HURTING THE PRESIDENT’S FEELINGS, PART ONE
Authoritarian Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe is an extremely controversial figure inside and outside Africa, but if you’re watching him and his motorcade driving down the street it’s best to just smile and wave—or maybe not even that.
Mugabe’s amendment to the traffic regulations prohibits making “any gesture or statement within the view or hearing of the state motorcade with the intention of insulting any person traveling with an escort or any member of the escort.”
The statute is so vague that in 2007 Mugabe’s security detail roughed up a number of Harare fish vendors for presenting their leader with insufficiently good-smelling fish, suspecting some kind of veiled insult or criticism of his policies. Who’s to say whether smiling and waving might come off as overly sarcastic?