Ruling from the deathbed: A curse of our times

via Ruling from the deathbed: A curse of our times JANUARY 25, 2014 By Courage Shumba NehandaRadio

It would have been a bad precedent for Mugabe to have been removed from office through natural death. It still remains an ugly possibility that he will die in office unless someone sensible and concerned whispers some purpose into the nonagenarian.

With age every human being loses energy and vitality and it is certainly cold and abusive on the part of Mugabe’s inner family and those around (him) to keep pushing and urging him on.

What we see playing out in Mugabe’s life is quite concerning and offending, embarrassing at the very minimum. The images of our president sleeping, mouth open, through important regional and international summits or being hackled by the buckle having collapsed or fallen are disconcerting. I could not wish this on any person of old age whatever his race, mistakes or history. It spites the conscience.

Recently rumour had it that Mugabe was dead or had collapsed and others insist he is gravely ill. It will be sad if Zimbabwe has to remember one of its controversial maybe iconic veterans as a frail old man who ruled the country from the death bed.

The excitement generated by rumours of Mugabe’s death or illness are a hard one for me to grind. Frankly I would rather Mugabe takes a rest outside the demanding schedules of state office.

For me the attraction to that cowardly triumphalism which succeeds only through the death of another human being remains obscured by my passion for an alternative emboldened vision which hinges on resuscitating and resurrecting our politics and economics going forward based less on opportunities created by Mugabe’s death but more on the sheer ability of us as a people to side step impediments and bring stability to our country acting together as a people.

Zimbabwe today needs fresh, innovative and energetic minds to stir it away from the precipice.

Frankly it is unrealistic to insist that the most imaginative, innovative and cleverest among us today and by inference the best suited for the highly demanding office of president is an ailing 90 year old.

An argument of this calibre arises from failing to understand the difference between where we are and where we should be and how that affects us going forward in a world that is no longer governed by artificial borders.

It assumes that to lead is to occupy office without creating any connection to the purpose of any such occupation.

I have always felt very worried each time I have had to go through Mugabe’s lack of candour and subsequent fall from grace, the corruption and the failure to deliver as a leader. Mugabe was supposed to be and to have remained a mentor, a hero, a veteran that surpasses time, a standard to be used to judge and hold future generations of leadership in check. That is what we expect from founding fathers.

But Mugabe and his colleagues continue to behave like those human like creatures called Baboons when they set upon an unguarded crop. They destroy whatever is in the way, running amok, cheering one another as they loot and feed. They have no sense of future.

It is this baboon mentality which now holds Mugabe and his party captive in a country which they ought to be living heroes having squandered years of opportunities to make Zimbabwe a success story.

Is it not a pity that Mugabe who should be retired and revered now hides from cameras and public view for a man whose remains are in office? How does he wish promote tourism if he is never seen in the caves of Chinhoyi or in Hwange showcasing our big six or in Vumba showing off our mountains?

What is the basis of this presidency if the main actor is now reliant on being secretly wheeled in and out of public view to protect his frailty outside practical considerations of what is demanded by his job from him as a person?

Reader, I repeat that I find no joy whatsoever in what appears to be a one sided molestation of a senior citizen by a juvenile .But what choices do we have when those older and who should be wiser behave like children in nappies and fail to call time on an obscenity being performed for toddlers by grownups?

Who do we turn to? Where do we look? Why is Zanu PF failing to put its house in order and make clear, confident moves to refresh the country with new ideas and new hope instead of holding the country to a standstill waiting for Mugabe to die?

Tsvangirai has a point in calling for the coming together of all stakeholders. I think he misses the point by insisting on fresh elections. To be brutally truthful elections are not going to help us go forward because they are divisive by nature and a country in our situation needs to be coming together almost to being a few degrees blind to the idea of party politics for a while.

What is required as Tsvangirai points out is to bring together all stakeholders and map out a way to govern together in the next five years in some form of return to some multi party government in a responsibility sharing arrangement.

Calls for fresh elections are going to be ignored by the courts to begin with and at later stage resisted by the security forces if the high stakes are not considered. It will be foolhardy to want to push the security forces into a position where they have to make political decisions. The next five years must be used as a way of developing trust and generating the will to hold down a nervous economy and flaring tempers.

What Mugabe must do, if he still can, is to facilitate the coming together of the nation to find its feet and map its way out of the doldrums it finds itself in.

We have to go back to the drawing board to find purpose and strength as a people. Biti is not wrong in his assessment that we are in the waters which favour coups. And a coup will be bad for those that declare and oversee it as well as to those who are subject to it.

In this era such things no longer last if they can succeed at all and when they do crush they do so with uglier consequences. The only option for Zimbabwe is to come to the drawing board and form some of caretaker administration.

It will be tragic if Zanu PF chooses to remain under some spell in the hope that Mugabe will grow younger and maintain some grip whilst the young Turks strip the economy further. That delusion borders on insanity. For a party that should celebrate liberating the people to run itself down to governing fraudulently is very demeaning.

It speaks of a party with no vision and whose strategists are not revolutionary firebrand patriots by mere crooks whose limited nationalism never venture outside filling stomachs beyond the family name.

For Mugabe to be the most wished for and most anticipated death in a country he fought for is disheartening. We should be praying for him to live longer to protect a legacy of equality and fair opportunity not turning us into economic immigrants and destitute abroad.

Mugabe must take his final step by stepping down and allow Zanu PF to live together with other people beyond 34 years of mayhem, fear, violence and bigotry.

We are now living in a global age. It means our competition is now global and so should be our partnerships. Zimbabwe needs to organise its house and meet the challenges of this new order with confidence. Zimbabwe cannot be allowed to harvest a curse from the blessings of abundance. We need to be more discerning.

Mugabe was our hero in Lancaster. That was in the seventies. Time has changed and so has events. We are not at Lancaster anymore. We are not at war anymore. We do not forget or undermine the huge sacrifice taken in our names to unyoke us from the racism we suffered under white supremacists.

We also refuse to betray the same by standing idly by whilst the meaning of that sacrifice is enjoyed at the expense of the majority of our people by a few misguided malcontents who have no desire to build a happy nation. We refuse to stay away from the challenge to lock horns and even die in search of a victory for the common man.

Mugabe did many brave things in his lifetime and so did Tsvangirai. If there is energy to do more let that be shown by the willingness to be more democratic, to be inclusive, to be accommodating and to accept that Zimbabwe is no longer a playground for a single maoist idea, or a single super liberal experiment but that we have come to the stage where we no longer look for idols, heavyweights or omnipotent players.

We are all in this together to create and sell the best idea that Zimbabwe can gather around for the sake of its economy, its internal relations, everlasting stability and the children who wait to inherit the fortunes we must leave behind.

Courage Shumba is a member of the NCA Party and writes in his own capacity


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    ZimJim 8 years ago

    The man is a jerk. He f@cked up. BIG time. His death will be celebrated, not mourned. Fact.

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      B.Mathe 8 years ago


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    John Thomas 8 years ago

    ZANU rules with an iron fist. Mugabe’s death will not change this.

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    ZimJim 8 years ago

    Yo! JT. It would be interesting to see though…

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    Johann 8 years ago

    Courage. Ours and especially Mr Mugabe’s existence is as a result of Rhodesia. It is no good harping on about liberation unless something better has come from it. Mugabe is a failure in that he did not build a better country upon what he had inherited. Without Rhodesia he could not have inherited anything and he and his merry band of looters surely could never have built anything for future leaders to inherit and build upon out of nothing.

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    Fallenz 8 years ago

    A rather rambling piece, with the author attempting to tread a fine line of political appeasement throughout the discourse.

    Unfortunately, the security forces are making political decisions because the JOC is raking in the millions, and wants to continue. To secure his own position, that’s how Mugabe set it up. Now, Zim is stuck with it. He’s not a hero; never was. He’s a robber who never cared about the future of Zim… only how much wealth he could steal from it.

    Under Mugabe and ZANUPF, the corruption is so completely ingrained through them, their influences will have to be eliminated before Zim can see freedom and integrity… and prosperity.

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      Havanyani 8 years ago

      You got it right Fallenz. We can’t afford to be magnanimous to so-called liberators who have visited only misery on us. Mugabe’s heroism is far-surpassed by this character flaws.

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    Ephrain Gumbo 8 years ago

    I joined the liberation struggle because of our President – he was such an inspiration to all of us. I have no regrets for fighting colonial oppression. But when I look at the state of our country and all the suffering now going on I now place the blame directly in the lap of Robert Mugabe, a leader who just has not been honest or sincere with any of us. Big changes are needed, we need to clean up our act and make our party respectable once again. Major adjustments are needed. Let none of us forget Josiah Tongagara and other great leaders who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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    Ndebvu Mukomichi 8 years ago

    My view:
    1. RGM was elected, for a 5 year term, by Zimbos barely 6 months ago- everyone knew his age and his past performance. How does he become unacceptable now? What is wrong with our schooled, (not educated) democrats that they cannot play by the rules?

    2. I do not think that there is need for the writer to feel sorry for RGM being in power at his age- ndizvo zvaakapikira when he was in jail- 10 years, in Moza dodging enemy bombs-5 years, burying thousands of fellow freedom fighters at Nyadzonya and Chimio. If you do not agree with his way of doing things- its a free country, but your crocodile tears are not welcome at all. The disguise is not working.

    3. Comparing RM with Chancry shows that the writer’s real aim is to uplift his political party and its leader. He can do this without using the light reflected from the honour and greatness of RGM’s achievements.

    4. RGM and ZPF must be allowed to fulfil their electoral promises without bringing in chinja programmes which were rejected at the polls. If the chinjas know chiri kurwarisa nyika they must remove uroyi hwavo, (kuombonora)- becoz removing spanners which one has thrown into the works can never be equated with providing a cure for the illness.

    5. If the Chancry and chinjas want dialogue then they should simply parachute him into parliament through one of their allocated Senate seats. That way he can ventilate all his ideas for ‘rescuing’ the country. A good example is Dr GG who is to be given a ZPF seat in order to contribute meaningfully.

    6. RGM’s mandate is to finish what he started:
    a. Land reform programme must be made completely irreversible in word thought and deed. Our writers and commentators must also give up the virtual farms that are still undistributed in their minds- written word, thought and deed!

    b. Indigenisation must implemented until it becomes irreversible and is understood and accepted by anyone who wants to exploit Zim resources. The law is on our books but implementation is still a challenge- which is why any new minister of indigenisation is somehow expected/encouraged to reduce its impact in spite of the legal requirements.

    c. Mental slavery is eradicated: The Zimbo psyche is still steeped in worker/slave mentality where our people are still crying for employment rather than employership. This can only be changed by RGM.

    Yes, let RGM finish his term. Next election in 2018, otherwise the chinjas seem to be yearning for the good old days when they were in the GNU.
    7. Let’s all work together in good faith to develop our country- we don’t have to be presidents to do it. Each one must do their best in their station in life- that way our country will succeed as we build one brick at a time.

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      Ruramai 8 years ago

      Ndebvu, you write hogwash as always. U want Mugabe to be given the chance to finish what he started? He has done 34 yrs and Zimbabweans are poorer than they were at independence. Teachers earn $300 while Cuthbert Dube earns $230 000 a month courtesy of your hero, the chief corruption officer Robert Mugabe.

      U talk of Chimoio and Nyadzonia but conviniently forget that Mugabe killed 20 000 during Gukurahundi. His only legacy will be hunger,disease and pot holes.

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      Ndebvu u are so delusional. For starters, ZPf & RGM were never given the mandate to rule Zim by the electorate but by Nikuv. The writer is absolutely spot on when he says that Zpf has degraded itself from a liberation movement to a party that governs fraudulently & through coercion. Its really a pity to see the same party which in the 80s would draw large crowds to its rallies & now needs the axe wielding, barefooted drunk rowdy pathetic excuses of youths to force march peace loving citizens to attend rallies where non performance and faillure to deliver is given the monotonous excuse of sanctions.isn’t it hillarious that the person feeding us with the hogwash of sanctions will be driving the latest British model of 4X4s, living the life of a king, their children going to the best universities dotted around the globe & those Zpf bootlikers despite lack of qualifications are rewarded with managerial posts at a lossmaking parastatal where they draw monthly salaries 10 times more than what the President of America earns annually.sies!

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    kiddnile 8 years ago

    Ndebvu-you represent maybe 0.5 percent of zimbos & must be in the looting group. Rgm did not win a free & fair election. He stole the will of the people-everybody including you know it & his death will be wildly celebrated in Zimbabwe &world over whether you like it or not &mark my words there will massive inter party killings in Zanu.

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    @Ndebvu Mukomichi Mugabe when he went to join the liberation struggle it was his own choice. So we shouldn’t suffer because of one man . Everybody made a contribution to this war you are always mourning about . We are now in the 20th century it’s time to move on. This selfish, greedy racist mentality in the name of the struggle is all rubbish . Be realist .Your houses are full of diamonds when all Zimbabweans are begging for food we are now slaves in our own country .
    1 . we have no freedom of speech
    2. Our activities are being monitored on a daily basis
    3 . people are dying everyday because they cannot afford to pay the medical bills
    4 .there is no water and electricity supply
    5. above all you are called an enemy in your country because you do not share the same views with this dictator
    You wish this ailing old man to carry on until 2018 so that you can continue looting
    Like many others we are waiting for the day . There is no building together as long as ZANU is in power as shown by the the July elections .

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    Chatunga 8 years ago

    Mugarbage is too evil to be accepted by God or Lucifer in their kingdom. We also pray that the earlier the dinossour joins his ancestors the better

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    Khaya'bonina 8 years ago

    Forget about who joined the liberation struggle , infact all of us we had be part of the liberation struggle , so nobody must be singled , the point is clear Mugabe played his part like everybody did , its unfortunately that he is a failure and he must go and open a space for others .

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    Only Fools 8 years ago

    He fooled you all into believing he was for your welfare!!! We will all jump for joy at his death. The rest of ZANU will run like pigs at the slaughter and you will see them change sides very quickly. All the excuses of this failed state will naturally be blamed on others. Ha Ha I wait for the day.

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    @ndebvu mukomichi.> you are a fool, how can you talk of chimoio & nyadzonya at this stage? hondo yakapera riini? thats why Zanu pf is busy looting resources vachiti takazvirwira, what about the future generation, for example a small kid just started grade one musi wa14 january then the teacher is on strike. does that make any sense to the contry? chii chacho chaasina kuita mu33 years past that he wants to accomplish now ? he was suppose to be a tired someone giving advise to youngsters. they drive nice cars those guys ko isu tichaita sei ?? my word is this you people like ndebvu are seated on the edge>>> munofunga kuti muchadzoka kusango futi and let me tell you masoja nemapurisa emuno arikuziva zvese haamboridziri mhomho pfuti, vangatopa vanhu kuti iyo nyika yenyu iyo bcoz naivo vanodawo zvakanaka .Zanu pf is a small organisation than the masses remember

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    ndozvo 8 years ago

    You are all discussing a man who has never accepted anyone’s leadership since 1963. It’s now 50+ with him as leader of the party and of the 50+ 33+ as leader of the nation. That is absolute power which he wishes only God can take away from him. A selfish man who has never seen potential in his own party, hence he declared succession issues taboo in his party’s AGMs. Read his childhood history when he was herding cattle with others. Those who have access to him can they pose this question to him “Where do you see Zimbabwe, ZANU PF and your family in the next 10 Years Mr president? I do not want to suggest some likely answers he may offer

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    Mugabe is a Shona Gukurahundi, now terribly afraid of his own shadow.

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    Ndebvu, you try so hard to convince the majority. You never will. Pres Khama said it well. The elections were not fair and SADC supported a farce and a theft. God will not be mocked.

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    Morris 8 years ago

    It is just sad Courage!

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    Charles Chamunorwa 8 years ago

    Mugabe is very very selfish. He thinks about himself only and not even Zanu pf. He was not there when the party was formed on 8 August 1963. He was the last to leave Zapu. He wants to bleed zimbabwe and leave a carcase for future generations while his family will be very rich

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    Rambakutongwa 8 years ago


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    Ephraim Gumbo, your obsession with Mugabe is of a fool obsessed with his shadow.Mugabe never inspired anyone to go to war.Aisatoziva nzira yemusango.Chief Rekai Tangwena ndivo vakamuyambusa both with Tekere.Mugabe was introducd to the comrades by Mujuru.Mugabe was a nobody.Saka how did he inspire you?

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      Wezhira Wezhara 8 years ago

      Ko aiziva zhira yacho ndiyani?? And yes Mugabe inspired many to go to war. Just as he continues to inspire many to stand up for their god given land and resources today…

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    Ndebvu Mukomichi 8 years ago

    As I See It:
    1. Different Views: Let us disagree to disagree becoz we do not see eye to eye. Ari kutonga neachatonga ‘kusvika madhongi amera nyanga tinomuziva tose’- regardless of what we type on our computers.

    2. Name Calling: This has never changed another person views and I dont see any convincing argument in what has been written. ZPF are happy with their leadership structure- and apparently so are the majority of voting Zimbos – surprise surprise ZPF has just won the recent council by-elections. Zvanikuvhiwa zvekare here?

    3. Gukurahundi Rebellion- The rebels and their leaders are to blame for the civilian deaths. This happens in every country where rebellion takes place- Sri Lanka is the most recent example. Lesson- never rebel against a democratically elected govt – munourayisa povho. Anyway our parliament declared an amnesty – no questions asked and no answers given. Zvakapera.

    4. Chimoio and Nyadzonya- these are historical realities- zvakaitika. We lost brothers and sisters, but I have never heard anyone trying to bring the perpertrators or their memory to task. Why- nekuti mavhet? If you say that was a war situation then so was the rebellion in the early 1980s.

    5. Elections: ZPF won in July 2013 and has just won again – its not a coincidence. They have genuine supporters: such as the new landowners, and many others.

    6. Solution: Let us work together to build our country under the leadership of RGM and ZPF until 2018 or otherwise. Other parties can prepare and try to harder next time.

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      Mthwakazi 8 years ago

      gukurahundi utter rubbish from a Ndebvu intellectual dwarf!!!

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    A very informed reflection of the realities in this country. We have been reduced to mere beggars when our country has such potential. These people are taking us for fools, blaming sanctions for the free fall of the economy. The actual impact of sanctions is actually negligible but the looting brigade has realised they found themselves a worthwhile scapegoat. The man’s age is a liabilty in itself, the man is tired and has hie own pressures that come with age, he cant even fit the national agenda is his social tight schedule; sleeping and medical checkups. Our biggest enemies right now is not Mugabe and his ego, but the powerful and rich elite who have been using his poor administration to obscenely fatten their pockets. They can do anything to protect their loot. But why did Bob let this happen to the country that he claims to love so dearly???

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      Wezhira Wezhara 8 years ago

      Saka why do people insist on maintaining ma sanctions if their effect is negligible but they instead give a scapegoat to the “looting elite”? Me thinks the EU/US know the real effect sanctions have and that is why they maintain them.

      eg IDC,ZESA,ZTA,ZMDC,MMCZ among other state enterprises have money seized by US Banking officials/EU….How does this translate to targeting the elite???

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    Mthwakazi 8 years ago

    I think Ndebvu is a Zezuru!!

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      Chiratidzo Yavanguvai 8 years ago

      If u are a tribalist then we too don’t need you. It’s so disgusting to be insulting us Zezurus when a lot of us have voiced our displeasure at what is happening. Why do you divert people’s attention from the real issue iwe mthwakazi. For your info allienating the zezurus for your own selfish agenda will bring no lasting solution to our crisis. Mugabe is our problem, let’s face it and try as a people to deal with that. stop bringing in your trivial mentality to a national debate

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    Wezhira Wezhara 8 years ago

    Democracy demands that you accept the decision of the majority. This is what MDC and MDC supporters have failed to do. The majority of Zimbaweans made a choice on July 31 2013..We voted for Mugabe and ZANU(PF) knowinf full well his age and history. We decided he was the better choice. The question is given his many flaws why was he still the better alternative for the majority of Zimbabweans? This is the question blind MDC/Tsvangirayi supporters as well as ZANU/Mugabe haters in the diaspora refuse to confront hence the stories of Nikuv,etc yet I stood in a queue to cast my very first vote ever and still went ZANU/Mugabe….And I can tell you I went with at least 7 friends of mine who felt/feel the same way and whom I am confident voted the same way. Accept our choice. That is democracy.

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    Wezhira and Mandebvu ar exactly e ppl who are holding RM to ransom by keeping him in “power”. I doubt RM is still in power bt is a front or a puppet of e rich and looting elite. Kana ndimiwo do u think ppl like Cuthbert Dube w his $230k, Muchechetere $40k, e late “national hero” Karakadzai, Hre City Council mgrs etc and/or their family would want RGM to go? Ndovari mu same lig nanaMandebvu. They ar looting big tym

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    tafadzwa maguta 8 years ago

    as much as we agree mugabe had done well for the country,it is irrational when individuals amongst us refuse to take criticism of the man as if he was squarely a saint,when we know well he isnt.he had destroyed what he had built and that which he had inherited .lets promote the discourse,without idolising individuals.he must retire ,the earlier the rewarding war veterens and those politically connected individuals obcene salaries what we fought for,is that is until we learnt to ask ourselves real questions,thus when we get real answers.rome is burning,we can save the capital we chose to.may the sun shine again in zim.