Long serving leaders in Africa have been falling in quick succession, since the days of the Arab Spring. As much as they deny similarities, made wild threats and scampered to secure their power, events have not spared them and history is rewriting itself, once again proving to doubters that all dictators must fall.
Hundreds of thousand of Zimbabweans of all political persuasions are on the streets of Zimbabwe, celebrating the ouster of Robert Mugabe from the presidency. Mugabe was put under House Arrest, as the party party convenes to formally remove him from power.
Mugabe’s hold on Zimbabwe power and on ZANU-PF is not much different from. They follow the same diabolical pattern of purging comrades from power, sacking ambitious leaders, killing off competitors, in the expectation of removing hope for change. The latest mistake for Mugabe was his sacking of the country’s vice president, in a last minute effort to make way for his wife and enable her to consolidate her power, akin to Museveni’s appointment of wife to ministerial posts, and sacking of the party secretary general, who has some power in the party. The two used very similar methods to extend their bloody rein.
The rise of the youth
At the fore front of the popular revolt on the streets of Zimbabwean are the country’s youth. Without distinction in tribe or party, they are unanimously pulling down giant billboards, sculptures, burning effigies, and dismantling every image that reminds them of the brutal dictator, while rising new faces and proclaiming freedom. NRM youth would absolutely, and dramatically do the exact same thing, when they realise that their leader was about to lose power. They would be at the front of the uprising.
The army commander made a move on Mugabe earlier in the week, and the army statement said they were targeting “criminals around him” but they must have realised on close scrutiny that if you’re surrounded by criminals, you must be the criminal kingpin yourself, hence they put him under house arrest, as mobilization of party to remove him formally was going on. The criminals around him were mostly his foulmouthed wife, whom the party is also removing from her position of ZANU-PF head for the women’s league, and who is already in exile.
From old women to little children, to ageing men and Zimbabwean youth, the whole country is in a state of outpouring joy and being thankful to the military officers, raising their pictures high, for making the ultimate move of the long-serving leader.
Long serving leaders across Africa have been falling every few years and now months. The manner in which they fall reveals that they had no desire to leave power, or standby plan. As such, they are rounded up with their close families and cronies, and given either the mercy of exile or killed if the uprising turns hot. But one thing that is for sure is that long serving African dictators are in the eye of a storm – and are effectively living on borrowed time. Africans always change their leaders, it unfathomable why leaders do not follow democratic means to come or to go, and choose to fall by the sword each time. Maybe they take the importance of the initial victory higher than they should, and despise the people
In the hierarchy of Africa’s long serving dictators, Mugabe and Museveni have been on top of the list. Now that Mugabe has fallen, Africa is definitely anxious to see the end of Museveni’s bloody rule too. As Ugandan youth are celebrating with Zimbabweans on their victory, so will Zimbabweans and youth all around Africa celebrating when the moment comes. As it stands, it will not be long, as Museveni is committing yet another treacherous act trying to remove age limit from the constitution, so that he could stand again after the constitutional age limit in purged, and he is busy wasting the taxes of Ugandans on this scheme, while doctors are on strike for no pay and poor working conditions.