21 November 2017
HARARE – At 93 years, what else does President Robert Mugabe want to
achieve which he hasn’t, whether right or wrong?
That was the question on the lips of many Zimbabweans on Thursday when the
veteran former Zanu PF leader played hardball in his talks with the
mediation team that involved envoys of South African President Jacob Zuma
and the generals, who tried to bring closure to a week of tumultuous
events by having Mugabe accept an exit plan that had been tabled before
The deadlock in that meeting meant both Zanu PF and long-suffering
ordinary Zimbabweans had to express their disquiet over his obstinacy and
stubbornness despite the gravity of the situation.
Saturday’s historic march against Mugabe, coming on the back of meetings
by Zanu PF provincial coordinating committees which ordered Mugabe to
resign, was important in so many ways.
The march served to send a bold message to Mugabe that his time was over
and, crucially, confirmed that since they had given him the mandate to
lead the country as voters, they were now exercising the same right to
withdraw that mandate.
His party on Sunday recalled him, reminding the nonagenarian that the
party no longer wanted him and in keeping with his consistent message that
if both the electorate and Zanu PF no longer wanted him, he would resign.
It was shocking, baffling and profoundly disappointing that Mugabe chose
to ignore all this.
Mugabe’s decision to pass the chance of resigning has shredded the little
of his legacy that remained.
He has clearly decided to thumb his nose on the dignifying plans that both
his pillar of many years – the military and envoys of Zuma had – to take
down the whole country with him.
By refusing to go, Mugabe has chosen the wrong path, which wipes off
everything he stood for and puts himself on a collision course with
ordinary Zimbabweans who, for many difficult years, put up with his
ruinous and catastrophic policies
After 37 years of unflappable rule, why choose to go out on a whimper?
After leading the country out of a protracted and bitter war, why choose
to ignore the voice of reason and take a path that rubbishes the
sacrifices and selfless actions that became the hallmark of all freedom
fighters – both who returned home and those who didn’t.
Things shouldn’t have come to this.
Regrettably, the country is now facing the precipice and may head into a
dangerous zone because of the love of power by a leader who refused to let
go despite being rejected by the people who gave him the same power.