Africa: Mugabe's Fall Should Serve As a Lesson to All

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, DR Congo's Joseph Kabila, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, Congo Brazzaville's President Dennis Sassou-Nguesso, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Cameroon's Paul Biya.
23 November 2017
opinion

The fall of comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe provides valuable lessons to many an upcoming politician. But perhaps more valuable would be lessons for those that walk around the centre of power.

For many years many people that have abandoned Mugabe walked with him and were some of the biggest cheerleaders as he walked through the 37 years at the helm of Zimbabwean politics.

They helped build the monster that eventually consumed the once upon a time fierce anti-imperialist. Mugabe was cheered on even as he declared his desire to contest the 2018 general elections at 94 years old.

The ZANU-PF executive committee endorsed his candidature even when none of them believed he could withstand the pressure that came with what they were lumping him with.

Once it became clear that he was on his way out, the same ZANU-PF executive committee that had in compliance with Mugabe's (most likely Grace) desire expelled Emerson Mnangagwa were all over rooting for the man spookily christened the crocodile.

All of sudden after 37 years the ZANU-PF cohorts had finally seen the light.

They had all of a sudden seen how bad a leader Mugabe had been. How ironic that it is the same ZANU-PF top hierarchy that has become the chief protagonists of a Mnangagwa presidency?

Perhaps the biggest lesson in all this is that people are loyal to power and not individuals. Once Mugabe had lost that power he was useless to them and had become a pariah.

Even some of his foremost defenders had abandoned him at his greatest hour of need. Even people that had sworn death in defence of President Mugabe like Chipanga Kudzai who had said he was ready to die if the army intervened.

Kudzai was made to eat his vomit by reading his speech for 10 hours. Is that not a lesson for those among hanger-ons around power to learn from? Hanging around the presidency does not make one the President? It could be lonely once one steps out of power.

Ask a certain George Chellah who even abandoned his wife and household at the height of his powers but is now back as a facebook dotting husband and father. This is a matter of public record as court records are there to that effect with reasons as comical as the wife being unable to 'handle my fame'.

The Zimbabwe template should be used as a lesson of how the power game plays out.

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