Congratulations Gushungo

PRESIDENT Mugabe has added another impressive milestone in his long list of remarkable achievements by successfully bidding and winning the hotly contested chairmanship of Africa’s supreme body, the African Union (AU).

Against all odds, Mugabe pulverised his rivals as he left them with egg on faces.

Maybe the ruiner of thousands of Zimbabwean lives can now redeem himself from his domestic failures by excelling in the continental arena. Maybe he will start exercising political maturity and display sensitivity to Africa’s diverse sociopolitical sphere.

He will need to discharge exceptionally good leadership for the continent to score a sense of a unity of purpose. Mugabe will have to tread carefully on thorny paths of a continent absorbed in wars against terror, wars against diseases, wars against religious bigotry, wars against poverty and wars against other wars.

Does Mugabe have the acumen to approach the continent’s pressing issues rationally? Can Mugabe really lead the African continent from its present turmoil into a model continent with a bright outlook for future generations?

Can Mugabe, who is so devoid of ideas to revive his country’s ailing economy, manage the plethora of issues bedevilling Africa? Can he conjure up plans to solve the localised disputes embroiling most of the countries in the continent?

Can Mugabe employ some magnanimity and accept that not all of Africa’s problems are a result of imperialism? Can Mugabe stand up and take some blame for giving African leaders the unhealthy stereotype they have – stubbornly clinging unto power at all costs?

Can Mugabe unite a continent that is divided along religion, colour and language? At 91 does Mugabe even have enough energy left in him to discharge the requisite duties as chairman of the AU?

Does he really have the emotional and psychological resources to deal with Africa’s emotive issues? As a fragile statesman, does he have the strength to challenge rouge military men who interfere in State affairs?

No. Mugabe cannot objectively tackle the continent’s problems. His record as the leader of Zimbabwe for an eternity spanning 35 years and still counting, hardly stands him any good.

He is known for finding scapegoats for his ineptitude. He will blame imperialism for everything that goes wrong in the continent. He will not employ any sense of introspection to find out what the past and current leadership has done to deserve so much negativity.

Mugabe will mislead the continent into self-destruct mode. He will wave the imperialism card to hide the symptoms of bad governance. He will preach the gospel of hate.

He will strengthen the club of senile leaders whose only aim is to plunder the wealth of their respective countries. He will poison democracy by encouraging sole dictatorship.

He is bad news for an Africa that is yearning for new ideas. He is a harbinger of disaster for an Africa that is gearing itself for revival.

Africa will continue to experience internecine wars, wars of attrition, wars of domination and wars for basic survival. Africa will continue to experience disease and pestilence.

There will still be hunger and starvation across the continent. The continent will continue to be bled of its resources. The Chinese will come and construct infrastructure with very brief half-lives. Diamond and elephant tusks smugglers will continue to thrive while ordinary people starve.

There is no meaningful winner in this diplomatic coup posted by Mugabe. Perhaps the only winner is Mugabe himself as this strengthens his agenda to land in European cities as the head of the AU.

Mugabe will soon be adding more destinations to visit on his annual planner. His latest coup will be celebrated within those who believe in the zany world. Mugabe is going to be delighted by the accruing benefits.

He will manage to circumvent the Europen Union and US targeted sanctions. This will be a victory to be dedicated to wife Grace and the spoiled little brats.

This achievement will be viewed as Mugabe’s acquittal for all the country’s problems. He will be praised as the liberator of not only Zimbabwe but of the whole of the African continent. He will receive accolades until kingdom come.

Those who are senselessly intoxicated with his persona will sing his praise until they are hoarse. There are some within the Zimbabwean community who do not see any rational in the elevation of the nonagenarian to the coveted chairmanship of the AU.

Those who have experienced nothing but disaster from Mugabe’s domination will be disappointed. People will remember his so-called “moment of madness”. They will remember the heavy-handedness of a selfish dictator. Some will regret being born during Mugabe’s time.

While congratulations are due for Mugabe, it is impossible for many people to endorse this elevation. The spirit that yearns for unfettered freedom cannot be fooled by a half-committed attempt proper governance. Maybe the people of Africa need a new god instead of this excuse of a leader.

Masola waDabudabu is a social commentator

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