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Robert Gabriel Mugabe should retire, for the good of the Nation

24 Dec 2016 at 12:07hrs | Views
Joseph Kabila is nurturing the natural African leadership style of not wanting to step down. Though his allowed two term provision has already come to an end, power still charming and beguiling him, he wishes to extend his term by another 18 months. There are no plausible reasons for the delay in holding elections by the said period.

Given that, still he has not given a firm indication that he will not, in the interim, modify the constitution to give himself a third term.

Like many other African nations, former Zaire is being fingered out for opposition, human rights activists and journalist's crackdown in an effort by Kabila to stay in power, undermining democracy in the process.

DRC is one of the richest African country in mineral wealth, but its people are among the poorest on the continent, with many living in squalid conditions or are under constant flee from conflict. So protests and general unrest is underway in major cities, citizens demanding that Joseph Kabila acts according to the prescription of the constitution and transfer power, at least to a transitional authority, now that he has acted deceitfully in extending his rule, power tickling him. It is also still fresh in our memory, the awe of how Joseph  just inherited the DRC's presidency without going through an election but was just installed  by Robert Mugabe and others regional leaders, after his father's death or assassination.  

After crafting a faulty constitution in 2013 and forcing its adoption, here in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe is seeking a second term, his sixth term in office since 1980. At a formality congress in Masvingo, Mugabe was just merely endorsed to run for presidency in 2018. He will be more than 94 by time he runs again for office in 2018. By the time his term ends in 2023 he would be 100. Perhaps he will seek a third term, who knows. The retirement age in Zimbabwe is pegged at 65. 

It is also interesting to note that it is only after 2023 that the special condition provided for by the constitution for succession expire and article 101 becomes alive. Up to this current year many members of parliament did not know about this special provision except of cause, ED Munangagwa, who then explained it to them, to their total astonishment. RG Mugabe now walks with great difficulty and has surmounting health problems compounded by his age, and often he is on the plane for treatment and check-ups in the Far East, dodging the collapsed health system delivery in the country he presides over. Many think he will not work hard to improve the country health system delivery which suffer from neglect, since he gets his own medical attention elsewhere.

At the opening of the congress RG Mugabe lamented factionalism and infighting in his own party where there is constant jostling over positions in anticipation of his death or at least his incapacitation, which has long been expected but does not look impending given his resilience coupled with state of art medical attention he is always getting from Singapore or Malaysia.  So the infighting can only get worse as he continues on the presidency. RG Mugabe said that members should be elected to positions and not grab positions. Though he endeavoured to tutor thus, democracy is not custom to Zanu Pf and there is absolutely no reason why those in his party seeking and elbowing others for positions should employ it in rising up the ladder. He himself grabs positions and is not elected, but merely endorsed by provincial party leaders who are pressured and bullied by the Zanu Pf system to do so.

At the run down to the congress, chief admin of Zanu pf, Dr Ignatius Chombo made it in black and white to members that the party is going to congress not to elect their presidential candidate, but to merely endorse RG Mugabe as their sole candidate for 2018. At the previous congress when it was sniffed that provincial leaders would rather choose VP Mujuru as the presidential candidate for the next election, the usually concealed system was brought to the open and one centre of power was then declared. Those who advocated change were labelled traitors and were booted into the cold. RG Mugabe was then given immense powers to appoint members of central committee and of politburo and also to appoint the two vice presidents. By this then, jostling and licking was made the only way power and positions could be attained to climb up Zanu pf ranks. So RG Mugabe's lament is out of place and only a mere charade, only meant to fool those outside Zanu pf or perhaps easy the infights a little bit, lest it gets out of control.  

It is now clear to many that the present regime has the habit of saying what it doesn't do. It thrives on lies, misrepresentation and oppression. Many don't see the regime transferring power if it loses in 2018, or even allowing unbiased election come 2018. It simply doesn't have the integrity to allow for fair election, given how it runs its own primary elections.   Immense pressure is required to bear on Zanu pf government from opposition, civic society entities, international community and various organisations, first to let ZEC hold uninfluenced, free, fair and transparent elections, and to transfer power in case of loss to another party or candidate.

As of now these conditions are not guaranteed and Zanu pf can if it intends, use force to sway elections or to hold on to power in the event of losing. If such requirements are not met the next election will see many people disenfranchised, and this will give root to voter apathy and eventual recycle of a nauseatingly corrupt regime, callous and apartheid in nature worse than that of former South African regime.  

If provisions for a balanced, impartial and transparent election are not in place, then it would be ridiculous and meaningless to participate in the 2018 election. Such election will only serve to give a little legitimacy to the thief, but such little legitimacy would be enough basis for the shameless party and president to taunt international community with, and more than enough continue to bully the nation to total submission.

Though RG Mugabe keeps hanging onto power, thieving the election and thereby raping will of the electorate, the economy will still continue to weaken and destabilize. In the end there will be no economy to talk about, it will not support many with resources having been completely looted.

RG Mugabe will eventually ruin Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe will make history as the first country to have so old a president as to rule from a wheelchair, not because he performs satisfactorily nor is competent, but only because he is simply more cunning and is not capable of feeling shame.  And those in Zanu pf will be rewarded through engaging in unrestricted corruption, sinking the economy deep into stagnation and a crippled service delivery system. Those booted out will be out in the cold.

Webster Shamu's case gives light and example how cold it can be out there for it took him many apologies, a show of penitence, a long-time of begging and a lot of self-humiliation just to get back onto the Zanu pf gravy train, which he eventually achieved at the foregone congress, courtesy of the unfettered appointing powers of RG Mugabe. But for the good of the nation, actually the old RG Mugabe and senile should retire and allow for plural, unfettered and inclusive politics and therefore pave way for possible economy recovery.

Source - Zanda Shumba
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