By Shingirai Vambe
Born on February 21 1924 at Kutama Village in Zvimba, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, an unshakeable Zimbabwean revolutionary and left-wing nationalist, who served Zimbabwe for 37 years and died 2 years later on September 6 2019, in Singapore after having being removed from power through a “soft military coup” has been remembered for his illustrious work and Pan Africanism stance.
With mixed feelings expressed, a majority of citizens 35 years of age and above, traversed a tough terrain since 1996, when the southern African country’s economy started showing signs of crumbling. The Trade Union voice was getting louder and louder by day as the cost of living spiralled.
The greatest fall was a Friday in 1997 when war veterans were dolled Zim $50 000 each from an unbudgetted kitty bag. The currency plummeted and has never recovered since that day dubbed Black Friday. The awarding of the exorbitant slice of the cake was meant to pacify the dissenting voices of the liberation war veterans. The war veterans voice remains astute today as it forms the ruling party’s discourse.
By 1999 Mugabe drew the attention of the international community, western nations getting angry over the land reform exercise.
National politics of the day was getting tense, giving birth to the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change. The new political outfit was led by the trade unionist, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai. As a trade union, it had gained mileage from around 1997-98.
The political party formation and timing was not good as it was linked to the interest of former white farmers.
The political status of the country during the time was starting to show the rise of opposition politics, where economic challenges started to surface with government failing to account for lots of money through abuse of office, theft and corruption of resources.
Majority of ministers who worked under the leadership of Mugabe corruptly benefited from him, one way or the other, including those newly resettled farmers who used to receive inputs and sell at black market.
Two memorable situations that citizens will never forget is that of a rigged 2008 election, violence and murder of citizens who were known opposition members
With a crumbling economy the President publicly questioned the disappearance of US $15 billion diamond money which was not accounted for.
The situations are a true reflection of what happened before, during and after his tenure in office.
In the midst of all negative and bad comments about his leadership, indeed the politicians have no kind words for him.
Every citizen looks up to the President, and failure by the Zanu PF led government to account for the life of Itai Dzamara and many others has left a black patch on the life and future of Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwe is preparing to hold its harmonised election in a few months to come some of the policies and situations that the country is facing are a direct result of the past administration with the blame also put on the opposition political party which has failed to make necessary electoral reforms for a free, fair and credible election.
The November 2017 scenario brought about a new dimension to the political life of Zimbabwe, and those whom Mugabe had booted out for various incompetence issues came out guns blazing and pushed for his removal from power.
Even though he was old with continuous health challenges, Mugabe failed to identify one person or even appoint one capable of taking over power from him. This lack of as a succession plan was a seed for his ouster.
Mugabe died a bitter man at the age of 95.
In his life, he never thought of having people coming against him considering the investment he had put in them. Mugabe felt betrayed by many.
The 31st July election of 2018 resulted in violence on 1 August with counter claims of a rigged vote by the opposition which had United to form an alliance. This was known as the Movement for Democratic Alliance (MDC-A). It saw the death of innocent civilians in the capital city, Harare.
It marked the beginning of a new life in Zimbabwe, with Mugabe uttering his dislike for Zanu PF and the reason he was going to vote for the Opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa.
During an interview with journalists, at his oppulent blue roof home in Harare, he said he would not have refused to hand over power but the process should have been done in a democratic manner.
In this article, will focus on the African icon’s speech at the African Union, in Ethiopia, on the month he died, that of September 22, 2017. on the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, where he was focusing on silencing the gun and focusing on peace building amongst African countries.
“You could have not chosen a better and more relevant theme, given the times that we are living in, for pursuit and maintenance of peace and promotion of development in solidarity, we are at the core of the UN and its entire system,” reads Mugabe.
On the 26th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Mugabe was the chairperson and emphasized on the conditions and ways Africans were being regarded and treated by European and western countries, he spoke on the reform of the United Nations and highlighted challenges arising in Africa.
Women as part of the subject matter on human right abuse in Africa, Mugabe said migration of Africans remained a concern and it was during the summit where he insisted on addressing the issue.
To date, South African citizens continue to push for the return of over 100 000 Zimbabwe citizens who have fled the country in search of greener pastures.
After his demise, majority, thousands and thousands of Zimbabweans continue to leave the country citing political and economic instability while the target was to end and or silence the gun by promoting peace and stability in Africa by 2020.
To date, infringed rights of the citizens promote nothing but abuse of human right in Zimbabwe, which majority has since been described to be worse than that of former colonial masters of the Smith regime.
Violation and abuse of human right are said to have increased with the recent matter of political incarceration of Zengeza West legislator, Job Sikhala, Godfrey Sithole and the other 14. Various reported abduction cases and the recent one of Moreblessing Ali, whose body was found in a state of decomposition in an abandoned well and in pieces.
The violence and attack on the life of the opposition political leader, Nelson Chamisa since last year, the message that Mugabe preached was only for other countries to follow and adhere, not Zimbabwe because nothing is changing for the better, it’s getting worse by day.
He must be turning in his grave.