HARARE – President Robert Mugabe is 93. At that ripe age, he is surprisingly sprite and energetic, although he seems to have lost the touch and the magic that helped him steer the country during very difficult periods.
Indeed the spirit appears to be willing but the body is tired — both mentally and physically — as he fails to negotiate situations he would have dealt with easily at his prime.
Now the country is facing an uncertain future because of his failure to bring to order his warring lieutenants, who are already thinking of life after him.
Like most long-suffering but patriotic Zimbabweans, those in Zanu PF also want a departure from the status quo and a dawn of a new era characterised by prosperity and equal opportunities, job creation and respect for human rights.
It is trite that Zanu PF’s dangerous brinkmanship game has become a threat to the country’s peace and the concern to any right-thinking Zimbabwean is Mugabe’s inability to not only denounce factionalism, which is now ubiquitous, but punish those fanning it.
If this is not a clear indication that the nonagenarian has lost it and is now out of sync with what the country is going through, then Zimbabweans are in for a gnashing of teeth.
Zimbabweans are suffering, and this is illustrated by hordes of vendors lining the country’s urban streets yet the ministers who are supposed to offer solutions and provide direction are busy lampooning each other in newspapers, spawning chaos.
There is no need for those in Zanu PF, who have no ideological differences but are just tearing each other apart in the blind pursuit of power, dragging the whole country into the mud, to hold the dreams of a nation to ransom and Mugabe, as the principal, has the keys to end this.
It is sad that Mugabe misses opportunities such as his address to the ruling party’s youths to announce his succession plan by encouraging free debate which is currently an anathema in the crisis-ridden party.
Is Mugabe surrounded by liars and greedy individuals to the extent that he does not see that it is his bad policies and not targeted sanctions that are causing untold suffering on the masses, or the nonagenarian is now divorced from the present that anything affecting people is no concern of his.
Mugabe, whose long stay in power is largely due to a combination of brutal force, propaganda and manipulation is, of course, cosy in the belief that he is still adored, but honestly, the emperor has no clothes.