via Mugabe, last man standing – DailyNews Live by FUNGI KWARAMBA
Mugabe’s inauguration was graced by only six heads of States and also six former presidents, who have since passed the baton to a generation of younger leaders — yet Zimbabwe’s strongman plods on.
Mugabe, at 89 becomes Africa’s oldest president and the second oldest in the world.
However, when he swore to serve the country for yet another five years on Thursday, among the onlookers were his peers who have since passed the reins to another generation of young and energetic leaders.
After taking oath in 1980 to be the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Mugabe has soldiered on and when he cast his vote on July 31, he vowed to see through the arduous and gruelling five-year term as the occupant of the hot-seat.
Analysts say the presence of former African leaders is an indictment on Mugabe’s 33-year-old rule that has been characterised by controversy.
Of course the “wise men”, who have since retired from the highest and demanding office of presidency, did not come on their own but were invited by Mugabe, who must be missing the old days when nationalists like him were the face of Africa.
Now he is alone rubbing shoulders with young statesmen like Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta who is 52 and Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete (63).
Indeed, time waits for no man and it has not stopped for Mugabe whose political survival is intricately linked to his shrewdness, good health and no doubt the balancing act he has successfully managed in his faction riddled Zanu PF.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who was also in attendance, in 2008 came up with the Government of National Unity (GNU) which saved Mugabe from political oblivion after his hiding in the presidential election by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
As he was congratulated by African dignitaries Mugabe appeared nostalgic and he glowed when 71-year-old Mbeki greeted him.
For a moment he posed for a photo, immortalising the moment and obviously grateful to the man who was haunted by his ANC after performing a miracle on him in September 2008.
No doubt Mbeki’s presence was somewhat a symbolic closure to the “three headed creature” called the GNU that was undersigned by the South African second black president after the iconic Nelson Mandela who served for only one term.
But when Mugabe sent his invitations cards he went beyond South Africa, reaching out to former presidents from Botswana, Kenya and Zambia.
Among the club from the archives was former president of Tanzania Ali Hassan Mwinyi, 88, the second President of Tanzania who ruled the African country from 1985 to 1995.
Another former president who graced Mugabe’s inauguration, again from Tanzania, was 78-year-old Benjamin Mkapa who ruled the country from 1995 to 2005 to be succeeded by Kikwete one of the few African presidents who attended Mugabe’s bash.
Ketumile Masire (88), the second vice president of Botswana was also among dignitaries along with 74-year-old Festus Mogae who was president from 1998 to 2008.
Apart from Kenneth Kaunda who ruled Zambia for 27 years the ex-presidents who attended Mugabe’s swearing-in were at the helm for no more than two terms.
The Zanu PF leader is serving his seventh term.
Mugabe will complete his current term at 94 and apart from Kaunda all the other ex-presidents are younger than him.
From across Zambezi came Kaunda an age mate of Mugabe — Zambia’s first black president, who ruled Zimbabwe’s northern neighbour with a heavy hand from 1964 to 1991.
During his reign, Kaunda was referred to as a dictator and ultimately removed from power by the late Fredrick Chiluba, who led the Movement for Multiple Democracy that ended Zambia’s one party state in 1991.
But the presence of a host of former presidents, who at one point or another in their different terms in office rubbed shoulders with the octogenarian Zanu PF leader as fellow African leaders was a reminder that Mugabe belongs to an older generation and is no doubt the last man standing.
Today the other leaders are retired, revered statesmen who are playing an advisory role to their nations and walk with honour among their former subjects.
The past African leaders are past because they are no longer in power. It is not correct to say President Mugabe is a past leader because he is in power and loved by his people. True, those past African leaders left power in their own way. President Mugabe will exit ‘THE MUGABE WAY” not the British or American way. Besides, we the people are not yet ready to allow President Mugabe to rest until we are satisfied that all Zimbabwe’s land, its wealth and sovereignity are written in stone and are galvanised in the hands of the people for posterity, free and far from the reach of imperialist thieves.
You are a disgrace, unconciously incompitant, that means that you don’t know you are stupid,
Dear H.E. The President
Let me begin by congratulating u on your landslide victory in the 31 July elections. Now that u are going it alone without the MDCs, I have a few things I hope one of your honest lieutanents will pick and advise u.
1. Honest – H.E. we just hope that u are going to honour all your promises as outlined in your election campaign messages.let it not be just rhetoric like u used to do in the previous campaigns, u will be 90 years old in Feb 2014, u cant lie in your last term, people will remember u by everything u are going to do now not in 1980.
2. Cabinet – it doesn’t help u surrounding yoself with the same old people u hev told us a number of times that they hev failed u.stick to yo words don’t consider those who lost please. if u are going to use the same people at least shuffle them.it is not good to have someone doing the same job for 33 years,of cause u are excused here.a lean team of 18 ministers and 10 deputies will do our economy a lot of good. It is also allowed to fire some ministers, you can ask Cde Sata across the Zambezi, don’t be abused.
3. Your Team – H.E. please come up with an efficient team of hard workers not hangers on and bootlickers who are just after T & S and misuse yo good name to threaten people.Surely Geotge Charamba cant be Secretary and Spokesman at the same time,the guy is a clown not a manager,cant even delegate.
4. Party and Government Business – Your Excellency try to separate party and government business. it doesn’t send the right signals when the country’s affairs are handled by your politibro. Also try to advise your press people to now drop your many other titles and just stick to H.E. The President.we all know the others but as the country’s President, there is no need for u to be addressed as the first secretary of zanu pf
5. Foreign Trips – At 90 years old, H.E. u cant be abused by your officers who are after ALLOWANCES by attending every other meeting, summit, u name it, in foreign lands.u can delegate like what your colleagues do. Sata, Dos Santos, Khama to name jus a few. If if you decide to travel,carrying 70people with u all the time is embarrassing and your colleagues surely notice. use smaller planes with about 25 people at most.
6. Benefits and Perks for your people – Even u H.E. acknowledge that the country has been buttered by wat u call illegal sanctions and its on its knees. try to monitor what yo officers give to themselves like cars. you have been using your car for some time but yo ministers change them every year.when civil servants complain, they will be using these perks as evidence that there is misappropriation of resources by a few.prioritise H.E.
7. Contact with the People – H.E. try to get in contact with the ordinary people not just your cabinet and zanu pf chefs. remember the last time you walked in 1st street, Harare or main street, Bulawayo. u lose touch with reality and gives you inner circle grounds to lie to that everything is fine when things have broken down. find other ways of getting information especially from junior officers who don’t not have positions to protect. try to minimize addresses by the First Lady, her standing in society is not very good.
8. Obssession with the West – If a normal person quarrles with a mentally disturbed one people wont notice the difference. Now that you have won another mandate from the PEOPLE OF ZIMBABWE who matters, leave the West go hang rhetoric and deliver on the ground and Zimbabweans will support u. Be diplomatic once again and shame them rather than waste our time fighting them on ZTV and in the Herald. Even your ministers have not been delivering hiding behind the sanctions excuse, please stop this mess and supervise your people.
9. Fear in your people – H.E. work on removing fear in your people both your close and the ordinary. People can not even mention your name on the streets H.E. You showed it with the peace message that what you say carries wait, be fatherly and address this issue and don not let your security people abuse your name. And sort out the Succession issue.hint Mai Mujuru is a better option.
10. Last but not least CORRUPTION – H.E. you have refered to this cancer a number of times but you have never punished even a single person. show that you mean what you say otherwise we will remember your last term as a corrupt government. start from the top Sir to the least ranking Police Officer.
wishing you good health Your Excellency
well said.Mugabe will remain African hero whether the west like it or not
Zimbabwe will never be a colony again…To hell with the white devils and their puppets.
Forward with the revolution R. G Mugabe.
mugabe is no more in the hot seat than I am. JOC rules the country not mugabe, who is merely a figure head.
Hero to some, villain to others. We are all entitled to our own opinions. The liberation struggle lasted 16 years, the struggle for anti-poverty and democracy has been on for about 14 years.
past election promises have never been met, what makes anyone think they will be met this time around. we are net importers of agric commodities, massive de industrialization, you know the usual mantra.
You are just one long line of idiots with you heads up each others backside starting with taboo mbeki and your excellency in second place and then the rest of you, can you just picture that, it would make a good comic strip for your News Papers.