BY DIANA MAHACHI – POLITICAL ACTIVIST
Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.
2011 has so far been filled with a lot of uprising across the African continent all calling for regime change. Firstly it started with the Tunisian protests which toppled Tunisia’s President Zane al-Abidin Ben Ali. Secondly the protests spread through to Egypt and forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign handing over power to the army. But who ever thought the Libyans would rise up against the mighty Gaddafi, Surely when change forces its way into society there is not much anyone can do but accept fate.
This week we have now witnessed the fall of Laurent Gbagbo who served as the fourth President of Côte d’Ivoire from 2000 until his arrest on the 11th of April 2011. Gbagbo founded the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) in 1982 and ran unsuccessfully for President against Felix Houphouët-Boigny at the start of multi-party politics in 1990. Eventually he won a seat in the National Assembly of Côte d’Ivoire.
Gbagbo became president after Robert Guéï, head of a military junta, barred other leading politicians from running against Gbagbo in the October 2000 presidential election. He claimed victory after the election and his supporters took to the streets toppling Guéï. Gbagbo was then installed as President.
Following the 2010 presidential election, Gbagbo challenged the vote count, alleged fraud, and refused to stand down. He called for the annulment of results from nine of the country’s regions. Alassane Ouattara was declared the winner and was recognized as such by election observers, the international community, the African Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States. After a short period of civil conflict Gbagbo was arrested by French forces. See picture on the right.
His capture by the rebel forces has been the most embarrassing so far. Surely this could all have been avoided by accepting the electoral results and leaving the throne in dignity. Maybe Mugabe will take a leaf out of this embarrassing exit of one of his best friends.
The winds of change are now blowing through to Southern Africa. Already with reported mass protests against King Mswati III in Swaziland one can only wonder what the next events will lead to. Any responsible human being would think that this is a clear message to dictators across the world to rethink their strategies and maybe pave way for change. Surprisingly this is not always the case as we have all witnessed in all the uprisings.
Surely the love of power and money is the route to all evil. The tyrants will fight to the last bullet before surrendering leaving a lot of bloodshed and fresh wounds to the lucky surviving innocent civilians as we have all seen in all these cases.
My message to the ZANU PF regime is simple, be very much threatened because things will get worse. (Obviously things have to get worse before they get any better.) Justice will be served against all of you evil dictators for crimes against humanity and to the majestic leader Robert Mugabe, the ICC will be waiting to deliver the life sentence upon you. To my hopeful fellow Zimbabweans, YES change is coming but we also need to rise up and take part in this revolution. And lastly to my confident soldiers, the struggle continues, let us continue marching with our weapons and protest against the oppression and repression from this murderous regime. CHANGE IS SURELY COMING.
Libya was freed from the International sanctions in 2006 and entered a new era at home as well as abroad. After years of being regarded as a rogue state by the West, just the same as the Zimbabwean state, the oil-rich North African nation opened up to foreign Investment and became a more market-based economy – even though this is now history.
Zimbabwe will attract foreign capital, technology and know-how, a priority for a country that hopes to develop and diversify the economy, create jobs, and improve living standards for its people. Change is likely to be gradual, but the need for it is recognized at the highest levels of government.
The basic principle of gaining this “DAWN OF A NEW ERA,” is for the ruling party to accept the will of the people. Businessmen from the whole world have been flocking to Zimbabwe in search of business opportunities after the GPA was signed. The government then passed on a new law that requires that indigenous Zimbabweans must have a 51% stake of all companies by September 2011. Guess what, no-one wants to invest in our country anymore except for the Chinese that have a different agenda.
If only we can stick to our guns and stand up to our own fundamental rights, we will witness “the dawn of a new era” in no time. If any other African country can do it, why not us?
**DIANA MAHACHI is a Human Rights and Political activist and she is also a member of the Zimbabwe Vigil Coalition. She writes in her own right.