Mugabe can borrow Ferguson's script

HARARE - Imagine President Robert Mugabe appearing live on national television’s news hour programme announcing that he has had enough as president and is now resigning permanently from active politics.

News that Sir Alex Ferguson, European football coach laureate and Manchester United’s manager had announced his retirement came as a surprise not only to Europe but to all football-crazy nations, ours included.

I am not a fanatic of football; I can not narrate a team or player’s history like others for more than a sentence before tripling in my narrative ordeal. I grew up in a family where the only acceptable “sport” was reading books and reading alone. All my brothers were equally good in soccer but could not go far because to my conservative parents, only education was the key.

Despite all this I got to know about Ferguson through reading of course and am equally good just like his legion of fans.

Ferguson and Mugabe draw some similarities. Both men are tough talkers, both men have temper easy to dictate, they both have an insatiable appetite of winning, even if it means on every contest.

Ferguson spent 26 years as the overall man in charge of Manchester United.

This year marks Mugabe’s 26th year of presidency, having abolished the title of prime minister in 1987.

As such Mugabe may emulate Ferguson by considering to rest from his life time career of politics. Even if power longs for longevity there are times when one should consider quitting.

Despite all the burning desires of power accumulation, practical realities show that everything big or small, divine or wicked, blessed or cursed, evil or holy, tend to desire rest at some point.

There has always been need to call it quits.

History has also proved that people tend to exonerate politicians who decide to rest or who facilitate bloodless transfer of power.

Zambia’s first Statesman is still celebrated as an icon in his country to this day because of his rational decision to facilitate transfer of power.

Despite dismal governance failure Kaunda had exhibited as president of Zambia, such were all overshadowed by the opportunity he grabbed last minute- that of transferring power.

Should Mugabe not snatch such an opportunity of humbly quitting while still at the helm not help matters, in as much as consolidating legacy is concerned?

Ferguson at 71 years, 18 years Mugabe’s junior, has decided to call it quits.

This is despite that he is still physically strong.

This is despite that he woke up everyday doing exercises and a little bit of gym as well as jogging on snow.

Ferguson chewed tonnes of chewing gums. All these contributed to the Scottish being physically fit always. He had created a sacrosanct cult at Old Trafford not so easy to desert.

But he has decided to put all this aside, and take a rest. Fergy has decided to rest at the apex of his career having transformed Man U into a formidable team in Europe and the entire world.

Had the Scottish consulted his legion of fans, there was going to be an outcry, no one would tolerate that he quits Man U.

So it is not an excuse made within Zanu PF circles, for Mugabe not to rest because “people” in the party have not demanded so.

Rationality should simply convince Mugabe to defy the odds and rest. He will walk out of power with pride.

Mugabe just like Ferguson, is obviously still exercising, eating good food and may be feeling as fit as a fiddle. But these are not justifiable reasons to cling on.

Mugabe’s life nowadays is harder and more complex, resting will be the only therapy and secret to long life.

Resting will be important to Mugabe because it will be a way of rejuvenating his body after a long tenacious career.

Quitting will make Mugabe a hero at last, something he desires. - Alexander Rusero

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