MY TURN WITH TICHAONA ZINDOGA
Western powers such as Britain and the United States are furious. They have been livid, in fact. To them Mugabe set a bad example, especially by trying to show the world that the white man can be defeated, and more so be stripped of stolen wealth which should be returned to its owners.Yesterday, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, turned 93, marking a record that is likely to stay on for a long time. President Mugabe is the world’s oldest and most probably the wisest leader, and it is something so remarkable as to add to the legend that he already is.
He is widely considered the most educated too, and his country the most educated in Africa.
Standing out thus, President Mugabe is inevitably one of the most recognisable faces in the world — if not the most recognisable faces now — an honour that once reposed with the likes of Queen Elizabeth II of England.
And it is for a good cause.
President Mugabe is seen as a hero by many Africans at home and in the Diaspora. He is the last of Africa’s warriors who liberated the country from colonial rule and continues to stand for total liberation to this date, winning himself many admirers and enemies in the process.
Many Zimbabweans have been warmed by the fact that when they visit capitals of the world, most Africans ask after President Mugabe, fondly refraining that with how they love him and his principled stance against black oppression.
You do not have to be a supporter of President Mugabe, as many opposition supporters have learnt, to be imbued in such glory — the glory of President Mugabe.
It is humbling.
In that instance, you feel the halo of the man pervade you — just as many Africans see Zimbabwe as this blessed land gathered under the protective wings of President Mugabe as he protects his brood.
President Mugabe has given most of his life to serving Zimbabwe.
He suffered for it: 11 years in Ian Smith’s Rhodesian jail and in the bushes of Mozambique. He survived assassination attempts on numerous occasions.
He suffered personal grief and productive years of his life went up in smoke. Yet 1980 gave us Independence that he led, alongside other nationalists dead and alive.
He immediately put shoulders to the wheel to ensure the country’s majority got their humanity back and henceforth need to be uplifted. That is how he set out systems that have given Zimbabwe its place among nations of the world in terms of human development with good indices in areas such as education — the best in Africa, health, and so on, which were severely limited and degraded during the colonial period.
President Mugabe also oversaw, most critically, the attainment of aspirational historical goals of not only ensuring self-government and self-determination, but also ownership of land.
This is the one major factor that makes him stand on a pedestal. No African leader has managed to do that.
It is only one Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who managed to dismantle the skewed and racist colonial land tenure system in which a handful of whites owned 80 percent of arable land in the country.
The system is still entrenched in neighbouring countries and elsewhere on the continent, as Africans continue to be marginalised. President Mugabe would not brook that.
He even went further.
He introduced the indigenisation policy to further entrench the economic participation and ownership of wealth by black people.
Today, more ordinary people participate in the economy, chiefly in agriculture, as owners of the means of production than anywhere in the world.
Blacks are more assertive in this country — whether at economic levels or political consciousness — than any other country in the world.
But it has come at a price. Western powers such as Britain and the United States are furious.
They have been livid, in fact. To them Mugabe set a bad example, especially by trying to show the world that the white man can be defeated, and more so be stripped of stolen wealth which should be returned to its owners.
Zimbabwe was punished.
President Mugabe was demonised. Zimbabwe is being punished. President Mugabe is being demonised. It is a war.
Western countries have been seeking the ouster of President Mugabe by sponsoring opposition in the country to present an alternative to Zanu-PF whose job the Western countries made hard by slapping punitive sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The sanctions crippled the economy by targeting productive arms and companies and restricting Zimbabwean trade.
The sanctions were designed to bring down the economy and President Mugabe with it.
President Mugabe would be the scapegoat.
Puppets in opposition were made on standby.
Thankfully, President Mugabe has not fallen.
It has been almost two decades of spirited attempts by Western countries to bring Zimbabwe and its leader down.
It has failed. This makes President Mugabe and the people of Zimbabwe heroes, proud heroes — especially with all the scars that mark such a story of survival against the evil plots of Western bullies. President Mugabe stands tall among the people of the world.
But it is not without blemish.
For the faint of heart, and the myopic ones, he should just quit, reminding one of the foolish Israelites that came to hanker after Pharaoh’s food when the journey in the wilderness took toll on them.
His only crime is to seek total independence of his people. He is equally a victim and he must fight to the end and bow out of the stage with honour. Which is what he is doing.
At 93 President Mugabe has seen more days — and he has seen the backs of many leaders of the world, good and bad. It must have been sweet seeing the backs of evil little men like Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Tony Blair as they bowed out of the stage leaving him standing.
It is not for his ego only — even if he may entertain that pleasure. It is for us Zimbabweans, for us blacks at home and abroad. The little evil men of the West hate a man who defends his people and their God given resources.
In their evil thinking whites must own the minerals, the soils, the waters, the animals, the fishes and the birds of this land. The milk and honey and fat of this land must be theirs.
That cannot be! President Mugabe has rejected that on behalf of Zimbabweans. He has been severely punished. It is a pity that some people do not understand this and they tend to blame a victim and man who has put himself in the line of fire. But history will judge Robert Mugabe. Granted, he is not a Saint Mugabe.
Man is imperfect and President Mugabe is no exception. Except, he holds higher ideals. You see a man, a mere mortal, many of us see an idea.
That is why President Mugabe is forever.