The days of Rhodesia were over in 1980: the newly independent nation marched into the post-colonial world with the heraldic anthem ‘Zimbabwe’ by Bob Marley, a Jamaican whose country like Zimbabwe was a satellite of those British islands. 1980 was the year of Robert Mugabe. 2007 is the 27th year of his reign. Africa’s political elite will never listen to Marley’s lyrics of ‘Africans a-liberate Zimbabwe’. It is up to the continent and her diaspora to speak.
The President’s infamous ‘go hang’ response to the international reaction to the arrest and beating of Morgan Tsvangirai cannot cover what his legacy has produced such as accusing Henry Olonga of treason and allegations of human rights violations. Tsvangirai’s double arrest in March is proof that Mugabe’s policies are not going anywhere, least of all down the road of evolution. His determination to reassert ‘African’ identity means that simple calls for his resignation are insufficient. Do something about it – we have elected these leaders to represent us. Why are they in their presidential palaces without trying to spur change?
Fortune favours the brave. The outspoken critics have suffered physically yet if he resigns, their fearlessness shall be synonymous with justice. Pinochet, Amin and ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier are part of a list of long dictators who had the rug pulled out from under them. Are Mugabe’s feet slipping? The following months shall reveal the answer; we just need our fingers to tighten grip.
Am I a BBC-ised African girl swallowing everything the former colonial masters are feeding me about Zimbabwe? Cynics can think what they like. What is clear is the post-colonial era is over. We just need to stop making excuses for a man who does not have Zimbabwe or Africa’s interests in his heart.