End of the road for Mugabe?
What is Africa’s problem? Once upon a time a
young African liberator of the 20th Century
grappled with this burning question and after
much soul-searching he came up with an
answer
By Harold Acemah
On August 3, all hell broke loose in Harare,
capital of Zimbabwe which increasingly looks
like a country under siege and on the eve of a
political tsunami.
One month ago, the long-simmering anger,
bitterness and frustration of Zimbabweans
finally boiled over into the streets of Harare
and despite stern warnings by president
Robert Mugabe that opposition to his
illegitimate, desperate and unpopular regime
would be mercilessly crushed, wananchi
decided to call Mugabe’s bluff and poured out
in thousands to defy the physically, mentally
and morally challenged leader.
The protesters shouted “Mugabe Must Go” and
all manner of unspeakable adjectives about
the old warrior in broad daylight. In a
nutshell, wananchi told comrade Mugabe that
enough is enough and that his days are over!
Poor Mugabe increasingly barks like a
toothless bulldog whose voice scares nobody.
According to a Daily Monitor story of August 4
titled, “Zimbabwe police break up anti-
Mugabe protest” Zimbabwe’s ruthless riot
police which behaves like a police force in
our neck of the woods, used batons, tear gas
and water cannon to break up a legitimate
protest by hundreds of law-abiding citizens in
Harare in opposition to the gross misrule of
92-year-old Mugabe.
Thousands of Zimbabwean patriots came out
to vent their anger and frustration at the
untenable economic, social and political
situation in this once promising and
prosperous country. The government of
Zimbabwe is now flat broke and unable to pay
civil servants, police officers and soldiers! No
wonder the veterans of Zimbabwe’s liberation
war who have for decades been among
Mugabe’s most loyal supporters recently
denounced him as an extravagant and selfish
dictator.
Some demonstrators were adorned with
Zimbabwe’s national flag, while hundreds of
unemployed university graduates wore their
academic gowns and believers carried the
cross of Jesus Christ and sang hymns of praise
to God for whom all things are possible,
including putting an end to the untold
suffering of His people in Africa.
Zimbabwe: An African tragedy
For a country which was once the bread
basket of southern Africa and for a leader
who was once admired, hailed and respected
as the quintessential African liberator and
orator par excellence, the fall from grace of
Mugabe is an African tragedy of monumental
proportions!
Anyone who has visited Zimbabwe, especially
during 1980s, will appreciate the depth of the
anger and bitterness of the demonstrators.
I was in Harare in 1986 to attend a non-
aligned conference hosted by a prosperous
and peaceful Zimbabwe and stayed at the
Sheraton Hotel. I took time to visit parts of the
country, including the breath-taking Victoria
Falls on river Zambezi and like Sir Winston
Churchill after his visit to Uganda in 1907,
can say that Zimbabwe was the pearl of
southern Africa.
I attended an agricultural show in Harare and
have not seen better breed of cattle, pigs and
goats; better crops and produce than what I
saw in Zimbabwe. Ms Margaret Muhanga, the
goat merchant, could make trillions of
shillings if she traded in the 1980s breed of
Zimbabwean goats, enough funds to buy the
entire UBC outfit, land inclusive!
To imagine that a worthless bunch of so-called
liberators desecrated and recklessly ruined
such a fantastic economy in a matter two
decades is outrageous and unacceptable! The
boss of the gang of thieves arrogantly insists
that he is going nowhere until the good Lord
decides to summon him to face divine justice.
As a former seminarian, I am sure comrade
Robert Mugabe knows something about what
the Holy Scripture calls “the wages of sin!”
What he has done to the great and good
people of Zimbabwe is the moral equivalent of
blasphemy!
The rise and fall of Mugabe is the story of
many African dictators who start as heroes
and steadily degenerate into despicable
villains whose hands are soiled with blood of
their fellow citizens. It is the story of Hastings
Banda, Mobutu Sese Seko, Siad Barre, Idi
Amin, Bokassa, Macias Nguema, Sani Abacha,
Samuel Doe and Muammar Gaddafi. By the
time these tyrants were removed, they were
detested and despised in equal measure!
The message which Zimbabweans have
courageously and eloquently delivered to
Mugabe is applicable to shameless African
tyrants such as, Yahya Jammeh of Gambia,
Teodoro Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, Omar
Bashir of Sudan and others whom you know
by their deeds! Like Mugabe, the days of
these enemies of the African revolution are
numbered!
Mugabe has clearly reached the end of the
road.
His best bet is to resign now and spend the
rest of his days peacefully with his family at
his exclusive farm, but if he unwisely decides
to cling on to power, he may not have
pleasure of spending the evening of his life in
peace like the esteemed and respected
Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela.
It is not too late for him to do the right thing.
What is Africa’s problem? Once upon a time a
young African liberator of the 20th Century
grappled with this burning question and after
much soul-searching he came up with an
answer which he shared with African
presidents and ministers at an OAU summit in
Addis Ababa.
He said: “Africa’s problem is leaders who
overstay in power!”
He was applauded and accorded a standing
ovation and all believed that he would set a
good example and practise what he loudly and
arrogantly preached everywhere during the
1980s and 1990s! Well, his record is out there
in the public domain for all to see and to
critically evaluate. One hopes that he did not
deliberately and cynically take African leaders
and wananchi for a ride!
Mugabe must indeed go and make way for a
new beginning for Zimbabwe. He has no
other choice. Aluta continua!