During a radio interview aired prior to his birthday, Mugabe lashed out at the current crop of African leaders whom he described as sellouts. This was in reference to the ousting of former Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi by National Transition Council fighters in October of 2011.
Mugabe blamed a number of African countries notably South Africa for voting in favour of UN Security CouncilResolution 1973 that authorised a Nato-led onslaught on Libya.
When he was asked to comment on the Libyan crisis, Mugabe did not mince his words and took a swipe at African leaders while praising the founding fathers of the the Organisation of African Unity.
In typical fashion Mugabe described these leaders as “united and principled” unlike the new band of leaders. To Mugabe, Gaddafi was betrayed by his fellow African brothers who lacked vision and pan-Africanist principles.
Neither was the late King Leopold 111 of Belgium spared from the wrath of Mugabe’s venom as he read a letter that was addressed by the late king to missionaries assigned to the Congo in the 19th century.
While there was nothing sinister in Mugabe referring to the past since much injustice was perpetrated against Africans by the white colonial masters, he should not hoodwink the people by blaming every one of the current problems bedeviling the country only on the West. As an elder statesman boasting more than 50 years in politics, examplery leadership is expected of him, not spouting hate speech at every turn.
The question for our President is: for how long shall Africans continue to dwell on the past by blaming the West for all the evils and wrongs? While this debate rightly takes cognisance of the role of the West in some of the continent’s problems such as underdevelopment and colonialism, Mugabe seems to be hoodwinking the people by continuing to pretend that the West remains an obstacle to nationalism and pan-Africanism.
Most of his pan-African comrades such as Kenneth Kaunda have passed on the baton to new blood, a feat that he has failed to follow. Neither has he attempted to groom a successor and his quest and greed for power will once again be put to the test since he has shown eagerness to contest the forthcoming elections.
Egocentrism has taken centre stage in the ageing autocrat’s mindset to such an extent that he fails to respect a democratically-elected head of state, Jacob Zuma, whom he dismissed as being biased towards the mediation
The old man wants a “winners take all” situation and anything that contravenes his school of thought is perceived as “outrageous”.To him elections are the only way to solve the current impasse bedeviling the inclusive government, and the facilitator assigned by Sadc has to abide by what defines Zanu PF ideology and not vice versa.
As he wines and dines with his kith and kin during his birthday party, Mugabe should be reminded that there are thousands of hungry children out of school as a result of the economic and political mess that he orchestrated.
Blaming everyone else for his failures isn’t the solution and Zimbabweans definitely deserve better.
BY TERRY MUTSVANGA CHARI