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Mugabe must be allowed to go home and rest

As Zanu PF goes to congress in December, many Zimbabweans will expect that President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, now 90, will accept he has had his time and should be allowed to rest.

The Oracle by Tangai Chipangura

I am one of the millions that share the view that President Mugabe has built a rare legacy. Zimbabweans cherish this legacy so much they would be saddened to see all of it discarded into the sewer, simply because certain people within Zanu PF are too afraid to lose, not him, but their selfish interests.

There is empirical evidence the world over that those who overstay their welcome will of necessity put their host in a state of perpetual discomfort.

The name of President Mugabe features strongly among prominent men in history, Napoleon Bonaparte, Tshaka Zulu, Benito Mussolini, Nelson Mandela, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Kwame Nkrumah, George Washington, Mao Tse Tung, Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda, Samora Machel, Kamuzu Banda — men whose fortunes blossomed but had doors of those fortunes necessarily closed when the time came.

Some, like the legendary Mandela, left the arena even when millions all over the world wanted them to stay. Others, like Hitler, took their lives because they feared they would be killed by their own people.

Others too, like Banda, old tearful Kaunda of Zambia and lately Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak had their political careers obliterated by winds of democratic change. Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi even died still clinging on to power when all was lost.

President Mugabe appears stuck in the league of a tiny minority of leaders, almost miniscule to the point of invisibility, who by reason of either misinformation or deliberate mischief, fail to acknowledge the principle of political diseconomies of scale.

There is no doubt that President Mugabe has individually contributed invaluably towards the independence and well-being of Zimbabwe. But then, it remains a fact his contribution towards the collective pain and suffering that the people of this country have endured in the time of his reign, especially in the past decade, outweighs the President’s erstwhile achievements.

Many Zimbabweans still remember Gukurahundi, the DRC intervention, Murambatsvina, a ruined economy along with the collapse in education, health, road and electricity infrastructure, extensive poverty and election violence, among other things.

While this is a strong case for the President’s immediate retirement, there is even a stronger case for his departure. The laws of this country, and indeed many other places, do not permit civil or public servants to be employed beyond the age of 65.

This universally acceptable position is justified by both intellectual and biological reason — that all human beings, even those that claim to be in their positions on an election ticket — are subject to deteriorating mental and physical capacity with age.

It is very difficult to convince anyone, Your Excellency, that at such an advanced age, your capacity for good judgment can still satisfy the demands of millions of young Zimbabweans.

Yet, it is an undeniable fact that the person of President Mugabe has been so present in the Zimbabwean political landscape that it has engendered a strong belief, especially in Zanu PF, that should he step down, the party, the State, and the nation will crumble — the “no Zimbabwe without Mugabe” mentality.

It is an undeniable fact that President Mugabe and the struggle for Zimbabwe are one in popular memory. And in the minds of the old men and women at Shake-Shake building, the name Mugabe and Zanu PF are one.

All this gives him unchallengeable liberation credentials that come indispensable in every Zanu PF election campaign. That is the reason why each year the President says he would have long called it a day but he stays on because he is being “asked” to soldier on.

WikiLeaks claimed the head of the United Nations once offered the President a lucrative retirement package if he stood down, but his administration has vehemently denied this.

Such a prospect would certainly come as God-given to many Zimbabweans who believe the President is now over the hill and is no longer capable of comprehending issues affecting the country.

There are, however, still many that believe President Mugabe may be old but is still in a good state of health. Some four years ago, Political analyst Ernest Mudzengi said: “The only fear is that Zanu PF is hanging by him and his exit might mean the end of the party. It will, however, be in his best interest and that of the country for him to retire before his health starts failing him. Whatever will happen after that might be catastrophic for the country because there is no guarantee that there will be a peaceful transition of power and that anarchy will not occur.”

It is for this reason that President Mugabe should, at the coming congress of his party, consider appointing a successor — that being the only way a smooth and bloodless transition from the Mugabe era could be guaranteed.

While the emergence of his wife Grace in the politburo is certain to protect and further the Gu-shung-oh dynasty, prospects of her landing the presidency are for many reasons, very remote.

Feedback: tchipangura@standard.co.zw

5 Responses to Mugabe must be allowed to go home and rest

  1. Musona August 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    What a load of garbage from Tangai Chipangura. He writes “There is no doubt that President Mugabe has individually contributed invaluably towards the independence and well-being of Zimbabwe”.
    Mugabe inherited the second most prosperous economy in Africa from Muzorewa who had inherited from Ian Smith. The truth is we blacks were already well up before we voted Mugabe into power in 1980. You, Tangai, are probably too young to know these facts. Our standard of living was far much better than all other blacks in all African countries. I don’t know why you are giving credit to Mugabe? For doing what? Being voted into power by us?
    There is a saying that you can tell the backwardness of a country by the way the people revere their leaders for no apparent reason. You write as if Mugabe waved some magic wand and we were somehow released from some imaginary “prison”. we all looked forward to black rule, which by the way started in 1979 with Muzorewa, but it turned out to be no big deal. The day still remained at 24 hours. If you had experienced life as a working adult in Rhodesia, and moved over to Zimbabwe then you know there was no big deal. The reason why we are were we are is because of you young generation who imagine things and write about things you never experienced as working adults, heaping praise on the likes of Mugabe for no apparent reason. When we ask you what changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe we get some very stupid answers like – black education received less funding that white schools – was inferior! Yet thousands of blacks managed to go to University in Rhodesia! Some do not realise that there was no single school in this land and it was the colonialists who introduced education. Looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    • abused August 12, 2014 at 9:05 am #

      You’re spot on Musona. There is no need really to shower Mugabe with all the praises He does not deserve even an iota of it. He usurped the leadership of the struggle to begin with. And then presided over the demise of everything in Zimbabwe literally. Plundering maiming and killing. The so called liberation struggle was a shear and unnecessary loss of innocent lives all for nothing

  2. Musona August 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    One sentence should read, “When we ask you what changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe we get some very stupid answers like – black education received less funding than white schools – was inferior!”

  3. Leroy August 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Sometime in october some people will demand that grace be vice president…..just watch this space.

  4. fivestar August 8, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

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