President Robert Mugabe has once again exposed his deepening sense of insecurity and paranoid fear for his life by claiming Western plots to assassinate him.
He told party leaders at the just-ended Zanu PF conference in Gweru that his life was at stake because of the country’s diamonds. He said he was, however, not scared to die because many others had already died for this country.
The Zanu PF leader shares this curious belief of Western countries conniving to kill him and also to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.
What they have not attempted to do, however, is to explain to Zimbabweans how the Westerners, or anybody else for that matter, could possibly achieve such a feat — recolonising this country — taking Zimbabwe back to 1890 while the rest of the world watches.
Is it this paranoia that drives our President to maintain such a ridiculous security network around his person? Mugabe is one of very few world leaders that move around with almost a battalion of soldiers and police — all armed to the teeth — in a country where there is no war.
When he is visiting provinces, about a two-kilometre radius is packed with armed military men usually deployed days before the visit — as if the country is at war and the President is visiting a rebel-infested region.
Mugabe has cited as examples of “evil” Western plots, recently fallen dictators like former Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
But, given what obtained in Libya during the insurrection against that dictator, would our President want to associate himself with Gaddafi?
That leader who called his own people rats while he ordered the annihilation of innocent unarmed civilians! This is not the first time that Mugabe has accused Western countries of plotting to kill him.
When he attended the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after the fall of Gaddafi and other dictators in North Africa, he expressed anger at how the continental body was handling issues to do with Western intervention in hot spots in the region. In his address to the AU, Mugabe said: “Gaddafi was killed in broad daylight, his children hunted like animals and then we rush to recognise the NTC (National Transitional Council).Well, well, that was Libya. Who will be next?”
The President told leaders of his party in Gweru at the weekend there are plots to kill him for the country’s diamonds but he is not afraid.
He said: “You can’t be afraid that you will be killed. How many have died. This is my country. I will die for it. A lot of others have died for it . . .They also want our diamonds. So let’s prepare to defend our sovereignty.”
This perpetual fear will get our leaders to rule this country with suspicion and therefore unnecessary heavy-handedness that will find scores of individuals being arrested on spurious allegations of saying bad things about the Head of State.
A popular leader should be free to move around their country without suffocating security. Law-abiding citizens of a country are good enough protection for a popular leader.