Can Mugabe learn from Gaddafi’s death?
BY: GRACE NYASHA MACHOKO
As Libyans celebrate the taste of freedom, what lessons could be learnt by the remaining dictators? Most people would agree that Gaddafi lived by the gun and died by the gun and probably got what he deserved in the end. However there is still a proportion that disagree about the way the colonel was killed, but surely the statistic speaks for itself. A lot of innocent people perished under Gaddafi’s ruthless rule. All the Libyan people who where murdered by their leader were not offered the opportunity to stand trial in a court of justice.
A leader should follow his own examples he sets and in his case he died the way he did to many in his time of dictatorial rule. There were no fair trials in court to the many people who died and disappeared during his tenure. Innocent lives were ended by way of execution. Whether it is right or wrong, once you live by the gun, you must die by the gun…., that’s my opinion and I will not shade a tear or sympathise with people like Saddam, Gaddafi, Mugabe or anyone who does not respect the will of the people.
However, anyone reasonable would think that fellow dictators like Mugabe will learn lessons from all that happened from the uprisings in the Northern part of Africa so far. Given that Mugabe has pretty much the same dictatorship record as his fellow ousted friends, could this be the time the old man takes a bow and retire before the same thing happens to him? Mugabe has tarnished his legacy that history will certainly judge him harshly. From a Liberator to a dictator Mugabe has effectively transformed himself into one of the most despicable dictators Africa and the rest of the world have ever known.
Intimidation, murder, torture, rape and total disregard of human rights are the hallmarks of war against his people and torture has been the much correspondence between Zanu PF and the opposition. Even after his government destroyed homes and businesses of very poor people in the name of operation Murambatsvina, Mugabe did not see it fit to apologise to the people of Zimbabwe. He did not apologise to the Gukurahundi victims and all victims of election violence who perished and suffered under his orders for the past decade. He is responsible for a culture of intolerance where violence is perceived as the only way of settling political differences. When anyone tries to vote him out, he tortures and bullies them into semi-submission and this includes his own party people.
What is more interesting is that the elections themselves are that Mugabe’s election campaigns are always centred on regime change. To casual observers it might seem that the eighty seven year old is always standing against the British prime minister, US president and the rest of the West. Speech after speech Mugabe designates against the British and the US. This clearly shows how obsessed he is with the West and how little he has to offer to the people of Zimbabwe. He always talks about the West during his election campaigns and I am sure that even a two year old baby knows exactly what he is going to say every time he goes on live TV during every other speech. Surely, could one not talk about how he plans to improve the economy, how to improve the healthcare system, how to improve the education system etc, etc. Life expectancy at independence in 1980 was 55; it is now 34 or maybe less than that. He has ruined a prosperous and well managed country and plunged the populous into abject poverty and has nothing else to offer.
Mugabe is now an elderly man with no intention of doing anything other than what pleases him as the right way to see out his days. Of course this is not representing the voice of all Zimbabweans but that of his violent political party. It is clear that Mugabe is getting ready for a war with everyone, including his friends in the neighbouring countries. This is not surprising given that the he is always controversial and uses violence to achieve his political ambition especially when he knows the odds are against him. Unfortunately there is no intention to have a free and fair pole, that’s already clear.
Mugabe has only one way out and he knows that and it’s not via a new government but it’s through his dirty tricks that we have all witnessed since the day he became the leader of Zanu-PF. The longer he goes on for, the more I think it’s a great pity that he wasn’t murdered by a disillusioned bodyguard just like what happened to one of his best allies, Mr Laurent Kabila. There’ll be no solution to Zimbabwe’s problems while he remains alive and he and his cronies have done so much damage it’s hard to be optimistic about what will follow after his death.
However, I wish to acknowledge with great admiration the many people whose courage and determination have served Zimbabwe so well, those who are still trying desperately to bring hope to the suffering Zimbabweans and those working in exile to bring peace, political change and a better Zimbabwe. We will only have ourselves as Zimbabweans to blame if we let Mugabe continue his tricks. Zimbabwe is not the property of Mugabe but it is for every Zimbabwean citizen, black or white, MDC, Zanu Ndonga, Zapu etc. As such, every Zimbabwean citizen should have a say in how he wants to be governed. So removing Mugabe is the nation’s top priority and together we will make a stronger voice.
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