectful to the hundreds of thousands of Jamaican men who are excellent fathers, professionals and outstanding citizens.”
Mugabe attracted the disapproval of Jamaicans when he commented that Jamaica is, "a country of marijuana smokers, where women are now taking charge since men are always sloshed (drunk).”
Reports in Zimbabwe also intimated that Mugabe uttered, "In Jamaica, they have freedom to smoke mbanje, varume vanogara vakadhakwa (men are always drunk) and universities are full of women. The men want to sing and do not go to colleges vamwe vanobva vamonwa musoro (some are dreadlocked). Let us not go there."
Mugabe hails as no stranger to Jamaican culture a he’s been to the island on a few occasions while highly-acclaimed Reggae and Dancehall artistes such as Sizzla, Cocoa Tea, Fanton Mojah, Red Rat and the late, great, Bob Marley have all performed at special concerts for the Zimbabwean leader.