Please God, help Zimbabwe

HARARE - At 93 years, what else does President Robert Mugabe want to achieve which he hasn't, whether right or wrong?

That was the question on the lips of many Zimbabweans on Thursday when the veteran former Zanu PF leader played hardball in his talks with the mediation team that involved envoys of South African President Jacob Zuma and the generals, who tried to bring closure to a week of tumultuous events by having Mugabe accept an exit plan that had been tabled before him.

The deadlock in that meeting meant both Zanu PF and long-suffering ordinary Zimbabweans had to express their disquiet over his obstinacy and stubbornness despite the gravity of the situation.

Saturday's historic march against Mugabe, coming on the back of meetings by Zanu PF provincial coordinating committees which ordered Mugabe to resign, was important in so many ways.

The march served to send a bold message to Mugabe that his time was over and, crucially, confirmed that since they had given him the mandate to lead the country as voters, they were now exercising the same right to withdraw that mandate.

His party on Sunday recalled him, reminding the nonagenarian that the party no longer wanted him and in keeping with his consistent message that if both the electorate and Zanu PF no longer wanted him, he would resign.

It was shocking, baffling and profoundly disappointing that Mugabe chose to ignore all this.

Mugabe’s decision to pass the chance of resigning has shredded the little of his legacy that remained.

He has clearly decided to thumb his nose on the dignifying plans that both his pillar of many years — the military and envoys of Zuma had — to take down the whole country with him.

By refusing to go, Mugabe has chosen the wrong path, which wipes off everything he stood for and puts himself on a collision course with ordinary Zimbabweans who, for many difficult years, put up with his ruinous and catastrophic policies

After 37 years of unflappable rule, why choose to go out on a whimper?

After leading the country out of a protracted and bitter war, why choose to ignore the voice of reason and take a path that rubbishes the sacrifices and selfless actions that became the hallmark of all freedom fighters — both who returned home and those who didn’t.

Things shouldn’t have come to this.

Regrettably, the country is now facing the precipice and may head into a dangerous zone because of the love of power by a leader who refused to let go despite being rejected by the people who gave him the same power.

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