Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe was caught napping at the just concluded World Economic Forum for Africa held in Durban, South Africa.
Mugabe pointed to the country's famed literacy levels and its 14 universities, saying: "And yet they talk about us as a fragile State".
Mugabe, whose health has been weakening, declared that the country he has ruled since 1980 is the most developed on the continent after South Africa.
Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank Group, said: "Today we are talking about fragility in Africa".
"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".
Zimbabwe's population is actually about 1 percent Muslim, and it has an Islamic Welfare Organization, which Newsweek notes has not yet responded to Mugabe's comments.
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"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.
"We have resources, perhaps more resources than [any] other country in the world", he said.
"It's not surprising, however, that Mugabe made those kind of remarks because he and members of his family, including members of the ruling elite, are cushioned from the hardships that the majority of Zimbabweans are facing on a daily basis; ranging from lack of cash, lack of jobs and a generally depressed economic environment in which all businesses are suffering". But Mugabe, sitting on a panel at the WEF, dismissed the idea that Zimbabwe is in a fragile state.
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.
A "fragile" state is a low-income country characterised by weak capacity and/or weak legitimacy leaving citizens vulnerable to both natural and man-made shocks.
"We are one for the few African countries without its own currency. Please help and die for this, ' what would we have said?" asked exasperated Zimbabwean filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga. We are a fragile State fast drifting to a failed one.
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