By Eric Elezuo
The people of Zimbabwe have suddenly developed a certain love for the military in as much as it is forbidden for military takeovers among African Union members. However, this particular ‘coup’ is one that has been accepted with hand wide open hands, both for Zimbabweans, their African brothers and the entire world at large. The much acclaimed slogan should be Zimbabwe shall be free, apologies to the Zambian, Kenneth Kaunda.
Consequently, hundreds of Zimbabweans took to the streets Saturday in a peaceful march calling for the axing of President Robert Mugabe, the 93-year-old leader, who has been at the helm of the country’s affairs for 37 uninterrupted years without threats to his leadership.
But all that came to an abrupt end earlier in the week when the country’s Defence Force sacked Mugabe’s administration held him in house and called his resignation; a move Zimbabwean citizens say has given them hope that this may be the end for Mugabe.
Harare came alive, and so was other cities as the news filtered in that the maximum leader, who was once quoted to have boasted that no power can dethrone him, prepare to face humiliation and be butted out of office.
Joyous Zimbabweans were seen waving the country’s flag hooting singing, chanting and dancing in absolute euphoria, depicting the fact that an dangerous albatross has been removed from their neck. They say they are celebrating what the army has done for them while calling on Mugabe to leave office.
In a show of solidarity, the armed soldiers joined the dance of liberation as they were seen at most intersections directing traffic and responding with random smiles to the cheering crowd.
It is true that African Union has rejected any form of coup, but the loud whispers coming from all and sundry, in both secret and open, is that everyone is fed up with the person and government of Robert Mugabe.
This is a man who all 10 of his party’s provincial committees has called on to resign, and pave way for the younger generation to bring in fresh ideas; something no one has dared to do in 37 years. They reasoned, and justifiably so, that the 93-year-old had lost control of the government.
The party’s stand, which many has erroneously termed as betrayal has become a major blow to Mugabe, who is reportedly proving stubborn against demands by the military for him to step down.
The business as usual in and for Zimbabweans at the moment despite the political uncertainty is a clear sign that Mugabe has been totally rejected, and should tow the path of honour, which obviously he has lost, and resign. Who knows, south Africa may verily give him a soft landing as an exile, and allow him spend whatever remains of his life in supposed peace.
The crafty Mugabe, who many believe is being manipulated by his wife, Grace Mugabe, has two weeks ago fired his vice and friend, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The move had been generally interpreted as a ploy to install his wife, Grace, as the next president. In fact, Mugabe had lorded over his people as a god, and they had sheepishly endorsed every of his moves, in apparent fear of persecution.
Speaking in support of the campaign to send Mugabe packing, social justice activist, Ostalos Sibiza says Zimbabweans understand the military has to appear to be handling the situation amicably in order to preserve international relations.
“Because remember we have the capacity to sit at home and tell everyone we are not in support with what the military is doing; we’re shutting down this country.
“But we’re walking around to show that the situation in the country is tranquil and the actions of the military are legitimate at this juncture.”
What else does Robert Mugabe needs before he understand that he has been confined in the shelf of his history; that he is a spent force, an unwanted specie of human rulership. He has been snubbed by the military and all other facets of government and civil existence, and so the time to go is now.
Across the streets of Harare and most major cities of the country, all monuments representing or depicting the presence of the former maximum leader were cast in to the annals of the dustbin.
History will however, remember Mugabe as one president who took his people for granted, enslaving them in their homeland for over three decades, the fact that he restored lands to their original owners notwithstanding.
A cross section of young Zimbabweans say they see the apparent impending regime change in Zimbabwe as an opportunity to turn the badly battered economy around.
Speaking for students, the Zimbabwean National Students Union’s Treasure Basopo, said young people have endorsed the military takeover.
“We’re driven by the passion to see the populace becoming better off. So as students we endorse the decision, we’re happy with it simply because they are talking of trying to remove him so that the economy can perform better,” he said.
In another development, Coalition of Unemployed Graduates’ Nqobizitha Mlambo says talks of any future cannot happen without the involvement of the youth.
“So this is now the platform on how we want to charter our country going forward through a roadmap. How do we industrialise, so they can’t talk about that without the necessary ways of young people.”
Mugabe has to go so that a fresh new dawn for Zimbabwe and its citizens can be initiated.
“The honourable words is Mugabe to pack and go. The issue of demanding what he’s doing, those are delaying tactics and that can be done from a place of a person who lacks wisdom. Mugabe should go,” said Local Councillor Luckson Mukunguma
Members of the army are being called heroes for restoring hope that Zimbabwe will once again belong to the people.
It’s still unclear how far the talks between the president and the army have advanced but Zimbabweans seem to have one explicit demand: MUGABE MUST GO, and immediately too.