Was Robert Mugabe really the President of Zimbabwe?
Perhaps, for the last 40 years he was a poodle, fronting for a powerbase, the military, which just showed up for what belonged to it.
And why did ordinary Zimbabweans not put up a fight when their leader was under siege?
To the extent that they neither protested nor jubilated at the exit of the tetula head, only shows that they could not be fooled .
They knew who was in charge all these while . And it was not Mugabe but the military. They gave him the power some 40years back.
Who in Africa has succeeded as a leader without the Military? Was it Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana or Gnassingbé Eyadéma of Togo?
90% of African leaders, past and present, especially the very corrupt ones, those who come in trumpeting probity and accountability like Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, were military men who later wore civilian cloths , and because they are trained to be brutal, they managed their countries as such.
The paradox is the fact that the military is both hated and loved in Africa. Hated when they become politicians and loved when they come in uniform to kick out their colleagues in civilian uniform.
In the present case of Zimbabwe, why did the military intervene, after looking on for some 40years? It was not because they wanted better living conditions for the people of Zimbabwe . No. Mugabe was going to hand over power to his wife instead of a friend of the military. That brought them in.
Nothing is more self seeking and serving than this: Supporting governments because they are of military stock or are friends of the military.
This is the attitude of the African military. So much talk about it’s discipline. When in fact, it is most undisciplined, power drunk, corrupt and trained only to serve private ends.
It has over the years been easily manipulated by imperialist to brutalise their own country men as was the case in Apathied South Africa, colonial Ghana and French Colony of Ivory Coast, including a host of others.
In fact, in the case of Ghana, it was possible for the military to sell themselves cheap to the CIA, who used them to overthrow a regime that was developing the country at a pace whose speed was unparrelled even in the Western World.
We can talk of their attitude during period of war and coups. They are almost like savages and animals. They rape women , destroy children, loot shops and reverse the economies of its victim countries hundred years backwards.
Liberia, Togo, Sudan, Egypt, etc are so backward because the military has ravaged it beyond repairs. In fact , the military in Africa has done great damage to the progress of Africa than the combine efforts of slavery , colonialism, and chieftaincy.
While in most instances we find it convenient to blame a civilian politician for whatever wrong, always remember that such civilian leaders, like Mugabe were once military men or have been installed by same.
The military will come for their power like Rawlings did to Liman in Ghana in1979 and Chiwenga to Mugabe in Zimbabwe in 2017 if their interests are not served fully.
Who then is behind African corruption, underdevelopment and neocolonialism? The military.
Who is in charge of the African military ? Who train them? What instructions and manual goes into their training and whose purpose do they serve?
Even after several years of independence does it surprise anybody that the major activity of the African military is going to fight wars that belong to previous colonial masters?
Elsewhere the military is trained to defend the constitution and not to execute treasonable conducts of their commanding officers.
In Ghana, the military are used to kill innocent Ghanaians while defending property and interest of foreign nationals. Indeed, Captain Adam Mahama of Ghana died while protecting a foreign mine against locals who over powered and killed him.
Mugabe may be gone but really nothing has changed. We should await patiently for who the military will replace him with. Perhaps, one better able to further their ends much more than Robbert Mugabe.
Akyena Brantuo Benjamin
Broadcast Journalist and Political Analyst.