I hope African leaders are taking notes from Zimbabwe


On Wednesday the world woke up to some news from Zimbabwe that I’m not yet sure whether to categorize under good or bad, that Robert Mugabe has been ousted by the military.

Almost everyone was talking about it. On both social and mainstream media, people, both young and old were talking about it, with mixed reactions. Some rebuking the indecent treatment of the old man, saying coup de tats are actions of the past that have no place in the current society while the majority especially my fellow youth highly supported it.

Personally as much as I hate the means by which Mugabe was removed from power, I support the end. Most African leaders just don’t learn. Why don’t they learn from visionary leaders such as the late Thomas Sankara? Most of them are always purporting to have looked up to the late Icon, Nelson Mandela. But one would ask, then why don’t they live or even try to live like him?

Took a picture of the late Burkina Faso visionary, Thomas Sankara from the NewAfrican, December 2007 issue I found in a pile of old books

Mugabe is 93 years old, born in the year 1924. Someone was born at a time when slave trade was still a decent source of income and is still imposing his rule on the people in a supposedly Democratic country today (2017). Can you imagine! He’s also said to be the world’s most educated president (wonders will never end. Maybe that’s why most Kenyans believe he has much wisdom, with trends such as “Mugabe Quotes”).

We the people should decide who to lead us, and for how long. And what disturbs even more is the fact that the people, save for the minority are leading poor lives, living from hand to mouth. Most people are living in abject poverty, poor sanitation and ignorance. In my own country, at such an age, 54 years after independence we are still struggling with hunger.

Leaders want to be respected, treated with decency while they themselves don’t even respect us the people. They don’t treat us with dignity! So before Mugabe blames anybody, he should first blame himself for not leaving power willingly. He soiled his name himself.

Some people are partially blaming his wife Grace for his disgrace.

The 52-year-old First Lady — 41 years younger than her husband — has ambitions of her own, and recently has been seen as the apparent heir to the throne. This was fuelled by last week sacking of the country’s vice president Emmerson Mnangagwi by Mugabe.

“The crisis has been triggered by Grace, because she wanted to grab power and to have Mugabe remove a lot of people,” — Shadrack Gutto, director of the Centre for African Renaissance Studies at the University of South Africa.

But you can expect nothing less from a woman who on August this year made headlines for the wrong reasons after she allegedly assaulted a model who was with her two sons in South Africa and had to be granted diplomatic immunity before she could leave the country. This woman is quite a character. Do you know she was awarded a doctorate by the University of Zimbabwe just three months after enrolling? But hear her husband is the chancellor of the university, so it’s not such a big surprise after all.

She has been accused of living extravagantly at a time most Zimbabweans are struggling to survive. Also too many unnecessary foreign trips and also allegedly involved in corruption. In some quarters, you will hear names like “The First Shopper”, “Gucci Grace”, or ” DisGrace” being thrown in her direction. And as I’m writing this, she’s breathing from Namibia where she fled to.

Coincidentally she was born in that same country — South Africa — before later on becoming Mugabe’s secretary, where they started their affair around 1987. Sired two children out-of-wedlock, before the death of Mugabe’s first wife, Sally Francesca in 1992. Grace married Mugabe in 1996 in a ceremony that was attended by Nelson Mandela.

When the military took over power, they said through the State TV that they will bring “criminals” close to Mugabe to justice. Let’s wait and see.

To the other African leaders, especially heads of states and those with ambitions of one day taking over the mantle, hope you are taking notes. Only a fool will not take something from the recent happenings in Zimbabwe.

It comes a time when the people can’t take it anymore. Comes a time when the people in one voice will stand up and say enough is enough. They will get rid of their “enemies” through any means at their disposal. After all the end justifies the means.

In Africa we’ve witnessed some of the world’s longest-serving presidents with the likes of Teodoro Obiang Nguema of the Equatorial Guinea who is almost hitting 40 years as a president. Not just him, we have our very own neighbour, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, mother’s homeland with over 30 years in power and still trying to alter the Constitution to add himself more years. In the same bracket we have Paul Biye of Cameroon, King Mswati — famous for marrying teenagers. On the fourteenth wife if I’m not wrong, and still counting — of Swaziland, Omar al–Bashir — the president who has spent most of his presidency looking over his shoulders. ICC scares sometimes. Hahaha) of Sudan and last but not least, Idriss Deby of Chad.

We just want all this wazees to go, they are doing more harm than good to our young democracy.

Now Mugabe down. By the way why didn’t he seek some advice from Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the former president of Angola, the other long serving president? I’m sure they were friends. Now his tenure is ending in disgrace just like the name of his wife “DisGrace”.

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