Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Canaan Banana - first president of Zimbabwe

Even to someone as PC as I was in 1981, the name raised a smile. at last, a genuine banana republic in Africa ! Another government minister was the delighfully named Ndabaningi Sithole.

But his obituary isn't really very funny. He seems to have a touch of the Lavrenti Berias. If you were hitching and he stopped his limousine, woe unto you

"Out of the public eye, however, Banana was a serial homosexual abuser and rapist who used his enormous authority to threaten and cajole young male aides — whom as ceremonial commander of the Armed Forces he selected to serve him — as well as domestic servants and passers-by, into having sex with him. "

Not sure about this passage, though.

"Tragedy dogged the Banana family. One son, Michael, was named by witnesses as the assailant in a fatal shooting of the partner of a former boyfriend. The incident was covered up by police and investigations much later produced nothing. Another son, Martin, was convicted of armed robbery after he held up a Harare jewellery store with an AK 47 automatic rifle. It is not known if he served a sentence. "

It sounds more as if tragedy dogged those who came into contact with the Banana family.

His ex-wife claimed asylum and lives in England. Bananas split, as samizdata remarked.

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