When is it time for leaders of ‘the revolution’ to step down, step to the side and let the next generation of leaders fulfill their destiny. When is the right time to say thanks but its time for you to go so that your successes can be built upon, expanded, and evolve as opposed to destroyed if you continue to hold on to power. This issue is at the core of the political unrest in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and in the fears of a post Fidel Castro Cuba..
This first article in a series discusses Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.
“Africa Liberate Zimbabwe” – Bob Marley
Critics of Robert Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe has less to do with unfair elections and silencing the opposition than the redistribution of land. Britain and a lesser extent the U.S. began to criticize the Mugabe government once the government sanctioned the land grabbing and squatting by black Zimbabweans frustrated over the slow pace of land reform where 95% of the good land for agriculture is owned by whites who make up about 5% of the population. This inequity was a result of horrific racist colonial rule by the British and later as the independent apartheid republic of Rhodesia.
Robert Mugabe has been the leader of Zimbabwe since its founding in 1980, he help lead the charge in ousting the racist government but has now led Zimbabwe for 25 years. He has recently stated that he would not step down until the “revolution is completed.” When that will be no one is quite sure. But wouldn’t Zimbabwe be better served by leadership with new and fresh ideas on how to move the country forward on how to redistribute land with yes no compensation. (Britain can you please explain why Zimbabwe should compensate racist colonials who stole that land in the first place. Does one take there stolen property back from a thief and then pay the thief. Would the British agree to do such a thing?).
The political repression and the media repression is a result of an aging leader trying to hold on to power. This past month he has orchestrated the arrest of some 25,000 people and destroyed ‘shanty towns’ in the capital leaving some 200,000 people homeless according to the UN human rights commission. How long does he truly expect to stay in power making 200,000 people homeless? He is alleged to have completely rigged the last Presidential election granting him power for six more years the end of which would make him 84 years old. He should be eating dinner at 3pm reading the newspaper and taking naps not trying to figure out sustainable urban renewal, land redistribution and foreign policy.
Instead of repressing the opposition he should be meeting with the opposition on how best to move the people of Zimbabwe forward. That is the underlying principle of the African revolution. Not staying in power for the sake of power itself that is neo-colonial thinking. Mugabe deserves to be in the class of Kenyatta, Nyerere not Mobuto. After 25 years in power its time for the aging leader and icon of the African Revolution to rethink his role.