Mugabe’s painful legacy

As President Robert Mugabe turns 90, after 34 years as Zimbabwe’s solitary Ruler, it must be patently obvious to all that his rein has been an absolute failure.

Paul Bogaert
Paul Bogaert

Failure to deliver to the people of Zimbabwe on his promises of the early 1980s – healthfor all by the year 2000, education for all by the year 2000, housing for all by the year 2000.

He has been in power for almost 34 years and maintains that his job as head of state is still unfinished. The main argument he has used to remain at the helm is that he wants to ensure that black Zimbabweans are totally delivered from colonial bondage and completely empowered to own and benefit from the country’s natural resources.

All he has achieved is to make himself and a small coterie of hangers-on eye-watering wealthy. To millions of citizens this is a lame excuse to stay in power and possibly die in office. In modern day democracies, there should not be a single person who claims monopoly over national matters.

It is an open secret that his very lieutenants who publicly call for his continued stay at State House are, in fact, praying that he should go. They are groveling at his feet because they are afraid of the likely hazards of openly advocating for his stepping down. They are also opportunists who continue to benefit from his protracted rule.

It is difficult to imagine what Mugabe hopes to achieve in his remaining years when he has failed so painfully in the last 34 years when he was younger. If he was so passionate about delivering our land, minerals and other natural resources to the citizens, why did he leave that to the twilight of his life?

Mugabe cannot claim a legacy of having empowered Zimbabweans. On the contrary, his legacy is one of disempowerment for the majority – who are now poorer than they were in 1953. The land reform programme that he sees as a beacon of his empowerment fight has mostly benefited him and the fats cats who surround him – and in the process has led to widespread hunger and hardship.

The same goes for the indigenisation programme that, clearly, will not benefit the ordinary people. He has presided over the most corrupt bureaucracy in the history of this country, and does not seem to have a clue how to get rid of the disease.

That Mugabe has ruled for so long is bad for Zimbabwean history; it sets a very bad precedent. He has created an extremely dangerous leadership culture and a burdensome legacy for Zimbabwe.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga
  1. The Bush Lawyer

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