Of Mugabe and unsung heroes

Good people, Tuesday was a great day for those who have been counting down to the fall of Zimbabwe’s second president Robert Gabriel Mugabe for decades.

Canaan Banana’s successor, who is on record as having said he would rule the country even after his death, finally announced his forced resignation on Tuesday.

With his exit, largely influenced by the intervention of military generals, ends the 37-year-old reign of a nationalist who led Zimbabwe to a spectacular sunrise at independence in 1980 and dragged the country down a cliff to abyssal darkness with his trite policies that reeked impunity and lack of checks and balances.

And a nation that has endured many years of sanctions and economic hardships is hoping for a renewed leap again–notwithstanding the fact that they have replaced tyrannical Mugabe with one of his one-time trusted and ruthless right-hand man who is synonymous with iron-fist policies.

Change is change, for better or for worse.

For Zimbabweans, a new beginning has already started and they do not seem to care what lies ahead.

To them, there is no turning back like the wife of biblical Lot who morphed into a mound of salt.

They have waited for this new beginning for many years, so they will not be bothered by narratives which have gone viral on the social media that this could be a jump from a flying pan into a fire as was the case with Libya which rejoiced in the capitulation and death of its military ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, in Benghazi only to plunge into a decade of unprecedented economic misery and collapse of State systems that once made the northern African country one of the proudest and most promising nations in the world.

In Zimbabwe, their task to safeguard the fruits of the second revolution, starring fearless generals, begins right away. This will entail concerted efforts to correct the wrongs of the past, to restore the systems of democratic governance shattered by Mugabe and ‘the criminals’ around him and to keep the new leaders in check to ensure no one is above the law.

Zimbabwe will remain stuck in the haunting past if the citizens leave Mugabe’s successors to their devices.

Keep them on short leash and let them always remember they owe their power and allegiance to the citizens of Zimbabwe to whom they must always account and  not the military generals who marshaled the cleansing of State House in an operation that reduced the paranoid leader to a pale shadow of his firebrand ego.

But there are more Mugabes outside Zimbabwe.

Hear O you political dinosaurs! When you think you are top of your political game, do not forget that you are only learning how to fall from grace.

Everything under the sun comes to an end. Everything! Even the most tyrannical regimes.

This is why I wish Mugabe listened and listened hard to Oliver Mtukudzi’s hit Vuma in which the Zimbabwean music legend advises some old man  to bow out because he was a spent force way before he married material lover Gucci Grace.

Shame on Mugabe. Mtukudzi’s famous song was a timely reminder, loud and clear, that there is time to get to power and time to come crashing to the ground.

But a good dancer knows when to leave the stage–while the act is enjoyable.

Mugabe has been falling too many times lately and this time there was no one to help him stand upright as did his security detail when he was deluded to think he belongs to a league of the gods.

Go ye well, RGM.

Now that massive crowds of Zimbabweans of voting age came out to celebrate the belated fall of southern Africa’s strongest man who has crumbled like a snowman if not a cookie, I have one question: If all those citizens were really happy to see the back of Mugabe, who has been re-electing the aged leader with overwhelming numbers all these years? n


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