BY ABIGAIL CHIPO ZIMANI –
Watching events in Tunisia, and now Egypt, I was left with many questions on my mind, the main one being; when will these winds causing change in the north head south to make the same changes? It’s certainly not the preferred option when lives and limbs are lost in the process, but this is where one thinks that it is indeed true that sometimes the end justifies the means.
I am not too clear on the nitty-gritties of the Tunisian and Egyptian situations, or the other countries in the Arab world that are now also beginning to flare up, but one thing that connects their fate with our fate in our beautiful Zimbabwe is that they had leaders who had overstayed their welcome but were not willing to leave or were taking people for granted. What these dictators did not know is the fact that one day the tables will be turned against them.They thought they would be there for as long as they wanted, some even grooming their own sons to take over from them.
They believed so much in the security systems and other mechanisms they had put in place to entrench their positions that not even in their wildest imagination did they see this being shaken. They were having it good, with a tight grip on all local institutions that matter and with the backing of the rich West, they were rest assured that nothing could go wrong. And as they became all too familiar with being in control, and with having an obedient and patient populace, they quickly became contemptuous and continued to see themselves as what the country needs and not vice versa. But as sure as night follows day, it’s not imaginable that people will remain subjugated by a system forever. How this escapes those in power is as much a challenge to all rational thinking, as it should be a source of comfort and inspiration for the people suffering at the hands of dictatorships.
What I have learnt from history is that we do not learn from it at all. History is littered with examples of powerful despots and evil systems that appeared to be beyond breaching, but where are they now? What happened to slave trade, to colonialism, to the might and power of the Soviet Union, to Mengistu, to Saddam Hussein, and now to Hosni Mubarak? And why can it not happen to the next dictator or any other system that has ceased to serve the interests of the common people?
It is coming, it will happen, and no matter what they say or think in trying to justify that, by virtue of geography and other societal dynamics we are different and will therefore follow a different trajectory … the truth of the matter is, they will go. Good old Zimbabwe will be back! With inspiration from the north, we will certainly cease every moment to achieve the change we want. We lost opportunities in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2008 … but that is all in the past, and with the lessons from those years and those from the north, some hard-hearted people will soon be history.
Despite many states cautiously welcoming the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, their own populations have been seized by the momentum and are demanding greater freedoms and reform.
Mugabe, in charge of the country since its 1980 independence from Britain, shares the same similarities with Hosni Mubarak. Both men have been in power for more than three decades and have the worst records of Human Rights Abuses in the world. These two men had the backing of the Army and the Police inspite of the most feared security set ups in the world but what they forgot the most is the fact that one day, the cat will look at the king.
Look at Mubarak now, I will not be surprised to hear that he is now not feeling very well due to psychological stress.
What his people have done to him is so hard to take in and I hope this sends a very strong message to Mugabe and hopefully this will be an eye opener to the man who has decided to cling on to power for more than the life expectancy in his country.
Finally the tables are starting to turn and we are going to rise up against Mugabe and his cronies, we will get our share and we will rise up and take what belongs to us. Do you know what I am talking about? Yeh, you better run now because I am talking about a revolution, the tables are slowly but surely starting to turn.