A new crisis which leads to a similar game plan. In 2008-2009 there was a South African delegation lead by current time President Thabo Mbeki. Who had a diplomatic mission to mediate in Zimbabwe to solve the political crisis and stabilize the economy.
This week, the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the Chair President of the African Union have now appointed two Special Envoy to Zimbabwe after the recent human rights violations and crackdown on the civil society.
Last time, Mbeki did what he could to create a Unity Government between the ZANU-PF and MDC. This was to solve the stand-off after a rigged election. Mbeki in a way gave legitimacy and helped to give Mugabe a longer life in power. As the Unity Government for a while bought him time to reign longer without any consequences.
This time around, Ramaphosa might try to do the same. His sending other envoys in to fix the issues. However, his still implicated in it and we can wonder what is his game. ZANU-PF have already dismissed Mbeki in the presidency of Emmerson Mnangagwa. MDC-Alliance’s Nelson Chamisa haven’t accepted his negotiations either. So, there is no Unity Government on the agenda now.
I doubt that the opposition are willing to do the same. As the activists, journalists and civil society leaders are arbitrary arrested, abducted and politically prosecuted. Therefore, the will to bend to the regime might not be as strong this time around.
Secondly, Mnangagwa is using all his means to oppress the dissidents, the ones exposing him and the ones who dares to question his reign. This President ensures that people get arrested and charged for phony crimes, for example one citizen was arrested over annoying the President on WhatsApp.
Mbeki used his tricks and mediation skills, but ZANU-PF never lost their way. The regime persist with its violence against its own. Mnangagwa use armed forces against the citizens. That is apparently what he does and hopes to get away with.
I doubt Ramaphosa will have the powers or finesse to change the authorities in Zimbabwe. They are not willing to listen and they rather rebuke all forrms of criticism. They want to deny the violence and breaches of human rights. To stop the citizens from demonstrating and take away their civil liberties. That has all gone to the wind.
That Ramaphosa is sending Special Envoys to make a difference. Their mission either a sort of buying time for “peace”. If not maybe it will be in the same lane as the Inter-Burundian dialogue with late Benjamin Mpaka, who served the authorities and did dismiss its opposition. The final straw and ending of all is this. That this might be the sort of diplomatic charade buying the regime time. Mnangagwa would enjoy the perks of international community giving space and wiggle room, while Ramaphosa fetches the accredited diplomatic mission, which in the end will amount to nothing.
I really don’t know, but I doubt that these Special Envoys are the trick. The Military Government of ZANU-PF isn’t there to play, but to misbehave. They are there to silence and to secure power. These people will be nice for photo-ops, but will not drop any sort significant change. I am sure that SADC and AU is not willing carry this either. They only does this to stop the critics and to show some action. Even if it is a non-action with a loose mandate. A mandate can amount to nothing, other then having two more people on the payroll for a hot minute. Peace.
I know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) will be shocked to their core, as they have been eating the propaganda and the spoils of the unfinished revolution of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Whose since the inception in the early 1980s of the NRA. Has spoiled his legacy, destroyed his victories and sealed his fate on this here earth.
The NRM won’t accept this, that is why the former freedom fighter, the liberation activists and current head-of-state. Will be remembered in the same fashion as Mugabe. They have both similarities, even as the Ugandan one has even more wars in the near area, than his counterpart.
They both have gone from being liberation heroes to become oppressors. They have both destroyed the legacy of positive change, because they lingered in power. They are both known for patronage and misuse of the army to control the population. Both men have rigged elections, silence the opposition, wrecked the economy and tried to act as big-men everywhere else.
President Museveni has also been involved in conflicts in and around the East African hemisphere. Even his soldiers have been hired as far away as the Equatorial Guinea. His been involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Museveni has supposedly helped and gotten rid of Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda, Mobutu Sese Seko of DRC, Laurent Kabila of the DRC and John Garang of South Sudan. Therefore, his legacy will live on, not because of the men stopped in the Republic, but also elsewhere.
Still, his actions in his own Republic will be calculated into the same fashion as Mugabe. As a man who had the Republic and had a promising start. Was loved by both the West and had the public behind him. Over time he lingered and gotten more and more sinister. His killing of allies, getting rid of generals and the acts of previous leadership. Shows, that the President didn’t really come with the promised change, but instead just changed the head.
When, big-men in and around the President dies. When kings and other noble men are in exile, when people are randomly kidnapped, tortured and killed. As the troubles of the past is coming back. The lawlessness and rampant injustice is ruling, because the patronage and the security outfits are loyal to the President, but not serving the public. This is why, the President will be remembered for that. For the deaths in Kasese, the assassinations, arbitrary arrests, the torture of opposition leaders and the usage of military to let the NRM stay in power.
These sort of things, make the similarities between him and Mugabe go away. That the same sort of story can be told. The same sort of obituaries can be written, just to Ugandan context with some more flex of power in the closer hinterland of Kampala.
Museveni will be seen as a former freedom fighter turned oppressor. Someone who went from having the promise and possible change the Republic needed. To become like so many others, be hooked on the greed, the power and the eternal faith that your the selected one to rule.
Yoweri went from being the humble servant to become the King, His Excellency and fountain of honour. The man who went from being the popular and promising executive, to become the self-styled President for life.
Mugabe ruled for 37 years, Museveni is at his 33 years. With so many similarities, that is why Mugabe was usually attending the inaugurations of him and likewise did Museveni visit Harare. That is just the way it is, they were brothers from different mothers. They chose this path.
Their intentions doesn’t matter now, what they used their time and their lives. Created lot of hurt, damaged a lot of peoples lives. They used it for personal gain on the cost of others. Others might salute them, but the victims, the ones who lost it all. Should be remembered, as they are not written in the sky. They will not have lavish burials or even a grave to go to. These people will die like and vanish like banana leafs, while these big-men will have ceremonies and tales written about them. While the people they made suffer, will not be heard or even have the ability to speak.
This is why, we know that the day of final destination is coming to Yoweri or Yosri. His last breath will come eventually. We don’t know when, but that is destined to come. We don’t know when, but Lord knows. Then, we will write in similar fashion and certainly not escape the truth of what Museveni did. Peace.
Well, his final day was finally here. He turned 95 years old. He held office for over 37 years. Robert Gabriel Mugabe was special, was unique, but also very very brutal. He was conning, smart and knew what to say. What is even more striking about this man, he knew perfectly well, but still had the ability to destroy the good graces given to him.
The Republic of Zimbabwe, the Republic he liberated and made his own after the brutal and despotic rule of minority white rule under Ian Smith. The Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe. That he fought from the outside. Went into exile, combined forces with other rebels and in the end signed a grand agreement at the Lancaster House. Which till to this is cherish and respected, because of that achievement.
What was to come, was someone who would use the colonial laws and expertise and use it on his population. Someone who had the breadbasket of the Southern African hemisphere. But destroyed it and now the state is importing needed food stuff. A country with a positive economy, functioning state institutions and so on. But no is questionable at best. That is shown by where he died. He didn’t die in one of the public hospitals in Harare. No his final days was in Singapore. Where he travelled to in the recent years for his medical and health care check-ups. That is sign of how mismanaged the Republic has been. As the head-of-state cannot trust his own civil service or the delivery of common health care.
President Mugabe will be remembered for 5th Brigade and its slaughter between 1983 to 1987. A brigade trained by the North Koreans to assault and kill the ones that betrayed and voted against the Presidency. The tribe that didn’t follow Uncle Bob. This was something he never said sorry for or ever addressed, as if it was a created myth, which wasn’t important.
Well, in consideration after that, he used his time in power to linger there. To destroy the nation he started to build Instead of leaving a legacy of greatness, of servitude and hope. He leaves behind many destroyed families, many families without answers, people abducted, people killed and activists scorned by them standing up his regime. There was a First Republic under Mugabe that was cherished.
He was so cherished at one point, that you could say, at one point in time. He was the Mandela of Zimbabwe. The unifier and the hope of the Republic. The one being honoured by the Queen of England. The one who was mentioned with good words. But that was only until he shown his true colours and what gave him power. He used methods of fear, the state to silence opposition and arrest them. Even aimed at killing them like he tried to do at least twice with Morgan Tsvangirai.
Just like Mugabe buried the remaining part of his former friend and ally turned opposition Ndabaningi Sithole Friday, who in December 1997 was charged with conspiracy to kill him at the tender age of 77. Clearly, a political imprisonment of someone who had the ability and the wording to challenge the President. This is the sort of acts, that will remember how a liberation hero turned oppressor.
Mugabe went from hero to a zero. By his own defaults, by his own measures, he had it, but spoilt it. By his greed, patronage and will to stay in power. Instead of letting go to next man by succession, he had to be overthrown in a coup, that wasn’t a coup in November 2017. Because, he couldn’t resign, when he was already at the stages of advanced age. He was supposed to be the biblical forever ruling Head-of-State. That was who he was or who he became.
He knew how to speak, he knew how to use words and show his brightness. No doubt about that. His speeches are colourful and shows his wit. No doubt about that, his quotes and wordings will be running past our life time. But, that wasn’t all.
Because, Mugabe was a lot, his tyranny went to a point, where people was arrested for calling him names. Being a foreigner supporting the wrong NGOs or whatever sorry excuse the state could find. This was more important than developing the nation or even trying to make it run on default. As the spiralling inflation, the deconstruction of its currency, the lack of foreign exchange and bountiful spending on the first family. The Mugabe’s was living lavish, while the ordinary man couldn’t afford bread. That is end-game of this family and this man.
A man that rose through the ranks of a righteous rebellion, who consolidated the power. Got the Republic, made it in his imaged and wrecked it. He could have passed it on, but decided to linger on. In the end dying in Singapore, because he hadn’t done his job at home. He did serve as the Head of State for over 3 decades, but still couldn’t get medical treatment at home. That shows his disgraceful governing right there. That is not strength, but weakness.
Mugabe, the one that freed Zimbabwe, was not the same man who was overthrown in a coup. Neither was he the same after he ordered and accepted the killings in Gukurahundi in the 1980s. His a man of many things, of many stories, countless ones actually. Even falling a sleep in the United Nations General Assembly. The man reading up the wrong speech at a rally. That is the sort of thing he did too.
Therefore, it isn’t one picture. Even though for me, he went from a hero to become a Goblin. A man who went from being respected for fighting for the righteous cause to destroy it all on his own. He could have been stature, a man of all seasons. Instead, he will be remembered by many for the hurt, the pain and suffering he ordered while being office. Peace.