Two years ago, there was the promise of a bright new dawn in Zimbabwe as the country’s army forced long-time dictator President Robert Mugabe from office.
His deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has not only disappointed those who had faith in him to chart a new course, but he has increasingly become a caricature of a despotic African ruler.
He crushes any dissent ruthlessly – as he did a few days ago when his cops beat defenceless civilians in Harare, for the simple crime of wanting to listen to an opposition leader.
His presidential motorcade stretches for as many as 42 vehicles, making SA’s blue light brigades look distinctly anaemic.
His stretch Mercedes-Benz limo – equalled only in opulence by the vehicles favoured by the region’s other tin-pot dictator, eSwatini King Mswati – roars through the streets while his people starve.
Now, he has renamed at least 10 streets after himself and other “heroes of the revolution”, including Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, as well as Cuba’s Fidel Castro and China’s Mao Zedong.
Mnangagwa lives in his own egotistical ’60s socialist bubble while Zimbabweans flee for a chance at a better life.
It would be funny were it not so tragic.