Monday, August 16, 2010

Lifestyles of the Rich and Tyrannical

An occasional series.

South China Morning Post's edition on Sunday featured a front cover photo of the corrupt, brutal and murderously ruthless president of the broken country of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe.

Watched over by some of his own barrel-chested goons as well as sharply-dressed members of the Hong Kong Police VIP Protection Unit, Mugabe was apparently buying some shoes in a store in Harbour Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The shopping tour followed a visit to Beijing for "talks" and Shanghai for the World Expo.

No mention of where he is staying, but probably it's a five-star hotel rather than the high-end property at House No 3, JC Castle, 18 Shan Tong Road, Tai Po. The house is one in in a development put together by the also unsavoury entertainment/property/darkside tycoon Albert Yeung.

Mugabe is reported to have paid
HK$45.24 million (US$5.8m) in June, 2008 for the house in the New Territories. A daughter Bona is studying accountancy at City University of Hong Kong.

Mugabe is reported to be paid US$58,000 per year as president.

No mention in the SCMP of Mugabe's wife, "Gucci" Grace. Perhaps she's keeping a low profile. One wonders why. She was, after all, let off the hook by the Hong Kong Government last year after she decked a British photographer.

Mugabe and "Gucci" Grace are among a number of high-level Zimbabweans who are persona non grata in the EU and US.

But the world is wide and Mugabe is welcome in places like China and Hong Kong.

The author W Somerset Maugham once characterised the principality of Monaco on the Côte d'Azur as a "sunny place for shady people".

Mugabe's visit to Hong Kong, a place that has its own undoubted advantages and charms, is a reminder that it too is, among other things, also a sunny place for shady people.

5 comments:

Pete said...

Ia Albert related to Carson?

mister bijou said...

Hi, Pete.

No, not to my knowledge.

Yeung is a fairly common Cantonese name (in mainland China's Mandarin/Putonghua it is Yang).

The Blues had a good run last season, let's hope they can do as well, or even better, this season.

gweipo said...

it's not just Zimbabwe - try asking some of the universities how many north korean cadre's children they're educating. Nasty business.

mister bijou said...

gweipo . . . thanks for the comment.

I am, however, puzzled. . . according to City University of Hong Kong admissions webpage:

Due to immigration restrictions, nationals from Afghanistan, Albania, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, North Korea (DPRK), Nepal and Vietnam are advised not to apply for admission, as student visas will not be issued for these countries.

Do these North Korean cadre's children hold other passports? Some countries in the Pacific and west Africa sell a passport to anyone who waves enough money.

baroness radon said...

This makes me remember when Ferdinand Marcos and his well-shod wife Imelda took up residence/refuge/asylum/whatever just down the road from me in Hawaii.