Zimbabwe democracy in doubt as Zanu-PF unveils “Robot Mugabe”

HARARE, Thursday –  Zimbabwe’s governing party, Zanu-PF, has caused surprise by electing a cyborg to succeed incumbent president Mugabe, if and when he retires.

Robot Mugabe’s election as leader-in-waiting has disappointed members of the opposition MDF Alliance. “We knew would have to fight for democracy in our country,” said MDF deputy Tshamngba Makaroni, “but we did not think that we would have to combat a sixty-foot automaton made of steel and lasers. All we have is sticks and a democratic mandate.”

The incumbent flesh-president Mugabe was said to be “delighted” with his party’s choice. “After I am gone, my brain will be transplanted into the empty head casing of my successor, Robot Mugabe, and I will continue to rule Zimbabwe for all time,” he told the Zimbabwe Herald. “I will roam the fields and cities of our country, plucking white evil-doers and homosexuals from the streets and hurling them over the border into Botswana, where they can wreak their filthy colonial havoc without disturbing our peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe. And I will shoot people with my laser eyes, as well.”

As well as the ordinary functions of a human president, Robot Mugabe will be able to lift huge weights, run at speeds of up to 240km/h, and both hold and monitor elections using its new operating system, MugabElect2.0©. “There will be no further wrangling over election results,” the robot told reporters, “since I am fully equipped with a 100%-accurate vote-counting module with additional intimidation and ballot-spoiling functionality to eliminate bugs, viruses, and voters for opposition parties.”

The international community has given a mixed reaction to the news. Neighbouring countries have expressed disquiet over the news, although South African president Thabo Mbeki sought to calm fears, calling Robot Mugabe “a principled and very shiny politician” who will bring “more stability than devastation” to the region. The White House condemned the move; a spokesperson said “Jeez, haven’t you guys seen Star Trek? We all know what happens when you try to convert an addled brain and an empty casing into a politician.” EU leaders were unable to agree on a view, instead pondering on the impact on steel and laser prices. Former British prime minister Tony Blair was said to be “impressed” by the technology and open-minded about whether it could be adopted by other global statesmen at the end of their active careers.