Will Mugabe’s downfall usher a new beginning or another Dynasty?
London, Nov. 21, 2017 (AltAfrika)-The almost four decades of not so meritorious Presidency of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has come to an end reminiscence of other dictatorship regime. Disgrace .
The major question is will this be the dawn of a new era? Or the beginning of another dynasty a common occurrence with African leadership.
The military had seized the Zimbabwe State Television station claiming that there was no coup but it was targeting criminals around the president. Subsequently, Mugabe was put under house arrest by the military and reports coming from the southern African country indicate that the military is now weighing the option of a transition government.
For close to two decades of his reign, Mugabe had become a political figure with so much baggage of leadership deficit; undermining the tenets of democratic governance and statesmanship having degenerated from enviable pedigree of a nationalist to the rather ignoble status of dictatorship
A major deficit of democracy in Zimbabwe under Mugabe was intolerance for opposition. Elections were held but with predetermined outcomes that ensure victories for the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). Opposition political parties struggled for voices that could only be heard with amplified momentum; sustained through international advocacy and sanctions.
It took immense pressure for the opposition to secure marginal access to power in January, 2019 when Morgan Tsvangirai was accommodated as prime minister in a coalition arrangement that soon came with Mugabe and Zanu-PF holding firmly to power with one-party state structure.
It however remains tragic how Zimbabwe which secured hard won independence from white dominated former Rhodesia receded into an enclave of one-man tyranny. This is more so when Mugabe who assumed the leadership of the new independent nation in 1980 was a huge inspiration to the liberation movement that held so much hope for the African Continent.
He frittered the goodwill of his nationalistic pedestal on the altar of power; manifesting a sit-tight syndrome that defies logic even with his frail health and old age.
It is not fortuitous that the route to the much anticipated but sudden end of Mugabe’s rule in the once promising but largely comatose country was orchestrated by bout of power drunkenness which led to the sack of vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa who is acknowledged as Mugabe’s erstwhile confidant and comrade of ZANU-PF.
While the exit of Mnangagwa from the inner caucus orchestrated the incursion of the military into the fragile polity of Zimbabwe, it is however instructive that the trio of Mugabe, his estranged vice president, Mnanganwa and the Army Chief, General Constantino Chiwenga who led the putsch were cadres and strong stalwarts of ZANU-PF; prior to the unmanageable crisis that snowballed into the unfolding change of guard.
The immediate future of Zimbabwe seems unclear and the world must not watch the country relapse into full blown military autocracy or anarchy. The immediate picture discernible from the unfolding drama is that the riddle of likelihood of a Mugabe’s dynasty taking root in Zimbabwe appears to have been largely resolved.
Nevertheless, the challenge of one party rule which poses a nagging behemoth for the prospects of plural democracy in Zimbabwe still remains largely a challenge within the emerging power calculus.