World leaders have expressed irritation at British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's threat to boycott the forthcoming African summit unless President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe gives a solemn undertaking not to try and sell him timeshare.
Mugabe, who used to be one-half of the famous 1970s singing duo Mugabe and Nkomo, has a fearsome reputation for selling timeshare to famous British people, including His Royal Highness Prince Charles the Prince of Wales and former Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Jack Staw. Gordon Brown fears that Mugabe will try and sell him timeshare, too.
Prince Charles told our reporter:
"Errrrr, one was standing in the corner of a party, making pleasant talk to a Viscount, when some African Johnnie appeared grinning from ear to ear, muttered something in Swahili and shook one's hand. Before one knew it, one had been photographed and was in all the newspapers. Apparently, one had unknowingly purchased a Gold Week at a Zimbabwe holiday resort."
The African dictator used a different technique with Jack Straw, who had been forewarned of his propensity to sell timeshare. Straw told us:
"I was at a reception to which Robert Mugabe had also been invited. I kept an eye out for him, since I didn't want his timeshare. I spied him at the other end of the room and felt relieved. The next thing I knew, someone thrust a hand at me and I shook it. I didn't realise at first that the dirty rotter had used an Inspector Gadget-style extendible arm. That meant I had bought a Silver Week. Of course, all the photographers caught that on camera but nobody mentioned the trick arm."
Mugabe is thought to have amassed millions of acres of land from white farmers by making them offers they "couldn't refuse".
We spoke to the African leader, who told us:
"I am nearing completion of the Oaklands, a fine four-bedroomed luxury villa with its own outdoor jacuzzi. They are nearly all sold but I can offer you Week 52, a Christmas week, at half price. Would you like to buy one?"