Birthday wish for Mugabe

mugabevigilaAs Robert Mugabe (pictured) celebrated his 86th birthday this weekend it is now painfully obvious that he is well past his sell-by date. There can be no logical justification for keeping an old man in a stressful job. A job he is clearly not up to, given his advanced age.

There must be a reason why most companies demand that their staff, no matter how senior, retire at the age of 65. Zimbabwes own civil servants are expected to leave at 65 and most policemen are retired at the age of 60.

During the consultations for the rejected constitution in 1999, thoughts and suggestions for the proposed new constitution were gathered from many Zimbabweans. The majority of people said that their President should not be more than 65 years old. If Mugabe had served two terms in office and then graciously excused himself he would have left office at 65. Instead he opted to remain in power for another two decades!

Mugabe may regard himself as the cleverest man in Zimbabwe, but there is no monopoly on wisdom. There are hundreds of thousands of other educated Zimbabweans who are equally up to the task. Following the poverty, malnutrition and lack of education that have plagued Zimbabweans as a result of Mugabes misrule – the performance rating of this public employee speaks for itself.

In the past Mugabe has argued that his party would disintegrate if he was to leave now. That is hardly an argument for maintaining a dictatorial stranglehold on the entire nation with its consequent denial of human rights and continued oppression of the citizens.

As Mugabe celebrates his 86 birthday, we hope he will take the time to reflect on whether he is still making a useful contribution to our country or whether he is, in fact, one of the major problems. As the pictures on page two of this issue illustrate, he spends a great deal of his time asleep at public functions and meetings even at his own politburo meetings. This is hardly unnatural for an octogenarian. The old man should pay attention to what his own body is telling him the spirit may be willing, but the body is weak.

Mugabe can do Zimbabweans a huge favour by retiring to his palatial home in Borrowdale Brooke and enjoying his growing family in the twilight of his life. What he, at the ripe-old-age of 86, has not been able to do with 30 years of unbridled power – is not going to get done now!

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