And in one of his now bi-annual trips abroad, where he's permitted to wear long pants, mingle with proper adults, and those who practise actual forms of democracy, Robert Mugabe, president of the now bankrupt and benighted state of Zimbabwe, today attended The UN World Food Summit in Rome.
Although snoring quite loudly, as he slept through the keynote speeches of the delegates from the UK, US, France and Germany, in his own opening harangue to the assembly of world leaders and other UN dignitaries (or, "you bastards", as he phrased it), Mr Mugabe insisted that there was no link, whatsoever, between his policy of forcibly evicting all white farmers from their formerly profitable and economically-viable farmland, and it going to seed as a result of handing it over to teams of marauding machete-wielding 14 year old drunks - all of whom he alleges are "worthy war veterans from the battle for independence", which ended in 1980... Mr Mugabe further declined to answer questions as to the latter's suitability and qualification as farmers; and denied that there was any correlation between Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) once being acknowledged as being 'The Bread Basket of Africa', to nowadays being viewed as merely a basket-case in Africa.
Blaming everyone in the room, including the somewhat bemused catering staff, for the now ruinous state into which Zimbabwe has been allowed to slide, in the 29 years since independence (during which he's been the country's sole
dictator leader), Mr Mugabe demanded that the world "owed him a living" and, further, that he would not leave Rome without a signed promissory note for $900,000,000,000,000,000.00
At this point, the other nations' delegates duly convened for a quick confab; before asking for a short adjournment, over lunch, to allow them a chance to discuss the matter in more depth, and to decide how best to proceed.
On returning to the summit after lunch, the delegates were happy to announce that they had indeed reached an agreement; and on the precise figure which Mr Mugabe had
demanded requested; and that they would be happy to see him leave the summit with the promissory note in his possession.
And so, on hearing that Mr Mugabe's Ryanair flight had safely departed for home, the sum of $900,000,000,000,000,000.00 Zimbabwean dollars was duly transferred into his personal bank account.
At time of going to press, Mr Mugabe's spokesman had yet to respond to media requests as to how he intends to spend the $6.98.