The Dialectics of Failed Leaders and Oppression
The tin god leader whose grip on power is threatened ….because of a tin ear, would only forge alliances with those who still share his modus operandi. When the ethos of the state is gradually being eroded, the tin god will resort to the chiseling of the laws with the hope for sustenance and room to breathe for another day. It’s not uncommon for him and his people to fill the public service as morale dwindles and the state slides into rule by terror, with instruments of fear. Decrees are crafted with absolute disregard for free speech and tolerance…these are leaders who spent all their capital creating bullies rather than erecting state organs and institutions that would outlast them…..for the good and benefit of society.
What became of our heroes of the 80’s?
Imprisoned for 11 years by Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, he rose to prominence after playing a key role in brokering the Lancaster House Agreement that would eventually see the end of minority white rule and usher in the birth of the Zimbabwe we all know today. He was an icon of hope for the oppressed. Africans saw Zimbabwe, dubbed the bread basket of Africa, as a precursor of better times to come for the continent. So what political demon found refuge in Robert Mugabe, the son of Gabriel Matibili, a carpenter from Nyasaland – today’s Malawi, and his mother Bona? Oh yes, your guess is as good as mine. He was consumed by power and cronyism. He infiltrated and suffocated every facet of political and social life with those who reasoned and saw the world only through the lens of dependency and political greed; by pitting failed propaganda against failing institutions and structures of growth.
South of Zimbabwe’s border another African; a hero I revere so much, was being shuttled between Robben Island, Pollsmoor Prison and Victor Verster Prison, in South Africa. He too was ushered to power to lead his country from the oppression of the white minority rule. He had served almost 20 years in detention when Mugabe toppled the white man in Zimbabwe.
Around that same time another revolutionary icon of mine, a hero son of Africa, Thomas Sankara, was marshaling ambitious programs of change that would benefit his fellow countrymen, and not those of the French and others who have never seen well-intentioned Africans worthy of steering their continent. To these people TS was a threat and not a partner; and had to be dealt with. And they eliminated my beloved TS —my Ernesto Che Guevara.
Look at the profiles of these 03 leaders. They all had one thing in common. They successfully rallied their people against oppression from neo-colonialists and the bias of capitalism.
What makes them distinct and how history will remember them is how they used the power the people gave them.
One of them had power he could have wielded unopposed for a considerable length of time, but unclenched his political fist and extended it to others to make his country a better place — Mandela.
The other rallied the will of his people and never teetered to the incessant pressure from his homegrown enemies loyal to the French interest. He was murdered — Sankara.
And the last one – Mugabe, decided to cling to power for too long. Typical of most African leaders, whose stay in power has never been for the benefit of its people but to cater for foreign interests. They use political manipulation and strong handedness to stay in power. Its people are starved of freedom of thought and expression. They fashion and re-tool the laws and their Constitutions to keep its people in perpetual bondage. They create a state of fear and not a state to be revered.
Those with brighter ideas are called every name in the book, from secessionists, independentists, to extreme narcissists. Look at the leader in your country…does he fit the mold of any of the above.
Did someone compare the military in Zimbabwe to that in the Republique of Cameroun? What a joke. The one celebrates the downing of a dictator and political pariah whose time is long past, and the militia in Republique of Cameroun whose nozzles are trained to aim only at their fellow unarmed enemies… The time of reckoning is coming soon, and whether you are a BIR or a RIB would depend on which is well sautéed.