Minutes after the Zimbabwean Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda received an order to put in motion the impeachment processes against Robert Mugabe, the speaker announced the following statement:
“I Robert Gabriel Mugabe in terms of section 96 of the constitution of Zimbabwe hereby formally tender my resignation… with immediate effect,”
The 93-year old gripped on for a week after an army takeover and expulsion from his ruling ZANU-PF party, which also wanted him to leave power.Reuters reported the immediate celebrations which occurred in the streets of Zimbabwe. People danced and cars hooted on the streets of Harare at news that the era of Mugabe – who has led Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 – was finally over. Some people held posters of Zimbabwean army chief General Constantino Chiwenga and former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose firing earlier that month elicited the military takeover that forced Mugabe to resign. Mnangagwa, said in a statement that Zimbabweans had “clearly demonstrated without violence their insatiable desire” for Mugabe to resign.
Mugabe’s reign began in 1980 when he and his Zanu-PF party won British-supervised independence elections. Mugabe was named prime minister and included Zapu leader, Joshua Nkomo, in his cabinet.
However the cracks in the leadership of Mugabe began to shriek when he fired Nkomo from his cabinet, accusing him of concocting to overthrow the government. With the help of North Korea, a trained Fifth Brigade was arranged to do away with the rebellion by pro-Nkomo ex-guerrillas in Midlands and Matabeleland province which led to the killing of thousands of civilians. Later on in 1987 after Nkomo and Mugabe decided to end the violence and merged their political parties which had grown prominent and formed Zanu-PF. The fairly new democracy reaffirmed its aim to the promotion of international peace and security, democracy, freedom of individual and equal rights as the Harare declaration was adopted by the Commonwealth in 1991.
The leadership of Mugabe is famously celebrated by Socialists and the remaining Communists around the world as one which fostered the return of the land to the people of Zimbabwe. “Squatters” seized hundreds of white-owned farms in an ongoing and violent campaign to reclaim what they say was stolen by settlers.
Zimbabwe experienced significant changes in 2001 after the Finance Minister Simba Makoni admitted the obvious economic crises in the country as foreign reserves had ran out and food shortage had started deepening. By that time the World Bank and the IMF, had expurgated aid allegedly as a result of President Mugabe’s land seizure programme. The following year the Zimbabwean Parliament passed a law to limit media freedom which resulted in the European Union imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe including extracting its election observers. In 2002 the Zimbabwean elections were considered flawed due the high violence which had been experienced during voting and as a result the country was suspended for a year by the Commonwealth.
The struggles of the people of Zimbabwe were intensified in April 2002 when a state of disaster was declared as food shortage threatened famine in the country. At the beginning of June that year, white farmers had been given 45 days to leave the land in accordance with a land-acquisition law passed in May 2002.
The beginning of 2003 saw the heavy hand of Mugabe’s regime as people were beaten and arrested during general strikes. The leader of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Tsvangirai, after being accused of plotting to kill Mugabe in 2002 was charged with treason and arrested. With a programme to “clean up” in 2005 the government destroyed illegal street stalls and about 700 000 people were left homeless as a result. Mugabe’s heavy hand continued through 2007 as the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was hospitalized after his arrest at a rally were a man was shot dead as riot police moved to disperse the gathering.
In an attempt to change the political landscape in terms of power sharing in Zimbabwe, Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing agreement. However the implementation of the agreement stalls as the parties could not agree who gets top ministerial jobs. Tsvangirai was however sworn in as prime minister, after prolonged talks over formation of government in 2009.
Mugabe has led Zimbabwe to its knees as he was seemingly trying to keep the imperialists out of the country. Mugabe has been praised by people such as the president of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema in South Africa for nationalising sectors central to economic freedom. However, the lack of planning and direction by Mugabe saw the country decline to levels which might take many years to undo.
The end of the 37 years of Mugabe’s rule offers Zimbabwe a new beginning to start working on the cultivation of the great potential which lays in the soil of that land. It is up to the Zimbabwean people now to resist any form of imperialism from powers such as America, Britain and China. However, they should not compromise the desire to be free from imperialists by allowing a personality such as Mugabe to take advantage of that desire and further kill the potential of that great land.