Letter from America

Judging by their psychotic reaction, the ageing ZANU President Robert Mugabe and his cronies must have been watching with great trepidation the end of their comrade-in -crime, Moammar Gadhafi. The former Libyan dictator was fished out of a sewer. He was a pathetic sight, pleading for his life moments before he was shot dead.


A once mighty dictator who ruled Libya with an iron fist for over 40 years, Gadhafi's corpse lay like a piece of garbage on an old mattress and in a meat container while people lined up to see this fallen zero, not hero. But Gadhafi was very lucky. Unlike another dictator just across the Mediterranean Sea in Italy, Benito Mussolini, whose dead body was hung upside down by a meat hook in a public square, Gadhafi's half naked body lay on the floor in a symbolic show of how low he had sunk in the public esteem.

The message to Mugabe and his ZANU syndicate could not have been more succinct. It was like the biblical handwriting on the wall, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN that foretold the end of the Babylonian empire.

Its meaning was pure, simple, loud and crystal clear: Your days are numbered. What Mugabe saw in the Gadhafi's corpse lying humiliated on an old mattress was a mirror image of him. It may have ultimately dawned on Mugabe that dictators are in fact falling like the dominoes and that he may well be the next in line awaiting his turn.

Ironically, Mugabe's spokesman, Webster Shamu, had the gall to say violence is no way to resolve the problems in Libya. And in a flight of fancy, Mugabe's gadfly called for a government of national unity in Libya. Yet both Shamu and the ZANU political formation have used, and continue to use, violence to keep themselves in power, especially after losing the 2008 elections.

The fall of Libya in the volatile North African geopolitics has undoubtedly now sent shivers in the Mugabe and ZANU establishment.

Whatever Mugabe was benefiting from his close relations with Gadhafi, the supply tap has now been effectively shut by the new regime which will obviously see Mugabe and ZANU as collaborators with Gadhafi. And Mugabe and ZANU's behavior in expelling the Libyan ambassador, who switched allegiance to the transitional government, as well as their refusal to recognize the new regime in Tripoli, will backfire leaving Mugabe with an egg on his face.

A saving grace for Zimbabwe may well be that the MDC-T has expressed its recognition and support for the Libyan transitional government.

The MDC-T has also vehemently opposed the expulsion of the Libyan ambassador. But without any effective power in the coalition administration, the MDC-T's position will remain confined to words and nothing else since Mugabe and ZANU are in complete control of what was supposed to be a power sharing arrangement.

This was clearly evident when police in Lupane last weekend broke up a rally addressed by Tsvangirai. Putting aside the humiliation of it all, the police action merely confirmed and fuelled the firm resolve by the people of Lupane, and Matabeleland, to decisively vote Mugabe and ZANU out of power for the umpteenth time.

Using the developments in Libya as an example, there surely must be an inspiration or motivation among the MDC-T leadership and the dormant Zimbabweans in general to say Enough, Zvakwana, Sokwanele to this ongoing ZANU madness.

Just how bad must things be before a spontaneous uprising can be affected? One helpful start should be the formation of a broad-based coalition that will bring in the prodemocracy activists, disgruntled ZANU members, Zimbabweans in Diaspora to map out a strategy for Mugabe's downfall.

It is pointless to say, as some have argued, that the situation in Libya was historically vastly different from Zimbabwe and the techniques used in Libya cannot be used in Zimbabwe. This same argument has been used when masses revolted in Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Benin, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Malawi and other countries.

One can be forgiven for asking: Just how vastly different are conditions in Zimbabwe that mass protest is impossible?

Another argument is that Mugabe is 87 years old and his world is coming to an end anyway.

However, the former dictator of Malawi, President Kamuzu Hastings Banda, was about Mugabe's age when the Malawian prodemocracy movement staged spectacular mass revolts against him.

On the other hand, Mugabe and ZANU may, just like Ian Smith during the Rhodesian era, be stubbornly resisting the winds of inevitable change now blowing the Libyan desert sandstorms in their faces. Like cornered rats, Mugabe and ZANU keep on hoping that life in Zimbabwe will proceed unruffled under their indefinite control.

They have yet to learn from history.

In March 1976, Ian Smith boasted there would be no black majority rule in his lifetime. But in September of the same year, and in a dramatic U -turn, the same Smith was forced to eat his words when he publicly conceded to one- person one- vote for the then Rhodesia.

For Mugabe and ZANU, the Arab spring is the writing on the wall proclaiming clearly that change is coming to Zimbabwe in one form or another, and more specifically, the days of Mugabe and ZANU impunity are numbered.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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