By Professor Cde Thom Chimuranga
That Mugabe is a charming orator is beyond doubt and there is hardly any logic behind a conflicting argument. His speeches are often characterized by standing ovations and relentless applauds throughout.
That perhaps, is a notable gift we cannot seize from him. But somehow we seem to miss the point.
The standing ovations or relentless applauds are hardly an expression of the common-man. They are rather an expression of distinguished dignitaries who effortlessly fit in Africa’s most affluent category.
Those affluent men and women with glowing faces polished with modern ointment; lack a comprehensive understanding of the real impact of bad governance. Suffice to say, in this contemporary, charisma is not a satisfactory quality to warrant an individual suitable for presidency.
Meanwhile, his supposedly moving speeches do not match the reality of things. Far from the glowing depiction he portrays to the international community, President Mugabe should take full responsibility for the supreme obliteration of the country.
As a direct consequence of his controversial rule, the country’s population consists of impoverished citizens who have resorted to voting with their feet towards the country’s border lines.
Disturbingly, Mugabe, the only Zimbabwean President since 1980, has presided over the most spectacular economic collapse in modern history. Indeed, to narrate Zimbabwe’s state of affairs is a heart-throbbing assignment.
With unemployment soaring at the pinnacle, and life expectancy tumbling under unacceptable levels, Mugabe gives the impression that nothing is wrong.
Even in those circumstances he blatantly fabricates that Zimbabweans cheerfully vote him into power. Obviously, that is the most spectacular deception of all time. Even, in the midst of those circumstances, he is determined to cling onto power until his last breath.
During public forums, Robert Mugabe prefers to shift his focus on relatable matters while, in the process, drawing vibrant laughter from affluent men oblivious of the true Zimbabwean story.
For example, during the recent United Nations Conference held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, President Mugabe demonstrated that the state of the country did not bother him.
His persistent exhibition of oblivion towards Zimbabwe’s economy is disturbing. Regrettably, Mugabe lives on the wrong page of history.
His racial discrimination towards whites is a false reflection of the general feeling of contemporary Zimbabweans. Very easily, Mugabe and the first family could be the only racists in Zimbabwe.
In fact, his recent speech in Addis Ababa only inspired the handful beneficiaries of his tyranny who are so trapped in the jaws of his dictatorship that they are capable of giggling delightfully when he farts.
His focus is never on pertinent matters. For example, a dialogue on his hatred for whites cannot supersede the common obligation to advance a progressive system founded upon economic development, social progression and political inclusiveness.
Secondly, it is highly hypocritical to fight for the equality of black Americans while ignoring the plea of Zimbabweans whose suffering he is solely responsible for. The recent MDCT march was a good indication that Mugabe has overstayed his welcome.
On the face of it, change is the last remaining hope of the generation. No event can be more exciting than the occasion to replace a selfish government whose domination is orchestrated by one man.
In the same light, Zimbabwe’s independence was a struggle to remove the loathsome British invaders who occupied our land illegally and oppressed the masses.
Sadly Mugabe applies the same prejudice as Zimbabwe’s previous invaders. In precisely the same fashion, Zanu Pf is demonstrating equivalent subjugation under the masquerade of political sovereignty. By systematic comparison, Zanu Pf’s destruction has been more devastating than that of the Smith regime.
The previous invaders were brutal colonizers who constructed infrastructure while Mugabe is the purported liberator who destroyed it. Under these circumstances, an enemy who builds is better than a brother who destroys.
In fact a brother who destroys is the real enemy. Suffice to say, all oppression must be condemned regardless of its appearance.
However, other international counterparts declare that the suffering of Zimbabweans is our own making because our behavior is not consistent with an afflicted people. By the look of things, that assertion is somewhat incorrect because Zimbabweans are stepping up to the plate.
After all, only Zimbabweans have the judicial mandate to improve the political situation in Zimbabwe. Suffice to say it is not enough to do nothing about bad governance and rely solely on divine intervention. Revolutionary parties cannot be removed by all night prayers.
Surely, it cannot be the will of the people to elect a controversial despot whose controversial political record is defined by 32 years of successive gloom and anguish.
The reality of the matter is that Robert Mugabe was last democratically elected in 1980. His subsequent election victories were never a reflection of the people’s will.
- Cde Thom Chimuranga is a research fellow at an Institute of Politics and Development in Finland.