Is Robert Mugabe now a persona-non-grata in SADC?

via Is Robert Mugabe now a persona-non-grata in SADC? – The Zimbabwean 26 January 2015

Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zimbabwe yesterday had the tables turned against him just across the border when huge crowds of Zambians chanted “Mugabe must go!” at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lusaka.

This was a complete opposite to the rented crowd that was bussed by Zanu-PF to meet him at Harare Airport a day earlier. This was something Mugabe may never have dreamt of as a possibility in his lifetime – to be declared a persona-non-grata in Africa by Africans and neighbours for that matter! This was not in Western countries which he accuses of imposing “illegal sanctions” on him.

On seeing the video that went viral on You Tube showing hundreds of Zambians waving hands in the air and chanting their protests against Zimbabwe’s tyrant, Grace Mugabe must have cried more than she did when Mugabe left her in Singapore to recover from her appendicitis.

Mugabe disclosed that he left his wife crying in Singapore when he addressed his Zanu-PF supporters saying:

“Ndakavasiya vachichema kuti ndaakuenda, tikati basa rinosungirwa kuitwa, saka tinenge tichinzwa kuti muri kufambasei mberi nekuzorora, nekupora.” (When I left she was crying, but I pleaded with her that I needed to be at work, and we will be checking on her progress.) (The Daily News, 23/01/15).

While some wonder why Zambians vented their anger at their authoritarian neighbour, as they say in science ‘for every cause there is an effect’ – in this case, it is safe to infer that Mugabe’s premature visit to baby-sit Zambian elections – for the inauguration of a president who was yet to be elected as ballots were still being counted, might have sparked the people’s anger and suspicion.

If these are the signs of the things to come, nonagenarian Robert Mugabe, who is chairman of SADC and incoming African Union (AU) chair, may have to brave for more possible demos against his tyrannical rule and interference in other countries’ affairs in his next visit to Addis Ababa, Pretoria, Maputo, Lilongwe, Windhoek, Luanda and Kinshasa among others!!

Oh, by the way and in Singapore as well! He might find his hotel picketed by placard waving non-Zimbabweans telling him “Mugabe must go!!” That will be the end of the Gushungo dynasty!

But, on a serious note, Zambians could turn out to be Zimbabweans allies in fighting against Mugabe’s tyranny given that now they have a reason to be angry against the aged autocrat.

Reports say, Hichilema who narrowly lost the presidential by-election, claimed that Lungu stole the polls (The Standard, ‘Mugabe must go’ demos rock Zambian capital,’ 25/01/15).

Many Zimbabweans empathise with Hichilema’s frustration at the lack of a level playing field whereby for instance government helicopters allegedly refused to carry his observers to the countryside despite an earlier agreement.

Zambians may want to know that Zimbabweans have had enough of Robert Mugabe’s authoritarian rule especially as he has the temerity to call for by elections in March while sitting on the electronic voters roll since 31 July 2013.

If the nationals of SADC member countries all declare Robert Mugabe a persona-non-grata as Zambians courageously did yesterday, then we would be counting down to the end of the Robert and Grace Mugabe dynasty before it even starts.

In diplomacy, persona-non-grata means an “unwelcome person” who is subject to deportation. Maybe that is what Zambians wanted to do to Robert Mugabe.

Clifford is a London-based political analyst and former diplomat. Email address: or


  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    Come on zambians keep the momentum for the geriatric to go

  • comment-avatar
    WINDS OF CHANGE 6 years ago

    Zambians have opened the way for the whole region to start demonstrating against dictatorship. The wind has started blowing for change in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans in all the SADC Region should organise demonstrations when Mugabe comes for SADC business. This will show this SADC toothless bulldog that the region cannot be led by a dictator. Lets sustain MUGABE MUST GO campaign.

  • comment-avatar
    Justice 6 years ago

    The Zambians are doing more than Zimbo’s about getting rid of him!

  • comment-avatar
    jabesi 6 years ago

    so you did not see the heroes welcome president mugabe got when hee was at the innaguration ceremony if a group of hired crowd says mugabe must go a known british slogan then a stadium fulll says father africa a known african slogan can we say zambians really want president mugabe to go i beg to differ
    we as zambians and zimbos we are together dont try and divide us you western wankers

  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 6 years ago

    He is not the type, to stop and assess the environment, which is typical of DICTATORS

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 6 years ago

    Come on zambians show the zimbos how to sort the 90 year old

  • comment-avatar
    Adam Jones 6 years ago

    Thank you Zambia for seeing the light. In Zim when one stands up to Bob one gets killed. Yet even so, a lot of our people have stood up to him and some have paid with their lives. So I believe as Zimbabweans we are doing a lot to get rid of the dictator. Now that his prostate cancer is looking to spread accross the sadc region and Africa at large (as chairman of the two unions) there is now a real reason to worry for neibouring countries. Lets all reject him before he turns all of Africa into a Zimbabwe.