Dictators trembling with fear

The death of Muammar Gaddafi in a bloody melee at the hands of the people he called rats was a fitting departure from this world into the next. There are those of his former friends that wish to convince us that Gaddafi was assassinated or executed. The bottom line is that Africa is rid of one more dictator, and Libya is now a free country well on the way to democracy and good governance.

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

Some of us are still in the trenches, but it is just a matter of time and we too will be rid of our dictator soon. In the meantime, we celebrate in solidarity with the brave and courageous people of Libya, and we salute them for their eight-months of believing in themselves. Yes, they may have been helped here and there by nations of a democratic inclination, but the blood they sacrificed for the freedom of their country was certainly their own. Bravo!

It is tragic, however, that in the process of prosecuting a war against his own people, Gaddafi has effectively decimated his own family. This is a lesson that needs to be taken seriously by those African dictators still in office. We know that they are livid about the demise of their departed colleague, Gaddafi, but they should remember that their turn is just around the corner.

How they behave from now on may determine whether theirs will be a more or less bloody departure. Their fate is in their own hands. Smart dictators will recant their ways at this stage and hand over power to the people without having to go through what Muammar went through. You cannot fool all the people all the time and live to tell the story. We know that Gaddafi was a prolific story teller, but today he lies silent. We also know of our local story-teller who is currently frothing at the mouth about his late friend’s bloody exit from this world.

The Libyan regime change war demonstrates the uselessness of the African Union as a good governance structure on this continent. We all know that Gaddafi used to abuse his national resources to fund the OAU and then the AU, as well as provide financial support to some African countries. He also invested considerable resources in some countries, including Zimbabwe.

That is why people like Robert Mugabe are clamouring for the creation of an inclusive government in the post-Gaddafi Libya. They actually argue that they will not recognize the NTC unless it forms an inclusive government which will include some of Gaddafi’s supporters. Well, this is not going to happen. Gaddafi’s people resisted the change right up to the time of the dictator’s death. They should have no part whatsoever in the new dispensation.

At any rate, it is the people of Libya who have to decide what type of government they would like to form. It is not up to the dictates of the friends and beneficiaries of the late dictator. Wise Gaddafi beneficiaries will keep very quiet lest they become the next targets of the cleansing of Africa for democratic development.

Finally, the Libyan success story has the significant lesson for us in Zimbabwe, that we are our own liberators through whatever action we take. The international community will only come to our succour after we have taken the initiative to resolve our own problems. We cannot continue to sit on our haunches and expect the international community to come and deliver us from our dictators. The ball is firmly in our hands, and we will do the job. Dictators must be afraid, very afraid of the power of a determined people.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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