Donald Kamba Makoni
YOU heard it right for the first time that indeed Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe had finally succumbed to nature’s call. So began a life on February 21, 1924 up to September 6, 2019 whose hallmark spoke of controversy in the most positive way.
The golden and booming voice is no more, gone forever, and, missed forever.
Dear reader, you need to listen to any of his speeches, be they domestic, regional, continental or international, you will fall in love with eloquence tinged with a presence that mesmerises both the willing and unwilling listener.
There was no distinction between the use of English and the use of the mother tongue. The man had a rare gift of communicating, leaving no one with any doubt as to what the message was all about.
Kwame Nkrumah is remembered for stating that a good white man is a dead one and on the other hand, Cde Mugabe’s countless mouthfuls against anything white ranging from an attack on white imperialism to an attack on their white faces and pink noses would easily qualify him as stating that a good white man is as extinct as the dinosaur.
Yes, you guessed right.
Cde Mugabe was a wizard at getting power, maintaining and retaining power and using it to benefit the majority as well as ring fence it as his intellectual property.
Anyone in opposition political ranks would admit that he was as spiteful of opposition as the opposition found him just as adversarial as he was mentoring.
Cde Mugabe had the capacity to reduce not only the Zimbabwean nation but also the African continent and indeed the world at large to a classroom where he featured as the only qualified teacher.
Cde Mugabe would lecture the western world on their own concepts of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, property rights, among others, and demonstrate in chilling terms just how insincere and misleading the Caucasians were.
So uncomfortable were the whites with the presence of Cde Mugabe at international fora that they would boycott his speeches knowing that he would use the opportunity to take aim and demystify the image of the white master race.
Cde Mugabe’s place in contemporary world history saw the recreation of an unsung tripolar world where America symbolically stood as representing a unipolar world, Russia and China offered a buffer to reproduce a bipolar world, and Cde Mugabe singlehandedly barked orders that created a tri-polar world where African interests were put on pedestal to create a third force out of nothing.
The western world had its own narrative as to what constituted dictatorship and Cde Mugabe would venture offer an opposed view, defending in the process those so vilified as having committed no wrong in being favoured with strategic resources such as oil that the west was after.
He defended Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Murmur Gaddafi of Libya whose countries were invaded by western forces on false pretext that they were violating human rights while the real reason was to access the oil of these countries.
It took extraordinary courage to confront and condemn evil for what it is and as perpetrated by the big boys that reduced everyone else to underlings.
Cde Mugabe’s food and drink lay in opposing the injustice of a skewed economic and political world order.
The lone voice that sought to give dignity to the African wherever he is, has since fallen silent.
It is as if the death of Cde Mugabe is the death of the African continent and the death of the African voice, and, the end of the struggle to give the African his deserved place as a human being with inalienable right to a life with dignity.
Unlike Mr Nelson Mandela of South Africa in whose death western leaders found the opportunity to pay homage to what they called rare African statesmanship, in Cde Mugabe’s death lay relief as western leaders celebrated the departure of their tormentor while feeling relaxed, safe and put in their capitals.
It was African solidarity at its best as present and former heads of African countries found their way to Harare to bid farewell to one of their own.
Cde Mugabe remains celebrated as having been the most educated President with the most educated cabinet in the world for the duration of his reign as leader of Zimbabwe.
It is not too much to suspect that the ever mounting challenges posed by the western world against the Mugabe administration sought to demystify western education as meant to reduce the most educated Africans into the most loyal slaves that service and massage imperial ambitions and machinations to dominate and control world events.
Cde Mugabe became the west’s punching bag as a way of warning would be rebels against the western system of governance.
It takes time to tabulate instances where Cde Mugabe out thought, out smarted and out fought western manoeuvres meant to dethrone him as leader of the nation of Zimbabwe.
Indeed Cde Mugabe did the unimaginable when he described gays as worse than pigs and dogs and lumped westerners as drivers of an evil empire that was overdue for challenging under the United Nations Charter.
His call for a fair representation of Africa in the Security Council and his condemnation of western justice system as racist and evil merely increased the stakes against his administration, with economic sanctions unilaterally imposed on Zimbabwe by America and Europe at the turn of twenty first century.
While violations of the rule of law and property rights were cited as justification for sanctions, and while opinion is strong that the sanctions were meant to derail the land reform program and indeed were an expression of anger against indigenisation at the expense of entrenched white monopoly capital. It is not unreasonable to state that the sanctions were used as the last resort to fight Cde Mugabe the man.
It is not an exaggeration to say with some measure of reason that Cde Mugabe the man posed a serious and unusual threat to America’s foreign policy.
To understand Cde Mugabe is to understand that he was the Commander in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. It must be remembered that in 1986 Zimbabwe stopped Renamo from, incessant harm and destabilisation to Mozambique and the fall of Gorongoza was attributed to the firepower of the Zimbabwean army.
It must also be remembered that in 1998 it was largely the fighting prowess of the Zimbabwean army that stopped the fall of Kinshasa from rebel control.
To the extent that the rebel Renamo of Mozambique and rebels of the DRC were western conduits meant to destabilise the region, the Mugabe factor ached western capitals.
The imposition of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe may very well be read as deliberate measure to weaken Cde Mugabe’s resolve to confront western machinations head-on. Mr George Bush, the former American president, who wanted the Zimbabwean economy to scream succeeded even more when the masses screamed even louder than the economy and all this was done to send to the gallows Cde Mugabe’s political clout and with it Zanu-PF’s political standing.
Cde Mugabe has bidden farewell to the world at a time when his incessant call for the removal of sanctions as evil, racist, unjustified and illegal has received the full weight of Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc), with the African Union poised to take up the matter with the United Nations.
Cde Mugabe did not need to win elections to exert his influence. He did not need to be in power at the time of his death to be given his dues.
Credit is given to the Zimbabwean President, his Excellency Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, for standing firm against all odds as he gave not only moral and financial support to the ailing and now late icon, but also for defending the legacy of his predecessor when pressured by those who hated the indefatigable Cde Mugabe.