After clinging to power for 37 years, Robert Mugabe finally bowed to pressure by stepping down as the president of Zimbabwe.The Nonagenarian had refused to step down despite pressure from the country’s armed forces which commenced an operation to oust him on November 15th.
Troops commanded by the head of the armed forces, Constantino Chiwenga, took control of the streets, placed Mugabe under house arrest and stormed the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation to complete the seizure of power.
In a show of support for the military’s move, thousands of protesters stormed the streets to demand Mugabe’s resignation. To add to his woes, the Zimbabwean parliament also gave a deadline for his resignation or face impeachment.
Boxed in a corner and feeling betrayed by his once-loyal allies, he finally relinquished power, paving the way for a new dawn in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe’s predicament should send a signal to other African leaders who are running the affairs of their country in an autocratic manner that change is the only constant thing. His decision to sack the Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a bid to install his wife as the next president was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
During his 37 years rule, Mugabe transitioned from a hero, who fought against white dominance, to a brutal autocrat. He refused to bow out in 2008 after losing the presidential election to Morgan Tsvangirai. His action plunged the country into a political crisis leading to loss of lives.
Zimbabwe, which was once the food basket of Africa, is now in economic disarray. Ther is massive unemployment, the currency is worthless and there is a widespread shortage of food.
With Mugabe’s resignation, citizens have a huge role to play in order to enshrine the doctrine of democracy into the political fabric of Zimbabwe. Citizens’ must demand a free, fair and credible election in Zimbabwe to pave way for a democratically elected government. The world is waiting to see what becomes of Zimbabwe after Mugabe.
There is joy in leaving when the ovation is loudest. Unfortunately, Mugabe failed to realize this.