President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has by a letter sent to the Zimbabwean Parliament yesterday resigned as head of state of the Southern African nation.
It is an action he refused to undertake when the military demanded so of him after confining him to his residence.
By this action, the close to four decades of the post election rule of one man has come to an end; the closure of a troubled era. His compatriots who have been in a state of despondency when his expected resignation during his recent nationwide broadcast did not come on, were thrown into a state of euphoria soon after the announcement eventually came. It was clear though that the end was beckoning even as the old man lived in a state of mammoth denial.
The resignation comes at the heels of the commencement of a process of impeachment by Parliament action which the nonagenarian said was voluntary and intended to pave the way for an orderly transition.
Robert Mugabe’s tenure has been a chequered one his last days at the helm full of twists and turns. Even when his stubbornness persisted following his confinement by the Army Chief to his residence and a demand that he resign by both his ZANU-PF and the strong War Veterans, he appeared oblivious to the fact that time was up for him to go. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who until recently, when he returned home after being fired from his post by the President reportedly asked Mugabe a few days ago to respect public opinion and step down.
The last straw which broke the camel’s back in the Zimbabwean story was the growing proclivity towards a Mugabe dynasty and a successor in the person of Grace his wife.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who has a tale of woes to tell about his countless political duels with Robert Mugabe, had also insisted on the resignation of Mugabe. Now he can smile.
Some academics in Zimbabwe and outside the country are asking for a real democratic change and not a replacement of a dictator by another, the former Deputy President having been discredited by murderous allegations. He is also seen to be stained by his association with Mugabe although he is a favourite of the Generals.
The youth of Zimbabwe have never known a President besides the resigned Mugabe and long for a new face at the helm.
Observers want the political atmosphere in the country sanitized by real democratic values as opposed to the previous order in which Mugabe always had his way at the polls.
General Constantino Chiwenga, head of the military and leader of the takeover of power which he dreaded describing as a coup so the stigma of such forceful takeovers do not desecrate his action, is reported to have said that he was pleased about the outcome of the meeting between the former sacked deputy president and Mugabe. That was before the yesterday’s afternoon dramatic change of mind by Mugabe.
The General’s codename for his takeover ‘Operation Restore Legacy’ has come under flak by some political observers for who Mugabe’s history is one laden with violence and a derailed economy requiring immediate attention.
The ZANU-PF so-called legacy is under threat as the youth and the opposition would demand a path towards a credible election and the installation of a government which does not wish to tread the path of the man who once eyed socialist ideals but which never brought bread and butter to his people.
His bush war with the forces of Ian Smith at a time the country was called Rhodesia is now comfortably confined to the pages of the country’s history. Those days are gone never to return but many years in power with the intention of going nowhere has rendered him a villain most Zimbabweans no longer want to see. Little wonder unfolding news about Zimbabwe since the military’s subtle coup d’etat hit the media, has trended like wildfire during the dry season. A new dawn is beckoning in Zimbabwe.
By A.R.Gomda With Additional Agency Reports