Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe

It means something: Mugabe’s inauguration as the President of Zimbabwe on 22 August after his sweeping victory in last month’s harmonised elections. It means five more years of all that Mugabe is well known for. It also means that the past 33 years did not give Zimbabweans enough of him…

As I watched our President taking the oath for the fifth time (the other two times were as the prime minister back in the 1980s), I could not help thinking about how this was not new ground for him. Robert Mugabe has been there for six terms – 33 years – at the helm of the administration that minds the affairs of Zimbabwe. And throughout this time, his and his party’s record has not been very impressive. So, what can Zimbabweans expect? I waited for his speech to get an idea…

The shock of non-change
As I waited, I dearly hoped that the speech would not be littered with the inevitable polemic excesses. I also reflected on the ‘humour’ that characterised the elections. During the run-up to the polls, many Zimbabweans thought that the era of Mugabe was inevitably coming to an end. The need and hunger for change seemed to have gripped the country.

Considering that Mugabe still had a lot of diehard and genuine followers, the general consensus was that people were simply tired of the rhetoric and wanted a break from all the history seminars and sermons he delivered at every national, provincial and district event.

But alas! Zimbabweans had a surprise in store for themselves! They still wanted Mugabe in office! Forgive the shock on all their faces after the election results were announced. They still wanted him! That alone must mean something…

History lessons continue
The speech came. The inevitable vocal whip lashed out at the unrepentant Western allies who had the audacity to scorn Zimbabwe’s electoral outcome and are still bent on destroying the gains of our independence through sanctions and their regime change agenda. (What a picture the word ‘regime’ creates!) Continue reading