Mugabe in tears
FROM A TO Z – that’s the story of Zimbabwe. Once a bright sparkling diamond. Home to a new democracy in 1980. At the head of the State, a much respected [as much as feared] learned man of books & cricket. Addressing his people and the world in exquisite English. Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Liberator. Enslaver. Deposed.
Loathed and Lauded
The death of Apartheid’s last president is a moment of reflection – the Apartheid enabler who, in one fell swoop unchained the masses who lived in servitude of white civilization for more than 350 years in South Africa. FW De Klerk died this week at 85; both loathed and lauded. Like other figures of history, Gorbachev, and Mugabe, one cannot escape them. History was written by them, for better or for worse.
Renowned South African author and poet Antjie Krog [white] exquisitely summed up De Klerk thus; ”Raised on the brackish water of the Dopper Kerk [church], educated in the white sinews of Potchefstroom, tamely drifting his way upwards among the bullies and crooks of the National Party, De Klerk keeps on stepping into contemporary South African spaces like a man void of senses and communal radar. And as always, it is about strategy and never about the morally right thing to do.”
This week, from beyond the grave De Klerk, in a video taped shortly before his death, apologised unreservedly for Apartheid and told us he indeed had a conversion moment when he realised the immorality of it all. I respect him for that, but would have wanted him to say out loud in his afterlife video that, YES, Apartheid was a crime against humanity.
Gorbachev – Killing Communism
Gorbachev accelerated history. The Law of Unintended Consequences ensured that his good intentions and strategic intervention [much like Krog and others have accused De Klerk of] resulted in the total and absolute collapse of communism, exposing it for the flawed academic determinism it employed – the [academic] departure point for an equal society with maximum dignity for all. It resulted in giving some of history’s most brutal mass murderers and enslavers such as Lenin, Stalin, and others absolute power to play god with hundreds of millions of people for about 70 years before this grotesquely flawed experiment imploded on itself.
IS MUGABE SHEDDING A TEAR?
Mugabe is in the mould of history’s promising debutants. He used the pressure point of independence expectation to wrest Zimbabwe from the Iron Lady & her Men, and then went on to steal Zimbabwe from the people, dividing power and wealth amongst [current president] Mnangagwa and others still living in their obscenely opulent Mansions in Harare’s elite suburbs.
Mugabe was a singularly gifted operator. He defied all the odds, all the time – until there were no odds to defy anymore. He left Zimbabwe in ruins – its economy the size of the city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa. Yet he was riding high.
Then came the fall. A real one captured here on video, symbolizing the spectacular fall of a country and its people, robbed of their dignity, and reduced to beggars by an ULTRA CORRUPT & GREED OBSESSED ELITE. At first everyone liked to blame Mugabe, but then came his replacement, and this scarf wearing president revealed himself to be also ULTRA INCOMPETENT on top of just being another shameless dictator.
Emmerson Mnangagwa got himself to be made president by staging a coup d’état disguised as a transfer of power. In fact he disposed of a dictator to enable himself to accede to that position.
The results are tragic. It is truly incomprehensible that the people of Zimbabwe should be victimised and stripped of their dignity to this extent. One hopes that the gods will cripple him and his elite and cast them out on the scrap heap of history. They deserve nothing – and even that will be too much.
THE PERFECT STORM
President Mnangagwa does not seem to know this, but he has entered into a perfect postcolonial storm, from where there is no return. As Mugabe’s Vice President for many years, he feels safe in following his mentor’s playbook.
Back ‘Home’ President Mnangagwa and his nomenklatura are keeping their iron grip on the wealth from minerals, land and tourism, whilst streets, jobs, businesses and any trace of a normal functioning society disintegrates. They are defying the odds. For now. Soon there will be no more odds to defy. And then they will be history.
I sense that Mugabe is shedding a tear at this moment. He left without a De Klerkian afterlife video, so I am not sure whether his tear is because he lost it all, or whether it is a tear of happiness as he witnesses Mnangagwa’s date with destiny approaching.
History is sometimes too patient. At other times too violent, extracting massive suffering and damages before shuffling the perpetrators off the stage.
Gorbachev accelerated history and initiated a process of liberation, which are still only in its early stages 35 years after the fact. He is still with us. Loathed & Lauded.
De Klerk’s February 1990 speech changed 350 years of history. Decisively. For the better – on this we agree, but he remains both Loathed & Lauded. His afterlife video revealed just how deeply his facilitation of Apartheid and his ending thereof inhabited his psyche.
Mugabe is on his own. Loathed by all. The caption on a photo of a destroyed Berlin at the end of World War II sums up his legacy perfectly;
“If you seek his [Hitler] monument, look around”
It could have been different.
'Si monumentum requiris circumspice’ - If you seek his monument, look around, is the epitaph on Christopher Wren's tomb in St. Paul's Cathedral. Architect. Builder.