Watching the film of his future

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe/ AFP PHOTO / WILFRED KAJESE

Over the 37 years that Robert Mugabe and his party, the ZANU-PF, have been in power in Zimbabwe, the African National Congress as liberation movement and as government of independent South Africa, has supported them. After each and every rigged election the ANC and their observers of the elections have always said how fair and free the elections have been. The one of 2000 was particularly nasty and in spite of the negative report submitted by the observer delegation of the ANC the government and the ANC said the election was fair and free. For years the Mail & Guardian sought to have the report of the delegation made public without success. Then recently they won and the report was made public. The elections had neither been fair nor free.

It is against this background that one watches Jacob Zuma, leader of the ANC and president of South Africa as well as current chairman of the Southern African Development Commission, and wonder what he must be thinking. He has said that he supports the people of Zimbabwe. Is President Zuma aware of what the people of Zimbabwe are asking their long serving president to do?
The questions that were being asked of Robert Mugabe were being asked of Jacob Zuma: what or who will be the last straw that would break the Zimbabwean camel’s back?

The way President Mugabe saw things going forward, he would not only finish his term but also be the party’s candidate come 2018. Then in the quiet of time he would hand over the leadership of the party and the country to his wife Dr. (dubious three month ph.d.) Grace Mugabe.

Similarly at the court of President Zuma he plans for his ex-wife Dr. (genuine medical doctor certificate) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to replace him as leader of the ANC this December and become president of the country when he finishes his term come 2019. If this happens Jacob Zuma would retire to his rambling property in Nkandla rather than the other place at the end of his term. Both men are assured of the everlasting support of their parties.

Robert Mugabe opened the process with the firing of his Vice President, a man who he has known and used since prison, liberation struggle and post independent government and maintenance in power. Especially maintenance in power with the control of both the army and the veterans of the liberation struggle. This is man who has been minister of security, minister of defence, minister of Finance and minister in charge of keeping the followers in order in obedience! Well, President Mugabe sacked him and accused him of planning to overthrow him. This has became identifiable as Mugabe’s last straw!

Emerson Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe but not before threatening to come back and deal with Robert Mugabe and the criminals around him, including his wife Grace Mugabe.

Once the president was rid of his Vice President it was understood that the party would meet in December and elected Grace Mugabe as Vice President to her husband President Robert Mugabe. Power, as some wag quipped, had become a sexually transmitted ease! Except that things are not working out that way.
Ibi a fonasi ogun ko gbabe!
Baale deusa o ba akanru lo!
Where we laid the siege the battle avoided!
Landlord turned bushrat and escaped by trickery!!
The Vice President had been minister of defence dealing with the head of the army who could not but feel exposed with the Vice President gone. The General Chiwenga consulted his military colleagues and went on state television to warn the president to stop purging the government of the supporters of the Vice President. If the president did not stop, he would have to step in to stop him.
The youth league of the party came out proclaiming that they, the youth of the country were prepared to die for Comrade Mugabe. Within 48 hours the same youth leader apologised to the general and claimed he had not read the document he read. He now praised the general for his brave words and Mugabe must go!

No greener light has ever been responded to like the one that the military leadership gave to the people of Zimbabwe! Soldiers and their tanks filled the streets of Harare! Robert Mugabe was confined but fine! His wife could not be seen anywhere. Everywhere the cry became Mugabe must go! He must step down. There is no going back! The criminals around the president were arrested and locked away. The ruling party, Mugabe’s trusted ZANU-PF asked Mugabe to step down as leader to permit Mnangagwa to succeed him as party leader. If he refuses the party will sack him. In pursuit of this legalese, the ten provincial party headquarters unanimously demanded that Mugabe resign.

Following the party’s decision to sack Mugabe, parliament has now agreed to commence impeachment process against President Mugabe. This means that the ruling party was joining the opposition in parliament to impeach their own president.

This is unthinkable, according to the ANC of South Africa! How can the ruling party join the opposition parties to sack their own president? Well, when the party can finally see the damage the president is doing to the future of the party, then wisdom dictates the good sense that the president must go.

As the president of Botswana said: “We are presidents, not monarchs! It is common sense!”

In Zimbabwe as in South Africa replacing the president does not put an end to the abuse of political power. Those replacing them have been with them for years and have naturally absorbed the use and misuse of power from them. If this is so, the question is where will democracy come in? Is anybody speaking of democracy anyway? Maybe afterwards, when this unthinkable has become routine.

Then we shall again ask for democracy. For now it is enough that wives are not picking up power from their husbands, ruling political parties are not there to rule forever and presidents are not monarchs handing power over to sons and daughters and wives.
(bankole.omotoso@elizadeuniversity.edu.ng)



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