For the past few days the name Robert Mugabe has been rolling off the tongue of almost everyone, both at home and elsewhere. I love the fact that Zimbabwe has been able to start a transition without any drop of blood spilled. In this context let the transition yield good results in the coming days.
This transition, although marked by a military intervention, is one of a few exceptions in the narrative of a progressive world. The use of military takeovers may not necessarily be congruent with the new way of thinking, as it generally poses a threat to the constitutional order of a modern state. However, in the case of Zimbabwe the military’s conduct should be regarded as an exceptional precedent. The military act has become one of its kind since its circumstances, weighed against the legitimate issues, concerns and interests of the Zimbabwean populace, should be an exception.
Resorting back to the issue of whether President Robert Mugabe is a hero or villain, this question must be answered both in historical and contemporary perspectives. First, Zimbabwe’s success story in the form of education, vocational training and progressive developments must be attributed to progressive policies under the tutelage of Robert Mugabe.
It is indisputable that thousands of Zimbabweans are literate, skilled and experts in various fields. This should be attributed to the provision of high quality education that Zimbabwe has been able to offer until today. As to whether or not Mugabe should be regarded as a villain or hero, it depends on whose interests one is serving.
In the context of collective Afrikan communalism, Mugabe has always been at the forefront of economic development and thus fighting for justice of his people. He reminded the world of their commitments towards the principle of horizontal status of all nations in terms of international law.
Mugabe represented a symbol of resistance to slavery and other forms of injustices and in this sense he would always be a beacon of hope for many Afrikans on the mainland and those in the Diaspora. This view emanated from the fact Africa too has been a sole provider of natural resources to the rest of the world, whilst what she received in return comparatively speaking, was a mere meagre shred in the form of aid. People being inspired by this symbol of hope, which demands freedom from all shackles of neoliberalism policies, is what irked those that do not stomach the idea of the Afrikan dream.
It is common cause that the resistance to the neoliberal agenda by the West has resulted, first and foremost, in the misery and the economic hardships in the form of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’ socioeconomic and political woes may be attributed to a host of issues of which land has been the primary and root cause of challenges confronting her today. Interests of indigenous Zimbabweans were superseded by the interest of children of the erstwhile conquerors. The sins committed by Mugabe mainly would be attributed to his restoration of people’s dignity. He gave land to his people and this is what others found in bad taste.
In contradistinction, the neoliberal hegemony view has been at the advanced stage, in trouncing Mugabe for the ruthless character that he has been and the one who presided over what is perceived as the failed political and economic state. The aforesaid theory has been canvassed widely by branding Mugabe as nothing but the primary cause of every little, tinny and whinny ill that bedeviled Zimbabwe. Mainly the Western world and others have developed a concept reminiscent of a neoliberalism outlook designed to effect a regime change in Zimbabwe.
It is an open secret that the West has been drumming support to effect a regime change and install a government that they are able to exert their influence on, in order to serve their interests. Western neoliberal governments have no interest of the Afrikans at heart. Nor do they aspire to see Afrika ridding herself of slavery in many formats. Rather, they are driven by selfish interests in the name of globalization which come with attachments.
Afrikans don’t benefit in the true sense of the word from this neoliberal order as their economies continue to serve as a springboard aimed at supplying resources in the raw format to these so-called powerful nations of the world.
Mugabe would not mince his words to tell these people the brutal truth about what he believed to be the Afrikan ideals to which neoliberals opted to be blind if not ignorant. Despite all this, Mugabe is no saint – just like all of us – but he remains a legend of the Afrikan liberation struggle.