The advertisement, which uses look-alikes, was launched last Thursday and some fear that Nando’s may have crossed the line and risked its Zimbabwean business.
Mugabe is featured as a lonely man in the 46-second advert after the demise of fellow dictators such as executed Libyan strongman, Muammar Gaddafi, former Ugandan leader, Idi Amin and apartheid leader PW Botha.
The advert starts with Mugabe laying a place for Gaddafi at a lavish dinner table before falling back into a nostalgic moment where he and the Brother Leader played cheerfully, shooting each other with toy water guns.
Mugabe is then shown with former executed Iraqi strong man, Saddam Hussein as they make sand angels in the desert. The scene then shifts to the Zimbabwean leader playing with Botha on a swing, as Mugabe naughtily grabs a hat from the former South African leader.
Finally, Mugabe is shown with Amin driving around in a tanker holding hands, as if re-enacting a scene from Titanic. In the background the theme music being played is Those Were the Days.
Mugabe is then shown sitting alone at the long dinner table, with the advert’s secondary theme that this has been a tough year for dictators around the world.
Gaddafi was killed by rebels last month after more than 40 years in power, while Amin and Hussein also had inglorious exits from power. Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba could not be reached for a comment as his mobile phone was not reachable.
Nando’s has over the years been rolling out what some may say are “politically incorrect” adverts, with the most popular in recent times being one that featured ANC Youth League leader, Julius Malema.
Last year South African pop outfit, Freshly Ground were forced to cancel a show in Zimbabwe after they released a spoof of Mugabe’s continued stay in power, titled Chicken to Change.