Mugabe: A Wrong Type Of Celebration

There is grave danger if the method used to oust Mugabe is celebrated. The use of the military to correct political anomaly should not be celebrated or hailed anywhere in the world.

Mugabe: A Wrong Type Of Celebration

By Adeola Aderounmu

 

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Adeola Aderounmu

Many observers within and outside Africa seem to have celebrated the overthrown of Mugabe as the president of Zimbabwe after nearly 4 decades in power. Such a perception is a sharp contradiction to what obtained in the 1970s and 1980s when Mugabe was a hero of Zimbabwean independence.

I remember my reaction when Mugabe was voted to power for the 6th time in 2008. Then, he was 84 years and l thought he should be due for retirement so that he could rest and enjoy the rest of his days. At that moment l concluded that bad leaders, no matter how good their intentions may seem, are those who refused to train or mentor followers to take over from them.

In my opinion, Mugabe’s greatest mistake was not nurturing a few young men and women who could move Zimbabwe forward. He was prepared to rule Zimbabwe until his death and that is the only explanation l found for a man who is 93 years and not retired from public service.

No doubt about it, Mugabe overstayed in power. He probably mistook democracy for monarchy. In a democracy, the transfer of power is inevitable. Those who fought alongside Mugabe for the independence of Zimbabwe have reasons to feel insulted when it became apparent that Mugabe was planning to transfer power to his wife.

Some of these people are now politicians albeit old politicians and some remained in the military. They have now ensured that power was taken by force from Mugabe in his old, helpless ag.

When the current power tussle is settled, the handlers of Zimbabwe have a few things to clarify and rectify. For example, the law that gives  Mugabe the power to sack the Vice President of the country should be revoked through the legislature. Other repressive laws in the constitution that are capable of converting revolutionary, democratic leaders to tyrants should be abolished.

Zimbabwe and indeed many other countries in Africa need to review the tenures of their politicians. Zimbabwe for example, would probably have grown democratically if there was limitation on the number of times a president can seek for re-election. In countries where the power of incumbency makes it an almost impossible task to change power through credible elections, limited terms of office will be an antidote.

There is grave danger if the method used to oust Mugabe is celebrated. The use of the military to correct political anomaly should not be celebrated or hailed anywhere in the world. It remains a recipe for violence and civil war. It was wrong that the military option was what it took to oust Mugabe or stop his wife from taking over power. The electoral option, that which makes use of credible ballot votes and acceptable results, is always the best method.

The global media therefore need to present a balance report of the situations regardless of  its predisposition (love or hate) towards Mugabe. What has happened in Zimbabwe is not just about the person of Mugabe and his hunger for power but also about the welfare and the well-being of the people of Zimbabwe at home and abroad.

The lessons of Zimbabwe should once again opened our eyes to the inadequacies of democracy in certain parts of the world and these lessons should be instrumental to various institutions saddled with the promotion of not just democracy but civil rights of all people globally.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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