Tyrant-turned-fashion icon Mugabe turns up in Rome to celebrate a new popedom era

Tyrant-turned-fashion icon Mugabe turns up in Rome to celebrate a new popedom era

UK HUMAN rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is often pictured wearing a beret, most recently when he was  arrested after protesting against the visit to London of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.


But there’s one beret Tatchell won’t be seen dead sporting: one with Robert Mugabe’s signature.

According to the BBC, the Mugabe label is up there with Versace and and Polo in Zimbabwe.

Lookin' cool with a Robert Mugabe beret

Lookin’ cool with a Robert Mugabe beret

Tatchell, 60, still bears the scars from twice having tried to carry out a citizen’s arrest of the Zimbabwean dictator on charges of torture – in London in 1999 and again in Brussels in 2001 – and we guess he will be less than impressed by this latest fashion rage.

Tatchell – who was beaten unconscious by President Mugabe’s bodyguards in Brussell, resulting in brain and eye injuries – has just issued a statement deploring the fact that Mugabe, 89, a devout Catholic,  pitched up at the Vatican to celebrate the inauguration of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis is no stranger to consorting with human rights abusers

Pope Francis is no stranger to consorting with human rights abusers

Tatchell said:

The Pope has made a huge error of judgement by inviting and greeting the Zimbabwean President. He should have shunned Mugabe as a public rebuke for his crimes and as a signal of solidarity with his victims. President Mugabe should have never been invited in the first place.

His regime has abused the Christian values of love and compassion. It stands accused of kidnapping, detention without trial, torture, rape and murder. President Mugabe belongs in the dock at the International Criminal Court, not in the Vatican being feted by the Pope.

He added:

It is outrageous that the Italian government is not enforcing the EU travel ban on Mugabe. Italy has signed UN human rights conventions but is refusing to enforce them against the Zimbabwean dictator. He can come and go as he pleases, with the connivance of Italian leaders.

What is the point of having human rights laws and travel bans if President Mugabe is allowed to flout them?

Tatchell pointed out that, as well as his general human rights abuses, President Mugabe has incited homophobia, with repeated denunciations and threats against LGBT Zimbabweans; including his claims that gay people are “worse than pigs and dogs” and that they “don’t have any human rights at all”.

37 responses to “Tyrant-turned-fashion icon Mugabe turns up in Rome to celebrate a new popedom era”

  1. Broga says:

    This meeting is about as sick as it gets. Frankie either has zero judgement or just doesn’t care as long as everyone joins in this vastly expensive jamboree designed to feed his ego. I wonder if we will hear from any of the UK religious leaders or politicians about this shameful meeting. When is reality going to kick in to expose this man, his history and the vast con trick being perpetrated so willingly on the suckers by the media. The BBC has become his personal propaganda channel.

  2. Matt Westwood says:

    Mugabe can’t last much longer. He just can’t.

  3. Helen says:

    I read this headline as ‘poppadom’ era, not popedom. I certainly prefer poppadoms to popes.

  4. 1859 says:

    I believe he will. He wants to be the first ever president to rule his country while dead. I believe he will have himself stuffed,embalmed and placed on a dais. His people will pay to approach the relic and ask it/him questions. There will be a mouth-piece controlled from behind by the other loyal butchers of Zimbabwe. Easy.

  5. Angela_K says:

    As the old saying goes: Birds of a feather…

    I wonder what Mugabe makes of the Priest on Priest action going on in the Vatican? Also, I expect Mugabe is giving Frankie some useful suggestions on how to deal with dissenters.

  6. AgentCormac says:

    A few years back I was in Cape Town on business and met a Zimbabwean who told me he was in self-imposed exile until TIM had gone. I asked what TIM was – he told me it was an acronym for That Idiot Mugabe.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    Frankie say: This is a church of the humble and the poor.

    Reality say: This is a church of the greedy, the corrupt and the above the law

  8. JohnMWhite says:

    Is it wrong of me to consider every police officer in that first picture traitors to humanity? It takes the rank and files happily ‘only following orders’ for these orders to actually be carried out and for the head of the pyramid to get away with pissing on the people at the bottom. Why is it that they will pull you down to the ground with gusto if you dare protest against a monster or a war or an entire generation being robbed of their education, but you can’t get them to be bothered to come to your house after being burgled. You certainly cannot expect the police to do their duty and protect us from the real villains of the world.

    I imagine the BBC will obliquely reference Mugabe’s visit in a footnote somewhere, if at all. They might even admit that ‘some’ see it as ‘controversial’ and then pretend this is just a trifling difference of opinion. Meanwhile the new pope (same as the old pope) demonstrates his fanboy crush on fascism or at best his complete lack of courage to stand up to tyranny. Funny people like him never seem to lack the backbone to stand up to, say, gay teenagers. Considering he invited Mugabe, though, I don’t think we can even begin to be charitable here. This is not about political expedience or sucking up to an undesirable ally for the greater good. They’re not Churchill and Stalin. This is George Carlin’s famous Club, and you ain’t in it.

  9. JohnMWhite says:

    You know what, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe these two are the modern day Churchill and Stalin. Their Hitler is Elton John.

  10. Castro says:

    Hey you British wingers, leave our Mugabe alone morons

  11. Robster says:

    Pope Frank is probably trying to appeal to dark skinned people as all the hangers on at the vatican seem to be elderly white blokes in bling with a couple of token nuns pinned up for effect. This way he’s showing solidarity with a dark skinned African, an African any African will do. Pope Frank is being touted as a pope for the people, Mugabe is a person so I ‘spose he counts.

  12. L.Long says:

    The pope represents the RCC which has OKed many regimes that are disgusting….Nazis anyone?? As long as they push catlicking and hate gays & keep women beat down the RCC is OK with most anything else—-Kiddy fiddlin anyone??
    This meet & greet is no real surprise.
    What would really surprise me is to have some head dude of a small country that did not push catlicking, was OK with gays & gay marriage, and had equality for all,and got a invite from the pope. I would also be surprised to find such a place existed.

  13. charlie says:

    I admit up front, I stole this and edited some, still a good one though.
    New pope Frankie, from Argentina, gives the following message to ex-pope Benny; “Hitler sends his best regards.”
    Seeing as how Frankie is pals with the sick turd Mugabe, it seems to fit.

  14. T says:

    Seamless transition from the hitler youth to the junta supporter. Business as usual at the vatican. This is good. Appalling judgements like this will further befoul the rcc and hasten its demise. Note that the bbc has failed to report this amongst its hysterical coverage recently. The bbc has been more like the radio vatican. The bbc has failed in its duty as an impartial reporting medium and needs to be censured for it.

  15. Stephen Mynett says:

    The bbc seem to ignore most opinion from those forced to pay for it and until there is pressure on them re the annual fee they will carry on as they are.

    I am still waiting for Mad Frankie to spout off about the Falklands, surely the fact the Islanders are overwhelmingly in support of staying British is reason enough for him to support the Argentine claim to them. Ignoring or going against public opinion seems to be the first policy of the vatican.

  16. barriejohn says:

    A new broom sweeps even more dirt under the Vatican carpet:

  17. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    The bbc coverage of this whole episode is disgusting. If their noses get any further up the vatican’ts arse they’ll be brown from head to toe (yeah, a bit of a laboured metaphor there 🙁 ). They are still going on about this deeply unpleasant organisation and it’s new head, as if it makes any difference and as if anybody cares.

  18. vytas says:

    to be fair, no one invited anyone. There were no invitations. Leaders of states were just informed that such an event would be held. Why Italian authorities admitted Mugabe into the country is another matter. It is not the Pope’s job to make sure criminals do not enter Italy or Vatican. Once he was there, what was the Pope supposed to do? Not shake his hand, call the guards and show him (a black leader of an African country) to the door???

  19. The Woggler says:

    I’ve often wondered if Mugabe was a religious man, and now I know. But why am i not surprised which religion he follows?

  20. barriejohn says:

    @vytas: British politicians have ignored him when he has attended such events. It’s not as if the murderous bastard is difficult to recognize!

  21. barriejohn says:

    Woggler: Mugabe was born to Catholic parents and attended Jesuit schools!

    Mugabe was raised as a Roman Catholic, studying in Marist Brothers and Jesuit schools, including the exclusive Kutama College, headed by an Irish priest, Father Jerome O’Hea, who took him under his wing. Through his youth, Mugabe was never socially popular nor physically active and spent most of his time with the priests or his mother when he was not reading in the school’s libraries. He was described as never playing with other children but enjoying his own company. According to his brother Donato his only friends were his books.

    Similarities with another infamous dictator, megalomaniac and mass murderer (or more), perhaps?

  22. barriejohn says:

    PS The funniest thing that I read about Adolf Hitler – a very unpopular boy – was that he was always late for school because he used to argue with all the other children along the way!

  23. AgentCormac says:


    If Frankie had any scruples at all, yes – that’s precisely what he should have done.

  24. David Anderson says:

    @Castro; “British wingers”. Stanley Matthews, Cris Waddle, John Barns, David Beckham.

    Learn how to spell, tonto.

  25. Broga says:

    @David Anderson: Stanley Matthews – magic. Wasn’t the late, great Tom Finney a winger? Ah, these were the days.

  26. Stephen Mynett says:

    Would Stanley Matthews have been considered a heretic by the rcc, he was know as the Wizard of the dribble.

  27. JohnMWhite says:

    @vytas – if the Pope, a man who is entirely comfortable telling gay people they are disordered and atheists they are wicked, suddenly cannot find the courage to not shake hands with a mass murderer plonked in front of him because it might be seen as impolite, he is a complete moral coward unworthy of even the spittle of an angry fruitfly. What was he supposed to do? Call the guards and have a war criminal arrested would be the least a person with a conscience could manage.

    Why is it that we’re supposed to put up with far less shows of backbone from ‘leaders’ than somebody like Tatchell? What’s the difference? They both have funny hats.

  28. Broga says:

    @JohnMWhite: Give him time. Now the show is over Frankie is going to “embark on his ministry” so we should be seeing real results there. Also, he is going to “tackle” the “internal workings” in the Vatican and there are Cardinals there “who will be anxious about their positions” (the reference is probably non sexual but you can never be sure with RC priests). I have picked up these phrases over the past few days from various BBC speakers – all RCs, of course.

    Particularly choice, I thought, was one from Cardinal Nichol, back from enjoying the freebie in Rome that we should pray for this “good” man. He was not, of course, challenged on the criterion for Frankie’s goodness. It was just tacitly accepted.

    Poor O’Brien must be upset now he has gone to ground. He has missed all the fun, the dressing up, all the interviews and the feasting. They always look so plump and rounded, the Cardinals, don’t they?

    And so we await, Frankie the Great, stepping up to the plate. I suspect he is looking around and thinking, “What do I do now?”

  29. AgentCormac says:


    Surely god will tell him what to do!

  30. barriejohn says:

    One thing we can be sure of: he will be honest, open and straightforward in all his dealings.

  31. barriejohn says:

    I was looking up Mugabe on the internet and came across this:


  32. AgentCormac says:


    It was part of highly acclaimed ad campaign.

  33. barriejohn says:

    I’d completely forgotten it!

  34. Matt Westwood says:

    Mugabe … spent most of his time with the priests …

    Similarities with another infamous dictator, megalomaniac and mass murderer (or more), perhaps?

    I know who you mean: you’re talking about Jesus Christ, innit?

  35. Matt Westwood says:

    “The bbc coverage of this whole episode is disgusting. If their noses get any further up the vatican’ts arse they’ll be brown from head to toe”

    Mugabe already is.

  36. Broga says:

    @Matt Westwood: It’s the Archbishop of Canterbury’s turn now. Great for the BBC. Non stop religion. However, the Justin Welby Show is getting a much lower and less excitable profile than the Vatican Parade. Nothing to do with RCs holding to top spots at the BBC, I suppose.

    JW also has problems – I would see as positives – that Frankie apparently doesn’t have. JW says he knows some gay couples (Wow!) whose relationship is excellent. He finds himself “challenged” by the C. of E. teaching on gays. I think JW has these problems because he has principles. Frankie does not have the problems because he is a self serving git with no principles.

  37. Stephen Mynett says:

    JW is probably better at covering things up than Mad Frankie. As an ex-business man and quite a successful one JW will have learned how to negotiate and make people think they are getting a good deal, whereas Mad Frankie works for a gang that has similar business skills and methods to the Kray twins.