Will dictators ever learn?

HARARE - One thing history teaches is that no ruler or leader will rule forever and records show that there is no ‘‘rise and rise’’ in any given account of any leader but ‘‘rise and fall.”

It is against this background that leaders, in particular dictators, should know that no matter how useless the ordinary citizens may seem, real power rests with them.

The major founding principle of establishing a government is the simple duty of day to day administration of State affairs aimed at satisfaction of people’s needs and wants.

If a government has nothing to cover from the public, its concerns with what the media publishes is the least of its worries but when a government is corrupt and becomes tyrannical, it is likely to develop a rough, arrogant and suspicious disposition towards the media.

There is nothing so imperial about democracy but sadly some of our African leaders tend to forge a fairy tale into the citizens’ mind that democratic practise or at least mentioning it has some ties with imperial values.

The surprising endowment of the citizens is that despite all this they will always find a way to send the oppressor out.

When a state becomes bankrupt in governance, the determination of the people cannot afford to be denied indefinitely.

In the 1789 French Revolution, it was through the peasants that the revolution precipitated.
 
This was despite the fact that mere peasants were very weak and defenceless as they even fed on wretched bread made from tree bark.

Dictators enjoy being hero-worshipped and being given endless titles that satisfy their selfish power ego but with all the lyrical glorification, when push comes to shove, there is nothing better they can do about it.

Idi Amin Dada, a former British army lieutenant, proclaimed himself as, “His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal All Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of all beasts of the earth and fishes of the sea and Conqueror of the British Empire in General and Uganda in particular."

Despite all this, he was kicked out like an empty shell.

Joseph Desire Mobutu renamed himself Mobutu Sese Seko meaning, “the all powerful warrior who will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire to his wake,’’ also known as the Guide Father of the nation, the Helmsman, the messiah whose mother was likened to virgin Mary.

Mobutu even fantasised further by forcing all television stations in Congo to precede the evening news an image of him descending through clouds from heaven.

The Congolese people got tired of his deranged style and pushed him out.

Only a decade in office saw Hastings Kamuzu Banda, as learned as he was, so obsessed with power to the extent of declaring himself President of Malawi for life in 1971.

As a medical doctor by profession, he should simply have borrowed some facets of medicinal wisdom that power like medicine, does not remain effective for forever, since they all have expiry dates.

All these events are clear insights that the will of the rulers cannot prevail without acceptance and approval of those they rule.

It is a lesson that all dictators should learn that any government strong or weak will never successfully conquer its own citizens.

Sadly, dictators never learn. What we have witnessed over the years is total violation of human rights as dictator after dictator has ridden roughshod over their countrymen.

There cannot be any sovereignty before citizens’ security.

Sovereignty should be envisaged in order to defend the independent state’s quest to delegate democratic principles to its respective inhabitants who by right are entitled to such.

The idea of cushioning dictators with amnesty after leaving office should never be tolerated if our future generations are to learn the right way.

They should be brought before the law so that aspiring leaders have something to learn, that no actions on earth will go unchallenged whether one is dead or alive. - Alexander Rusero

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