“The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interrèd with their bones,” said Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar.
The evil that President Mugabe has done has come back to haunt him in his old age!
Last week the President of Botswana, Ian Khama, told President Mugabe in no uncertain terms that he must go.
"Without doubt,” he said. “He should have done it years ago."
"It is obvious that at his age and the state Zimbabwe is in, he's not really able to provide the leadership that could get it out of its predicament."
An African leader criticizing another African leader is a rarity but to do so in such strong language is unheard of. And yet a few days later President Hage Geingob of Namibia too broke rank and had no kind words for President Mugabe.
"We must get rid of the days where we believed in strong presidents, personality cults, and that some are (demi)-gods," he of the Zimbabwe tyrant.
"We must know that killing our people is not the way to go.
"If you do that, you can't expect the world to respect you. They will intervene and tell you that you are doing a wrong thing"
Now former Nigeria President General Olusegun Obasanjo has too joined the Mugabe slagging melee.
"Well, I believe that after he has stayed as long as he has, since 1980, I don't believe there is something special that he wants to achieve that he has not so far achieved. I don't believe there is magic that he wants to perform that he hasn't performed," he told the Jamaica Observer.
Of course Obasanjo was being kind to Mugabe; the later has destroyed Zimbabwe’s once promising economy and murdered over 30 000 innocent Zimbabwe to establish and retain his one-party cum one-man dictatorship, as both President Geingob and President Khama have rightly pointed out. If that is magic then what President Mugabe has the deadly voodoo he should have never been allowed to administer!
President Mugabe has managed to stay in power for 36 years only because he cheated, rigged elections and even killed; the democratic deficit General Obasanjo is aware of! When he was asked if Mugabe had betrayed the revolution, he reportedly “gave a heavy sigh before answering”.
"Well, he believes that he hasn't. To the extent that the revolution was partly about land redistribution, I would say he has kept faith with the revolution. But to the extent that the revolution was also about democracy, that has not been able to take place," Obasanjo said.
General Obasanjo was the head of the AU team appointed to monitor Zimbabwe 2013 elections. The team acknowledged in its report the glaring irregularities as the regime’s failure to produce a voters roll; admitted that nearly one million voters, 20% of those who voted, were denied the vote because their details were not in the constituency voters roll they expected; etc.
If the voters roll have been released timeously as is required by law, there is no doubt many of those affected would have the mistake put right, assuming it was a mistake. The regime has refused to release the voters roll even to this day because it knows close scrutiny will prove beyond doubt that the posting of personal data in wrong constituencies was a deliberate and calculated vote rigging ploy!
Given that President Mugabe’s “winning” margin was just over one million and thus comparable to the nearly one million fraudulently denied the vote because their personal data had been tampered with, to say nothing of the contributions from other irregularities; it is clear election results could not be allowed to stand.
General Obasanjo and his AU team noted the irregularities but still allowed the result of Mugabe victory to stand because “the elections were largely peaceful”, they argued. They were comparing the 2013 elections to Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections which had been marred by the usual vote rigging and wanton violence.
Of course there is a lot more to free, fair and credible elections than just the absence of wanton violence and General Obasanjo knows that. He heaved a heavy sigh out of shame he allowed Mugabe to get away with rigged elections in 2013 and out of relief he is finally getting the guilty off his chest putting the record right!
Many people were surprise President Mugabe turned down the invitation to travel to Botswana for that country’s 50th anniversary; he loves travelling and is in and out of the country like a yoyo! President Mugabe is thick-skinned but President Khama’s criticism must have got under his skin for him to forgo one of his favorite activities – globetrotting!
No doubt Namibia and Nigeria will now be added to his growing list of countries he will not visit in his globetrotting. Europe, North America and other Western countries are already on his list, they fell out with the tyrant over his failure to hold free and fair elections amongst other things.
President Mugabe is in trouble with the ordinary Zimbabweans too who have suffered the ill-effects of economic meltdown and political oppression. Even his fellow Zanu PF cronies are rebelling against him with his war veteran minions denouncing him for his “dictatorial tendencies”!
After decades of corrupt and tyrannical rule the consequences of his misrule are all coming out and what a time to do so when he is weak and feeble due to old age. It never rains but pours; for President Mugabe it is pouring cats and dogs! “Chawakadya chamuka, Gushungo iwee!” as one would say in Shona. (Your evil deeds are all coming home to haunt you, Mugabe!)