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We are not sure if it was meant to be amusing. If it was, it was a most unfunny joke. Nobody, save for the most sycophantic supporters of the ruling regime, could have been amused at the absurd get-up in crimson-red military-style wear, complete with a red beret a la the late Venezuelan strongman, Hugo Chavez. It hearkened back to a time when banana republics flourished, and tin-pot dictators kept their people under heavy manners by way of diktat, intimidation, victimisation and the exercise of raw force. It was a time of paramountcy of the party and its cronies –  the ones engorging themselves at the public trough. It is not difficult to imagine that Amin, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Hussein, Hitler, Mussolini and Chairman Mao are sitting up in their graves. After all, their dastardly legacies live, and every now and again, those legacies will raise their ugly heads, much as they did this past Wednesday. They say that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and you can bet your life that all of the aforementioned despots are quite flattered. Sigh!

We are still scratching our heads at the idiot that thought that those horrid Halloween costumes were cute. We’ll have him or her know that Halloween was on October 31, not December 9. We’ll also have him or her know that the childlike days of ‘play-play, dress-up’are long gone, at least for us. Which beggars the question on everyone’s mind: were there no adults in the room when they were thinking of playing ‘dolly-house’ and ‘doctor,’ or rather, ‘despot’? The mature mind wobbles.

And yes, it is also not difficult to imagine what the other great leaders in the region are thinking. They are no doubt shaking their heads at the trifling and unserious ways of those here in high places. They are astonished at the temerity of our head honchos to publicly display their Napoleonic fantasies and authoritarian fetishes. No wonder some are loathe to engage with this regime! No wonder investors seem to keep this administration at arms length! We mean, who wants to do serious business with poseurs harbouring Maoist dreams and delusions of grandeur?

Of course, it goes without saying that the person that came up with that ridiculous idea must be a pretty twisted individual with a rather perverse sense of humour. It is a sick stunt that backfired in the worst way – a Freudian slip that revealed the dark truth of this administration’s innermost ambitions – to keep the government’s boots on the necks of the people. WE CAN’T BREATHE!!! And mind you, all of this ‘wanna-be’ vain-glorious posturing was on a day set aside to celebrate our heroes – those who fought for the education, empowerment, upliftment and liberation of our people. We suggest that those who were fatuously dressed in strongman regalia, were giving a backhanded salute and goose-stepping on the noble ideals for which our heroes fought.

There are some things that are in exceedingly poor taste. The behavior of those in high places who masqueraded in ugly military dictator costumes is one of them. Just ask Prince Harry of England who was forced to issue a publicly apology in 2009 after he went to a Halloween party in a Nazi costume. Hmmm! Now there’s a thought. Sigh! Not a chance!

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