“I, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, do swear that I will truly serve in the office of president, so help me God,” he said somberly as he stood before a white-wigged judge under a red-carpeted tent at his official residence in Harare.
So began the 84-year-old Mr. Mugabe’s sixth term as president, the victor in an election many world leaders have denounced as illegitimate. So begins another era of selfishness, so ushers in another season of tyranny.
The run-off in Zimbabwe election has enjoyed wide criticisms from within and outside Africa. Observers from Southern African Development community (a bloc of 14 nations) concluded in a statement that the election did not represent the will of the people of Zimbabwe.
Mugabe would now attend the AU summit in Egypt on Monday to face his counterparts from other countries, I was thinking what the atmosphere would be since his opposition Morgan Tsvangiria has filed a petition asking the AU heads to disregard the election and results and appoint a mediator who would find a negotiated way out of the torn state of the nation.
Tsvangiria who won 48% to Mr Mugabe 43% in the general elections in March 2008, would not be attending the meeting in Egypt as the Zimbabwean authorities have refused to return his passport to him since he turned it in to have pages added. Also he has for over the past weeks sought refuge in the Dutch embassy to save his life as opposition have resorted to violent means. He believes strongly that the AU should be able to resolve the issue in a bid to sustain democracy in the continent.
Well from all these I ask a question…..why is it common to see African leaders hold on to power for so long?
We have a history of leaders over staying their welcome in the sit of power; it seems they all want to continue even after they have elapsed their tenure. Most of them even die in power, amassing so much wealth for their generations to come; they want to perpetuate their stay in power. What is the purpose for leadership? Is it self-centeredness or life policy? Are they there to lead or to rule? How do we intend to make Africa the next biggest continent, when investors don’t have enough encouragement to come and do business? How do we grow when leadership is compulsory and a gift to enrich oneself? If we put a stop to life presidency, then we would not be ready for development for a long time to come.
Although Mugabe gave Zimbabwe independence in 1980, he has held to power since then, a reverend hero has become a tyrant.
The runoff on Friday was marred by physical threats against those who failed to vote for Mr. Mugabe, said human rights groups and Zimbabweans interviewed on Election Day. Mr. Tsvangirai had asked his supporters to boycott the runoff, but told them to vote for Mr. Mugabe with a clear conscience if they needed to do so to avoid being beaten or killed.