Robert Gabriel Mugabe
By the time this commentary hits the newsstand, the seismic change taking place in Zimbabwe would have reached a critical notch with the forceful exit of Robert Gabriel Mugabe. The man who straddled this Southern African nation like a colossus should have by now shifted from the denial mode to the acceptance one allowing history to record the end of an interesting, if you like, dramatic dictator.
With the formidable veterans, youth wing of his party and most Zimbabweans (but Grace and a few others from his family) no longer on his side, time is up for him to go if he had done so already. The world, especially Ghanaians, would miss his acerbic remarks and witty expressions; some of the latter created by others and attributed to him for pleasure. The Zimbabwean mission in Ghana tried fighting the Mugabe fictions by issuing a disclaimer but that did not stop the mimickers from continuing the fun.
His scathing responses to a BBC reporter during an interview stand out as some of his most interesting public episodes.
Today, he must either have accepted a dignified exit or wait for Parliament to impeach him after his own once unflinching backers, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, sack him from the party. What a way to exit!
Dictators or African politicians hardly learn from the many lessons of history and so end up repeating the blunders which saw the humiliating exit of their predecessors.
One thing which remains indisputable and would be so for eternity is the mortality of all human beings regardless of their statuses in society. Only a few years ago, it seemed there was no ending to the reign of Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Now the most outstanding development since his assumption of power in 1980, has happened. Zimbabweans have marched in support of his exit. ‘Tempora mutantur’, time changes, is the witty words of wisdom of the Romans of yore. Whatever happens in Zimbabwe, things would never be the same again.
Neither the African Union (AU) nor even the regional bloc, Southern African Development Community (SADC), can alter the course of the unfolding history in Zimbabwe. They can hold series of meetings and engagements but these cannot change the tide of history which many thought they would never witness in their lifetime.
ZANU-PF’s plan of installing Mnangagwa Emmerson, the Mugabe-sacked Vice President can only be a stop gap, not enough to stop the yearnings of the people of Zimbabwe for genuine democracy.
A credible transition inclusive of the opposition is the only credible road to the change the democracy-starved people of this country are yearning for and there is indeed no stopping them from reaching this destination. It is a nirvana they would fight tooth and nail to reach.
Bob once said that if the people of Zimbabwe want him to go he would. Now these people have spoken via the unprecedented show of solidarity for change. What more does he need to know about the aversion for him being in power by those who spread rose on the floor for him to walk on?