By Nathan Barton
Dictator of Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia and then Rhodesia) Robert Mugabe, after more than a week of crisis, has resigned after ruling the southern African nation with an iron fist for 37 years, according to the Guardian.
Large numbers of people celebrated his resignation, effective immediately. Although at one time Zimbabwe had a significant minority of European-descended people, today it is 99%+ black. Despite Mugabe’s stature as their liberator from white colonialism, they had had enough. Mugabe has (officially, at least) won every election ever held (and they’ve had a lot in 37 years). Everyone dutifully voted for Massa, time and again. But ultimately, he ran out of things (and people) to loot to keep the people happy, and especially to keep his bully boys happy.
No doubt, now that he has been forced to “resign” (or “retire”) he will quickly leave the country and enjoy the ill-gotten gains he has surely squirreled away in Switzerland or even just South Africa, against this rainy day. It is hard to feel sorry for the “father of his country” who has been rejected by his country.
Unfortunately, the situation is unlikely to get any better – as far as liberty, economic conditions, social conditions, or many other ways. The new president is former (and recently fired) Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose background as Mugabe’s number two and the spy chief of the regime, makes people believe it will be more of the same. Admittedly, he is only 75 to Mugabe’s 93, but better than Mugabe’s “new” Vice President (who has fled the country) – Mugabe’s 40-year-old wife. So the hard-pressed people of the nation will not have as long to wait for another change. Still, it is “new Massa same as the old Massa.” Or “Massa is gone, long live Massa.”
I think we are seeing a repeat of what happened when Fidel stepped down and his baby brother took over in Havana. The land of the 100-trillion Zimbabwe dollar bill will continue to be the land of tyranny and abuse and lost opportunity. Zimbabwe will continue to be a poster child for the evils of government.
The entire affair smells to high heaven, of course. Mugabe was and is a thug who gained power and ruled by terror and a combination of corruption and tribal and political loyalties. Bad as most governments are, in today’s world, his rule is much more typical of the way governments and rulers have functioned since Nimrod first created the institution.
Will the people of Zimbabwe learn from their long nightmare? Will the rest of the world take note and learn? We sadly must assume not. The sad story of Zimbabwe will continue to unfold. Its people will continue to face a choice of living in fear and poverty, or escape. And in southern Africa, the surrounding countries offer little better in most ways.
Their hope is, indeed, true liberty; rejecting not just “tyrannical” and “corrupt” and “crony” government, but ALL government – all subjection to the state and those who rule and their minions of all kinds. Zimbabwe was – and could be again – a wealthy land – hard-working people, great mineral and other natural resources, and a great location.
But not if government there is allowed to continue to loot and grow fat.
The choice is, really, liberty. I pray that they will take it.