The time is up Mr President

HARARE - Even the most fanatic supporters of President Robert Mugabe will agree that life in Zimbabwe over the past 33 years of this country’s independence has been far from being the bed of roses that independence in 1980 promised.

They will also agree that in fact the vast majority of our people who were debt-poor before 1980 have become even poorer during this period of supposed Uhuru.

Indeed, the gap between the few rich and politically-connected leeches in our country on the one hand, and the poor in contemporary Zimbabwe on the other, highlights depressingly how far behind our country is in terms of achieving the noble goals of the struggle for our independence.

Mugabe’s followers will also agree that nearly as many innocent people have died needlessly in political violence in “independent” Zimbabwe as did during our noble and collective struggle for independence — simply on account of the fact that they didn’t subscribe to forced Zanu PF hegemony.

And we could go on and on if space permitted.

The sad constant in all these tragic issues above is one 89-year-old fellow Zimbabwean — Mugabe.

Yes, Zimbabweans could engage in a quasi-intellectual discussion of whether Mugabe wittingly or unwittingly found himself at the centre of all these terrible crises, but it cannot escape anyone that our only leader during these miserable three decades has been one Robert Mugabe.

To that extent, he must take responsibility for all that has happened under his watch — both the little good and the ubiquitous bad. That is the ideal principle of good leadership.

So bad are perceptions around Mugabe that even economists and the business community at large, as reported by the Daily News yesterday, are worried sick that the country’s economy will decelerate further if he somehow wins today’s presidential ballot.

So, why indeed should he continue to lead this country when there is universal agreement that his leadership has been largely a disaster?

If Mugabe had remained in office this long because Zimbabweans absolutely “adore and love” him, then it would be fine.

But the reality, sadly, is that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai trounced him hands down in the 2008 presidential race, and he was only able to remain in power because our meddling hardliners intervened.

Mugabe’s legitimacy as president of this country was only restored when Sadc — with the questionable former South African president Thabo Mbeki at the centre of things — forced Tsvangirai to enter into an unwieldy inclusive government with him.

It is, thus, a complete disgrace that in spite of the fact that Zimbabwe is a rich country that has a quarter of the world’s diamonds by value and the second biggest deposits of platinum in the world, for example, we are shamefully one of the poorest and economically worst-performing countries in the world.

It’s painful to admit but true. So we say unequivocally today that it is time to go Mr President.

Please, listen to your people and pass the baton over to someone else! Maybe this way too, you can, somehow, repair your terrible legacy.

Comments (4)

This is so accurate.

Tiger Shona - 31 July 2013


Natsai Mugwagwa - 31 July 2013

'Terrible legacy' indeed. A president who presides of the massacre of over 20 000 innocent people and then dares call it 'a moment of madness' without telling us whose madness, only 'a moment'. A president who does bother when over tthree million citizens decide to leave their motherland to be strangers and refugees in foreign lands, and he says 'they can leave if they want, it shows our education system is high quality, that's why they can get jobs everywhere.' Such an unfeeling president who thinks power is all there is to governance. A president who reads Italian author Machiavelli uncritically and follows those views as if they political gospel truth.

chenjerai hove - 31 July 2013

During the past 33 years of Zanu PF rule, its cadres have been stealing the country's resources and have became personally filthy rich. They made Zimbabwe into their fiefdom and Mugabe can hire a Mbada Diamond Mining Company Airbus while hospitals in the country were closed for common people who are are dying of common diseases. Where is Mugabe getting the money to even hire an Airbus?

Tapera Yemurai Choto - 31 July 2013

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