How long will the joy last?
HOW the mighty have fallen. Robert Mugabe is no longer the ruler of Zimbabwe, deposed by the army that kept him in power for almost 40 years.
Zimbabweans are celebrating like never before. On the streets of the capital, Harare, in Bulawayo and even in Johannesburg and Durban, jubilant scenes greeted the resignation of the ruthless tyrant who was an evil monster, the devil incarnate and an ugly blot on humanity.
The fall of Mugabe was the best Christmas gift they’ve had in a long time. Christmas had indeed come early to Zimbabwe. But, as some political experts have warned, their joy could be short-lived.
They were disappointed in 1980 when Mugabe toppled the white minority government only to impose his own dictatorship.
It could happen again. Democracy does not flourish in Zimbabwe and in the rest of Africa. It has been trampled to the dusty ground.
Mugabe’s successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is no angel. He comes from the same camp as the tyrant and was his right-hand man until he was fired two weeks ago to make way for the succession of Grace Mugabe. He also has blood on his hands. In his first public address, Mnangagwa sounded encouraging, pledging to be a servant of the people.
He reassured his enthusiastic supporters his rule would herald a new dawn for democracy, the voice of the masses would be heard, Zimbabwe would become investor friendly again and the economy would be transformed.
“Jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs” would be his priority, and the crowd cheered loudly as they were filled with a renewed hope for a better, prosperous Zimbabwe.
All’s well that ends well. But will it?
How many times have we have seen politicians make promises, only to renege on them once in power?
But could Mnangagwa be worse than Mugabe? Let’s hope not.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, centre, gestures to the cheering crowd as he leaves after being inaugurated in a ceremony in Harare on Friday. Picture: AP