Editorials 21.11.2017 06:00 am

Democracy is slowly winning in Zim

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's party is calling for him to resign as president and party leader after a military takeover that appeared to signal the end of his 37-year reign

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's party is calling for him to resign as president and party leader after a military takeover that appeared to signal the end of his 37-year reign

After 37 years in power, Mugabe will not quit the political stage without a fight.

Perhaps Zimbabweans who marched in jubilation through their towns and cities on Saturday were naive about how easy it would be to get rid of Robert Mugabe.

After 37 years in power, he will not quit the political stage without a fight.

And in his speech on Sunday, in which he deflected responsibility for the crisis away from himself, he showed how out of touch he is with the feelings of ordinary Zimbabweans.

He believes the message from them – and the military – was that he merely needed to make a correction and all would be well.

All will not be well in Zimbabwe until he is out of office. The ruling Zanu-PF party and its backers in the ageing general staff of the Zimbabwe military would do well to heed that reality.

The genie of freedom – if that is what it is – is out of the bottle and it is going to be impossible to get it back in again.

In this digital age, where the younger generations are the ones beginning to set political and social agendas around the world, people like Mugabe are anachronisms.

His seemingly unshakeable belief in his right, or that of his family, to rule – an almost divine right – is a throwback to feudal times.

Africa is modernising at the fastest rate in the world and these old systems, in which the chief dictated how life would be, are over.

At the same time, it is encouraging – if frustrating, because of the slow pace of the process – to see the military seemingly committed to allowing events to unfold in a constitutional manner.

Just as the time of the “Big Man” in Africa is being consigned to the dustbin of history so, too, is the “Age of the Generals”.

Democracy is winning, slowly.

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