Tuesday 21 November 2017

The Grand Despot of Africa is deposed

The revolution was over long ago
There comes a time when men are tested by circumstances and they fail to read the times rapidly falling from grace to disgrace slowing down time into slow motion crash.
Such was the end of the tyranny of terror of the man I have for over a decade referred to as the Grand Despot of Africa. In 1980, Robert Gabriel Mugabe was the revolutionary, the figurehead that took the entity of Southern Rhodesia from the grip of Ian Smith to the new dawn of Zimbabwe.
Since then, Robert Mugabe raised a revolutionary fist against forces known and unknown, enemies within and without, regaling crowds with revolutionary zeal, beguiling the people with the feeling that they are being assailed by the old colonialists whilst the reality was he was the colonist of the same colour as his brethren for the past 37 years.
Forgetting when your time is up
At 93, Robert Mugabe who could have long retired into revered African statesmanship like Julius Nyerere of Tanzania or Nelson Mandela did before him, fastened his grip on power, railing and raving, knocking down perceived opponents and easing the way for his firebrand and intemperate wife to assume dynastic succession.
What Robert Mugabe forgot was despite his iron grip on power, he was there at the behest and will of some of his people and the cohort that surrounded him that allowed the mystique of his inviolability and the myth of his seeming omnipotence to becloud his judgement.
He made one last miscalculation, egged on from the pillow of his bedchamber by the First Shopper of Africa, Gucci Grace whose vaunted claim to significance was being the wife of the President and by that she thought she was untouchable.
Bringing down the temple on his own head
He sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa on the 6th of November and with that came down the principal stone held up the cult of personality of Robert Mugabe. The sacking of Emmerson Mnangagwa was like pulling the pin of the grenade and forgetting to throw it at a target far away, then run.
That singular act crystallised the mounting disaffection with first his wife and then Mr Mugabe, the army moved in and put him under house rest, sparing in his life in what was a coup in everything but name, Mr Mugabe failed to see that the end was nigh. The enemy without that was the rallying call of his rambling party speeches which defined his stubbornness and defiance was now at his doorstep, the army, the veterans of independence, his party, the youth wing that venerated him and his people.
Mr Mugabe was alone and asked to go, yet he refused to budge as every vestige of status, power and authority was being humiliatingly stripped from him, he then squandered the magnanimous opportunity to leave the stage the little dignity he had left in a nationally televised speech, Robert Mugabe had overstayed every toleration of his presence at the helm of Zimbabwe politics, it was no more whether he would leave, it was when.
The final humiliation
The parliament instigated the articles of impeachment to depose him, and then a letter arrived from the President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, read out in parliament, it was his letter of resignation. It finally dawned on him that he had run out of excuses and rhetoric to fight the groundswell of animus that had galvanised the people to ask him to go.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the apotheosis of the failure of leadership in Africa, he failed to transition from a revolutionary to a leader of his people, he exploited divisions amongst his people to retain a hold on power for over a generation. He failed to mentor successors, presiding over squabbling amongst his underlings seemingly secure in the impression that there was no one that could step into his shoes.
Failed leadership in Africa
What irks me most about African leaders that sit fast without budging under the hubristic delusion that no other countryman can do the job of leading their country is that it soon become a glaring lie. There are probably thousands of Zimbabweans, male and female alike that could, given the opportunity do a better job than Robert Mugabe ever could.
The legacy of Robert Mugabe is there for all to see, revolutionary zeal is not enough, he brought the country to its knees, from prosperity to poverty, entrenching a corrupt patronage that concentrated political power and economic clout in very few hands whilst he gave the people the prospect of wild dreams of adventure than became living nightmares.
No laurels for disgrace
No one will mourn that passing of the era of Robert Mugabe except for the few that profited from his being the emperor of an endemically corrupt enterprise, his resignation was greeted with celebrations on the streets of Harare not seen since the day of independence.
Robert Mugabe should now retreat into ignominy, insignificance, disgrace and silence, only to be read of when his longevity in life comes to an end. Our eyes are now on the remaining sit-tight African leaders vying for the crown of the Grand Despot of Africa.
Bye, bye Robert Mugabe, you shall like Ian Smith be consigned to the bad history of Zimbabwe.

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