By Immigration Maziwisa
Every time President Mugabe travels to Malaysia, rumours emerge to the effect that he would have collapsed and subsequently rushed for treatment in the Middle East. Almost immediately, he would then be reported to have died.
However, upon his return, President Mugabe jokes about the death rumours with a beaming appearance. Responding to a question about the recent fabrications, the President said ‘Yes I died and resurrected’.
However, although the President may give the impression that he does not take the fabrications seriously, somewhere in his heart, he must feel severely disheartened to know that evil can stretch that far within the borders of a country whose liberation he played a dominant role to bring about.
Although the number of henchmen who wish him dead is a small fraction compared to his supporters, it is not a pleasant feeling to know that some miserable individuals are waiting to celebrate his death. The trouble with the allegations is that they are entirely based on fabrications designed to promote some bogus Internet websites desperate to find a market.
It would be understandable to circulate rumours of death if the President would be indeed unwell. At all times, he would be neither unwell nor dead. All the more startling is that the President always resurfaces looking much stronger than before.
In his most recent appearance, the energy he showed resembled that of a youthful soldier on parade. That he is still going strong is clear indication that indeed some divine authority is behind his life. Very few younger individuals are able to demonstrate the same kind of vigour especially under the schedule of a demanding task.
It is not possible to be 92 years old, perform so many national assignments under a very tight schedule and emerge with the gusto of a lively calf. President Mugabe deserves praise and honour rather than condemnation and hostility.
After all, people must understand that being 92 is not even the problem because there is no guarantee that a younger candidate would exhibit better governance or proper democratic conduct. For example, the most restless countries in Africa are led by young Presidents. Paul Kagame who has dismally failed to bring peace to Rwanda since his inauguration in 2000, is 49 years of age.
Joseph Kabila who presides over one of the worst governments in the world is 45 years old. King Mswati the 3rd, who directed Swaziland towards severe immoral conduct and presides over one of the most corrupt governments, is 46 years old. Suffice to say, it is all a matter of capacity rather than age.
On the other hand, President Mugabe introduced the best education system on the continent. He has also applied some of the best black empowerment policies since the era of colonialism. He is the only African President who truly addressed matters of black discrimination before and after independence. Suffice to say, his contribution since Independence has been a major source of inspiration for millions of Africans.
Clearly, the bogus online websites deserve no luxury of privacy. Eddie Cross, the MDC MP for Bulawayo South, first published those unfortunate fabrications on his website. ‘What now happens is that the Constitutional transition to a new President begins. The Acting President will now control all the levers of State.
This phase runs for 90 days until Zanu Pf holds an elective congress to choose a new leader’, he wrote on his website. Well, he must dream on. Clearly, he was adamant, without evidence that the President had died. Initially, Eddie Cross’s conduct has never been consistent with a true contemporary democrat with adequate consideration for human life, let alone black life.
Nobody takes him seriously except a handful of supporters from his camp. Indeed, to seek his opinion on the welfare of President Mugabe is akin to asking the devil for directions to salvation.
This is a man with little regard for black people as being equal citizens deserving equivalent civil-liberties and opportunities. It is apparent that he is a product of the Smith regime which brought unprecedented suffering to black Zimbabweans during colonization. Unfortunately, he still exhibits the same convictions which propelled the worst oppression in Zimbabwean history.
Some amateurish websites also published the falsehoods based entirely on grapevine. The individuals who are behind Africanherd.com, Zim-Eye and MyZimbabwe, exposed themselves as drunkards masquerading as qualified journalists. They would fail the most basic test of journalism.
The culture of death-wishing has no semblance of our national traditions. Recently, Morgan Tsvangirai was diagnosed with cancer and underwent treatment in South Africa. In the true spirit of Zimbabwean customs, Zanu Pf leadership expressed its sorrow and wished him a speedy recovery.
That sort of leadership ought to be emulated by aspiring politicians and general Zimbabweans at large. In the end, the love for our respective political parties should never supersede the values and traditions upon which our national legacy was founded.
- Immigration Maziwisa is an analyst and social commentator for Khuluma Afrika – a non-partisan centre for analysis and commentary.