Mugabe Is Gone But the Mugabe-System Remains

By Wisdom Mumera

Robert Mugabe was wanted dead for so many years that he reduced the news to banter, revelling in how a whole nation could be so gripped by a sadistic desire for the demise of another human being.

The desire to see the man, who had led Zimbabwe since independence, dead was however just an expression of the pain that many felt in a poverty-stricken and personalized nation which Mugabe and his cronies ran with abandon.

From the 1980 heights of one of Africa’s promising young nations, Mugabe led the most astonishing implosion of any nation and today leaves it a derelict shell, a litany of its promises still unrealized.

Confirmed dead at 95 and out of power, not many still have the strength or any objective agenda to revel in his exit.

He has died too late to relieve any pressured point in the nation’s conscience or heal any damaged part of its psyche.

Mugabe has died when the nation has already come to realize that he isn’t the main problem.

The problem is a system that he created which now looks set to remain with us implementing the same heavy-handed and sometimes tragically funny stances that he followed also.

Mugabe was a staunch believer in the sovereignty of the African nation and as he grew older his brand of Pan-Africanism, dangerously mixed with political agendas created cocktails of damage to the country.

He had mastered the political maxim of keeping to the side of the masses and his interventions, like the 2013 Council debts cancellation, won him many ignorant supporters but further destroyed a flailing country.

His Indigenization drive went off the rails almost as soon as it was launched and with the economy tanking and his political career under threat he came up with a system that conflated party agendas with nationalism.

Anyone contrary got beaten, arrested and vilified as a stooge for the West or an enemy of progress.

Under Mugabe nationalism had a party name all else was political heresy which ought to be destroyed.

Having been chased from power by his junior, Mugabe’s system of fending off enemies and holding onto power through whatever means has already found a successor.

The supposed New Dispensation brigade has cobbled together all the negative features of Mugabe and today Zimbabwe is under the rein of a Mugabe prototype that’s only lacking in equal tact, acumenship and depth.

Enemies of the party are still attacked and arrested.

The economy has and is failing to rebound and the Open for Business mantra, the antithesis of Mugabe’s Indigenization drive has been a cataclysmic failure, parodied by its own supporters campaigning for investors with placards at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The system, however, remains strong and with enough control of levers of disseminating information continues selling the narrative that things are getting back to normal.

The opposition has been under attack, accused of regime change agendas, arrested and beaten, all in very Mugabe-esque patterns that it’s plain today that whatever Mugabe was, the system he left is the bigger devil.

Go well Gushungo you were only a human.


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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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