Zimbabwe: Invasion as Solution

by SOC Okenwa

For good reason I had attempted entitling this piece interrogatively thus: “Mugabe: Till Death Put Asunder?” and on another occasion I had toyed with another caption as a replacement for the above: “Zimbabweans Have Spoken: Morgan is More…” but in the end I had settled for the above title given the recent worrisome development electorally in the former Rhodesia. President Robert Mugabe, 84, had vowed prior to the last general elections of March 29 that the opposition could never be allowed to rule Zimbabwe in his lifetime as though he were God or that he alone would be the supreme voter!

Zimbabweans deserve praise for their collective rejection of Mugabeism which has ensured nothing but cascading economic and social fortunes. They have collectively said via their votes that Morgan Tsvangirai is more. Morgan is more than hope for majority of impoverished Zimbabweans who have lost hope in the ZANU-PF ruling gang of gerontocrats and civilian dictators. Morgan is more…he’s definitely more than the personality cult woven around Robert Mugabe for close to three decades.

An old woman in her late eighties was interviewed on election day and she was alluding to change likening the situation on the ground to a “disaster”. She predicted that change was imminent as people were dying of preventable diseases and hunger. With inflation figures put at over 100, 000% and millions of Zimbabweans driven overseas by economic misery the Mugabe hold on power must be broken now.

Zimbabweans have spoken, Morgan is more… More than the skewed land re-distribution scheme that have not guaranteed any agricultural abundance that will in turn put food on the poor people’s table; Morgan is more than the haughtiness and presidential paranoia of a Mugabe who have outlived his usefulness and overstayed his welcome.

Morgan is more in Zimbabwe. In one of the campaign billboards in Harare and Bulawayo proclaiming “Morgan is More” the voters were invited to discover the ‘moreness’ in Morgan. Morgan is more than the foreign lackey or specifically British stooge the ZANU-PF and Mugabe are making him out to be. Morgan is more patriotic than Mugabe; he is more than the spineless opposition leader he has been constrained by circumstances Zimbabwean to be.

It will amount to socio-economic and political suicide for Mugabe to be in power for another 6 years. Mugabe must not be allowed to die in office. He must, in his lifetime, answer to numerous human rights violations and state-assisted murders during his long years in command. Like Taylor, former Liberian warlord now standing trial in the Hague for war crimes, Mugabe has a lot to answer for.

It does not surprise anyone conversant with the one-man demented dictatorship in Zimbabwe that weeks after the general elections the electoral commission is still withholding the public declaration of the victor and the vanquished. The ZEC had announced the parliamentary results which saw the opposition MDC winning the majority seats in parliament. The world has already known the presidential poll’s outcome through mounting speculations and the MDC itself. The MDC opposition historically defeated Mugabe’s ZANU-PF in the presidential poll even if it did not muster the constitutionally required percentage to mount the saddle of leadership.

Given that Mugabe understands only the language of violence the concerned international community are following events with trepidation. With the Kenyan bloody scenario in mind the venerable Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke out from South Africa calling on the United Nations to dispatch a peace-keeping force to Zimbabwe to forestall any breakdown of law and order with its attendant terror and horror.

Zimbabwe is a classic case of leadership failure of the worst kind. Gabriel Mugabe may have been a liberation struggle veteran of former Rhodesia and a brilliant intellectual but his management of power for 28 odd years has become nothing but a disaster. Some young Zimbabweans born after 1980 have not known any other man in charge of their national affairs but Mugabe who projects himself arrogantly as equivalent to a god who is both infallible and indispensable. This is not only fatally wrong but a fallacy! Mugabe is not only fallible he’s dispensable and non-invincible!

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) must be commended though for doing a relatively transparent job. Though pre-balloting mechanisms put in place sought to prevent or minimize electoral mischief the ZEC members discharged their duties patriotically as against their counterparts in Kenya and Nigeria. The Mugabe presidential camp, aware and ashamed of the crushing defeat they have suffered, are responsible for the delay in declaring the ultimate winner in the presidential election.

Beyond the Zimbabwean presidential election debacle and the Mugabe muddle however the issue of ballot organisation and management in Africa has come to the front burner. Why is it that balloting in our continent is a delicate cumbersome adventure? Why are losers in the exercise always kick against their defeat and winners do so in a fraudulent manner?

The answers to these posers are not difficult to conjecture. In the West one hardly hears or sees violence or accusation and counter accusation of rigging in electoral contests. But in Africa it is only in Sierra Leone that a presidential poll was adjudged by the international observers (including Nigeria’s former Senate President Ken Nnamani) as free and fair — probably because out-gone President Ahmed Teejan Kabbah was not among the candidates.

Again, the sit-tight syndrome of African leaders or the godfatherism that has come to stay are partly responsible for this electoral conundrum. Having tasted the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience associated with wielding power, looting killing and committing all sorts of mischief the thought of leaving power is difficult to stomach. And considering the fates that befell little civilian dictators like Frederick Chiluba, Charles Taylor and few others after relinquishing power the tendency to die in office becomes a major stumbling block to the organization of a semblance of a free and fair poll.

In Nigeria the April 2007 Presidential election that magically produced Umaru Yar’Adua as President is still an issue at dispute. Despite the Ogebe infamous Tribunal’s judgement which dismissed the opposition position against the giddy exercise seen widely as a sham the duo of Gen. Buhari and ex-VP Atiku have taken their cases to the Supreme Court in order for justice to be done.

In the event of the opposition MDC party in Zimbabwe expectedly winning in the run-off in few weeks time (the boycott threat notwithstanding) and Mugabe refuses to yield power then the African Union, the EU and the UN should activate their invasion mechanisms toward chasing Mugabe out of town. The AU with some strategic foreign support did spectacularly that recently in the island of Anjouan, Comoros Island, when it moved militarily against Mohammed Bacar’s local dictatorship.

In the end the invasion of Zimbabwe well may turn out to be the only solution to the Mugabe muddle. Now is the time to put that plan in the works.

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