Zimbabwe was first free, is now free indeed

By Mikky Attah

ZIMBABWE’S Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa has been removed from his post. The country’s Information Minister, Simon Khaya said seventy five year old Mnangagwa had displayed traits of disloyalty….”

One year ago this first week of November, that was the news that went out on the Zimbabwe debacle. Today, as I look back at all that has happened in that nation in the short space of twelve months, I not only marvel, but feel I just must share.

First up, I admit that like many other Nigerians I interact with, finding a political hero, or even a political role model (as against the political-godfatherism style in operation) is a tall order. So in order to get any inspiration, I tend to focus on continental heroes like Nelson Mandela, Kenneth Kaunda and even Robert Mugabe! No, it is not the now- Mugabe that I admire, he is the archetypical Sit-Tight African Ruler.

What I do for myself is I narrow my source of inspiration to the Mugabe of lore, the Mugabe we read of who freed his country from white minority rule. I am inspired by his doggedness in wresting his nation from the grips of a racist regime to ta self-ruling one, changing it from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.

That was why I took a long, careful look at him where he sat at the end of the row from me at the state box during Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Inauguration, on my way to my seat. It was intriguing for me to set my eyes on ‘the Mr. Robert Mugabe’.

Only that in my rating, he had plummeted to the lows, by virtue of his maintaining a vice-like grip on the reins of power, even when he could no longer give any semblance of effective governance.

And then, just two years later in 2017, the whispers came to ear that Zimbabwe’s former Intelligence Chief and partaker in the liberation struggle – Emmerson Mnangagwa was being tipped as the most likely person to be Zimbabwe’s next leader. Meaning there was hope for a Mugabe exit!

The shame of Mugabe’s poor and endless rule masking as a democracy was the shame of all Africa. Zimbabwe’s Vice President seemed a plum choice. But somebody wasn’t having it. Somebody felt that the stepping aside by Mugabe should not be such a very big step: it should rather be no more than a slight shift in the seat.

Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwean First Lady and leader of that nation’s kitchen cabinet wielded enormous power at that time. She thought through the Zimbabwean succession plan and decided that SHE herself was the most suitable person to succeed the ninety-three year old Mugabe. In fact, she had even earlier called on her husband to remove his Vice President.

Then in the first week of November 2017, it happened, the V.P was sacked from office, just as the First Lady had planned. With the removal of Mnangagwa, the next step was to have been for the ruling party, the ZANU-PF to convene a special congress in December 2017.

That “special” congress was to be held to announce the “appointment” of Grace Mugabe as Vice President; preparatory to her anointing and subsequent election as presidential candidate and then President of Zimbabwe.

Unknown to them all, the sacking of the Vice President was to be the last straw that would break the Zimbabwean peoples’ back. There would be no secret special congresses for predetermined candidates anymore!.

Today, after the awful upheaval at the “beginning of the end”, Mr. Emmerson Mnangagwa now sits as the democratically elected President of the nation of Zimbabwe and Mr. Robert Mugabe’s stronghold is broken forever!!

A special thought goes out to the brave people who lost their lives in the initial struggle to eject the Mugabe’s from the Presidential Villa. Their deaths were not in vain. – The Nation

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