Zimbabwe in the House of Cards series, Season 3: The conversation about President Chimbetu

Spoiler alert: Events from House of Cards season 1, 2 and 3.

The 3rd season of the charged political drama House of Cards was released in full a couple of weeks ago. To our surprise Zimbabwe was mentioned in the 7th episode as an impasse between the US and Russia has the first lady, Claire Underwood, working to whip up the support of Israel, Palestine and Zimbabwe to pass a Middle East peacekeeping resolution.

The film, for fiction’s sake, uses the name Chimbetu for the President of Zimbabwe. Chimbetu is ofcourse the legendary late sungura musician, Simon Chimbetu, whose music was and remains greatly popular throughout Southern Africa.

Chimbetu’s son, Sulumani Chimbetu, is a great artists in his own right as his songs are currently topping the charts in Zimbabwe. Why House of Cards used the name for president of Zimbabwe, is anyone’s guess!


Here’s how the conversation develops:

Claire Underwood: “We’re having a hard time getting the African bloc to remove the poison pill provision.

Cathy (Secretary of State): “We think Israel is behind it. They got cold feet, convinced the African bloc to sabotage the resolution so they have an out

Claire “The head of the African bloc is Zimbabwe, and we believe Israel has promised them a sizeable aid package for HIV prevention. The secretary and I recommend increasing out relief funds to Zimbabwe and outspend the Israelis.

Frank Underwood (The president): “Well, president Chimbetu will just pocket the money.

Claire: “Well, we always anticipate a certain level of graft.

Frank: “A certain level? He’s egregious. The man’s a monster.

Claire: “Who happens to run the African bloc

Frank: “Who happens to kill his own people when he’s not stealing from them, which is why I reduced aid to Zimbabwe!

Claire: “If we want him to remove the amendment we have to be persuasive

Frank: “The last thing I want us to be slammed for giving additional money to a brutal dictator from USAID just to persuade him. This is ill conceived.”


Photo Credit: House of Cards Season 3 – Netflix



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