By Adeola Aderounmu.
If you were in doubt as to who owns Zimbabwe, the doubt must have been laid to rest by now. Zimbabwe belongs to only one man whose name is Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe has been sworn in for the 6th term and for another 5 years in office. Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 and he is now 84 years old or more.
Mugabe won the latest elections in which he was the only candidate. That would explain the reason why it was so easy and quick to do the counting and announce the result in a record timing.
As a matter of fact, invitation to the swearing in which took place today (June 29) were sent out even before the results were announced officially.
The opposition party pulled out a week ago citing violence and intimidations by the ruling party as the main reasons. The opposition argued that the run-off election cannot be free or fair because people were being haunted down, maimed, imprisoned and killed. Indeed, Tendai Biti, the opposition party’s Secretary General is now on death row courtesy of a treason charge against him.
Nevertheless, the image or symbol of the opposition leader remained on the ballots and surprisingly the opposition pulled some substantial votes. As the opposition members were being hunted down, some of them had the time to send cruel messages to Mugabe. MUGABE IMBAVHA (Mugabe is a thief) was one of the messages that was left on Mugabe’s election posters in a suburb of Harare. Another message was HAULUME BOB (you won’t get anything Bob). But Mugabe got everything. Zimbabwe is his personal property!
In the presidential elections held in March this year, the results came in in trickles and eventually stopped. No one knows exactly the outcome of that election. Indications were that the opposition won the election perhaps with a landslide or with 120, 000 more votes but those will remain speculations. Everyone in Zimbabwe and elsewhere, for the sake of elusive peace, believed the electoral commission that the first election held in March ended in a stalemate even though final results were not made public officially.
Who knows the truth? I think Tendai Biti does and that’s why he could pay with his life if Zimbabweans continue to look on the same way Nigerians did when Saro Wiwa was slaughtered by an animal called Abacha. One Gambari, the man who turned his eyes away during that gruesome murder of Saro Wiwa is now accepting invitation to head Niger-Delta peace summit in Nigeria. Wonders and mediocrity don’t cease in Africa.
Mugabe and his evil machinations cannot continue to claim that the opposition (MDC) participated in this run-off because that would amount to confirmed insanity. Why would it be possible for the results of the run-off to be available in a record time while the results of the elections held in March remain scanty or unknown?
Sometimes, I imagine that some parts of the world are living in the Stone Age. It cannot be true that we are all civilized. Our thoughts and actions do not indicate that the whole world is living in the same period of time. For example, what Mugabe is doing now in Zimbabwe (or the scenarios in Zimbabwe and Nigeria as an additional example) WILL NEVER happen in Sweden or Britain in the year of our lord 2008. NEVER!
Indeed there are serious problems the world over and we still have living dictators scattered around here and there but to pronounce democracy on the political events in Zimbabwe or Nigeria is tantamount to daylight rape.
It doesn’t matter how Mugabe presents his case. The truth is that he WAS a hero of independence whichever way that was achieved. That was in 1980. In 2008, Mugabe is not a HERO. His present image is that of a power drunk insane octogenarian. It appears as if the man is going down and he wants everything and everyone to go down with him. History abhors that Mr. Bob!
To many of us, it doesn’t matter that he blames the West for the troubles in Zimbabwe or that all he is doing is to prevent the re-installation of “foreign rule” through the opposition in Zimbabwe. The fact is Bob has past his prime and his invincibility aura had since given way but he ignored all the signs. Only a short time is left for Bob.
Zimbabwe today has 80% unemployment rate and probably the world highest inflation rate at 165 000%. Once a darling of Africa, today’s Zimbabwe is struggling with extreme poverty, homelessness and instability. Zimbabwe has a $10million note that may not sustain you over two days! The other day, a queue for bread was mistaken for a queue at a polling station! Zimbabweans are fleeing from their homes in thousands and Mugabe is blaming it on the West. How?
Beyond Mugabe, unless some drastic reconciliation and reasoning take place, I see a very bleak future still in Zimbabwe. This man called Bob has sown seeds of discordance over the country. He gave land to the people who are loyal to him: the army and other greedy people who could not do anything to match the productivity of the foreigners he chased away were those who benefited from Bob’s land reclamation.
These greedy people are behind Mugabe and they will strangulate the opposition further when Mugabe is gone. They will not want to part ways with their lands. They are afraid of a new leadership with new orientations albeit alleged western. There is a serious danger ahead in Zimbabwe after Mugabe. It is a sad situation.