Events at the country’s gateway, Beitbridge Border Post, in the last few days and lately Harare are unfortunate and disastrous to the citizenry, but call for President Robert Mugabe to seriously self-introspect to stop Zimbabwe’s continued economic malaise.
Instead of addressing the causes of people’s disaffection, Mugabe is determined to crush dissent under the pretext of keeping order, at the same time flouting human rights.
In any disturbances, there is no doubt that there will always be elements bent on causing chaos in the country. We hope that government will be able to separate these from those peaceful demonstrators, pushing government to address the many ills afflicting the country.
From all we have observed, it appears that the protests are all not political, but Zimbabweans concerned about how they are being governed. Therefore, the Zanu PF government should deal with these pertinent people issues.
But the deployment of the State security apparatus in the border town and in various suburbs in Harare to crush dissent shows Mugabe is not open to amicably solving the many questions people have about how they are being ruled.
The people’s concerns are real and not imagined and it is time Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for 36 years, convened an all stakeholders indaba to discuss the future of the country.
If the regime fails to take heed of these tell-tale signs, history has shown that even strong governments have been swept away by people power.
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There is no doubt that Zimbabweans are a peace-loving people, but the misgovernance, endemic corruption and human rights abuses at the hands of the State could be the main cause for the disturbances. Otherwise, how else can we describe and attribute the uprisings to?
We believe that former Zanu PF politburo member and Cabinet minister Cephas Msipa was spot-on when he urged Mugabe to forget about his Zanu PF candidature for the 2018 presidential elections and focus on the country’s economic turnaround.
We, however, do not agree with Msipa that Mugabe has the sole mandate to decide who will succeed him, no! Zimbabweans have that mandate. It appears Mugabe had all the time since Independence, but squandered the chance the moment he chose to create a family dynasty.
With the way things are going, only time will tell. The fact of the matter is Zimbabweans are tired of being led by a regime that does not care about their interests.
Indeed, no one can force Mugabe to resign or step down, but given his age, the only logical thing for an individual in his shoes will be to save the country, which is now gravitating towards civil strife.
The President should ask himself: What kind of leader does not care about the consequences of his actions or lack thereof? What are Zimbabweans to make of a leader who gets on a plane and flies off somewhere while his country burns around him?
What kind of human being sleeps soundly in his bed every night knowing that on account of him alone, thousands might be starving with no prospects for a better tomorrow? Does Mugabe and his minions in his Zanu PF party ever ask themselves these pertinent questions?
Clearly, what legacy would Mugabe leave for the country if everything that has been built during his long rule could end up being destroyed?
If anything, Mugabe should, for once listen, to sound advice from allies both in his Zanu PF and his peers in Africa and step down for the good of the country.