And the question to ask is not whether when our own President Robert Mugabe comes to shake hands with Sata at that summit he will finally grasp the lesson that it is possible to hand over power peacefully after free and fair elections.
The question to ask is why does Mugabe put himself though all this? Were it not that this is entirely self-inflicted, you almost want to feel sorry for Mugabe – sitting there, being lectured on democracy by the likes of Botswana’s President Ian Khama, men young enough to be his children.
Why on earth should Mugabe, 87, have to suffer the embarrassment of having to listen to novices like Sata speaking about how to ensure free and fair elections in Zimbabwe.
Of course, when SADC leaders speak of wanting to ensure free and fair polls in Zimbabwe, that is their way of politely saying that they want to make sure Mugabe and Zanu (PF) will not again maim and murder their way back into power after losing the ballot.
In his tearful but dignified concession speech, former Zambian President Rupiah Banda said: “My generation, the generation of the independence struggle, must now give way to new ideas of the 21st century.”
In other words, no one buys anymore the old lie favoured by the likes of Mugabe, and that other political dinosaur in Angola, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, that they have to remain around because they are still in the trenches trying to beat back a renewed campaign by Western powers to re-colonise Africa.
Or to put it differently, the time has come for Africa to reject the oppression, murder, plunder, vote stealing and corruption that have characterised the rule of most former liberation movements on the continent.
Either we embrace democracy and good governance, both as individual nations and as a continent, or we get left behind as the brave new world marches on!
As for Mugabe, stepping aside to allow Zimbabwe a chance to start afresh could never fully atone for the many sins and crimes of his long rule. But at least it could be a way to say sorry for the way he and his Zanu (PF) have ruined our once beautiful country.Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga