Ousting Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe from power has turned out to be a herculean task – a deadly/difficult mission that has not only failed severally beyond African shores, but also within Zimbabwean enclaves.
The fact that there are ruthless cabals forcing, urging or enabling Mugabe to remain in power is another heartbreak that keeps making things difficult for Mugabe’s critics.
Zimbabwe achieved independence from the United Kingdom (UK) in 1980 after a war between Rhodesians and nationalists, among them Mr. Mugabe.
And since after his election in 1980, Mugabe has held unto power – refusing to let go until ‘death’ separates him from political leadership. Mugabe has also absorbed external and internal abuse as a result of his sit-tight-syndrome. But, the ‘lion’ remains ‘immovable’ – at least for now.
Apart from Western forces seeking to forcefully remove him from power, Mugabe has had backlashes from his very own African brothers. The likes of Botswana president Ian Khama, former Vice-President Joice Mujuru had advised him to accept the reality of his advancing years and step down.
The latest dart flew all the way from South Africa from his former defender and fellow white monopoly campaigner – Julius Malema.
On Monday, at a press conference on Monday, Malema likened “comrades in Mugabe’s Zanu-PF” to cowards for failing to remove Mugabe. He slammed Mugabe, who’s been in power for nearly 37 years, pleading with him to ‘go’ because he can no longer control a spade.
Malema said he’s positive Mugabe is indirectly ruining his own legacy by “overstaying” in power. In the same vein, his overstay, Malema upheld, is not doing justice to the “African revolution project.”
“We say this out of love. Zimbabwe’s situation is bad. President Mugabe can’t even control a spade. That’s how old he is. He’s no longer capable of discharging his responsibilities. We don’t hate the man. They can respond and insult us.
“They are a group of cowards, those comrades in Zanu-PF. To be scared to say to an old man like president Mugabe, ‘Please, with due respect, let go!’
“President Mugabe must let go! The legacy of the land question … we will carry it. We are following in his footsteps. We are proud of the actions he has taken. But his overstay is not doing justice on the African revolution project. Grandpa is destroying his own legacy. It’s bad.”
Malema’s comment has since been countered. Psychology Maziwisa, a Zanu-PF MP described Malema as “a little and irrelevant man” who is trying to gain support by insulting Mugabe.
Maziwisa’s counter message on Facebook read: “Not bothered at all by Julius Malema’s latest ranting. He is a little and irrelevant man who is trying desperately to gain political mileage in South Africa by insulting a great man in Zimbabwe. Won’t win!”
You’ll recall that three years ago, precisely on January 9, Malema argued in favor of Mugabe and the land reform programme adopted in that country.
Defending Mugabe’s rule, Malema said detractors should remember the effects of capitalism in the country before criticizing other nations such as Zimbabwe.
“There’s no system that has worked successfully for Africans, except the Zimbabwean system. The Zimbabweans today can be hungry and poor, but at least they own property. You are eating pap and vleis here in South Africa, [but] you have nothing to show as proof that you belong to South Africa,” he said at the time.
Mugabe reportedly now works from home most of the time, (if he is not flying somewhere). Truth be told, many Zimbabweans believe this slack in physically taking up responsibilities will definitely erode whatever legacy the president had hoped to leave behind.