The political parties which emerged out of the Colonial era in Africa the Caribbean, South and Latin America all but squandered the opportunity to establish their respective nations on the solid footings of democratically transparent governance.
Instead, those who fought in the actual liberation wars across those geographic areas and even those in the Caribbean who led the postcolonial struggles chose to develop patronage systems to benefit themselves and those who support them.
Political leaders and by extension their political parties developed a sense of ownership for their respective countries even 50 years and more after those liberation struggles ended.
The prevailing sense is that those who did not live through and participate in those struggles have no right to political power.
Nowhere is this sense of entitlement more evident in my estimation and the resultant damage it has caused more transparently measurable, than in Zimbabwe which two Mondays ago held national elections.
President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party has basically ruled Zimbabwe since white minority rule ended in 1980.
until he was ousted from power by the military last November.
Emmerson Mnangagwa a 75-year-old former lieutenant of Mugabe and a veteran of the military-installed himself as interim president and a new election was called. Unfortunately, the removal of Mugabe did nothing to dismantle the intricate vestiges of ZANU-PF which have been instituted under Mugabe’s rule.
Mugabe a former school teacher turned revolutionary in Ian Smith’s minority-ruled Rhodesia rose to lead Zimbabwe after white minority rule was dismantled and elections were held in 1980. Mugabe, like many revolutionary leaders who fought white oppression and colonization, did not escape unscathed. After making anti-government comments, he was convicted of sedition and imprisoned between 1964 and 1974. On release, he fled to Mozambique, established his leadership of ZANU and oversaw ZANU’s role in the Rhodesian Bush War, fighting Ian Smith’s predominantly white government.[wiki]
He reluctantly took part in the peace negotiations brokered by the United Kingdom that resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement. The agreement dismantled white minority rule and resulted in the 1980 general election, at which Mugabe led ZANU-PF to victory. Mugabe’s administration expanded health care and education and—despite his Marxist rhetoric and professed desire for a socialist society—adhered largely to mainstream, conservative economic policies.
Some of Mugabe’s policies, most notably his land reform policies which appropriated lands held by whites and gave them to blacks angered traditional powers like the United States. The resultant economic sanctions were soon to follow, helping to make life difficult for Zimbabweans.
Fidel Castro led Cuba in its own liberation struggle against Fulgencio Batista a corrupt dictator who allowed the Island Nation to become a hedonistic den for gangsters largely supported by the United States. After toppling Batista in January 1st, 1959 Castro, in turn, led Cuba down the road of communist dictatorship.
Fifty-eight years later despite the death of Fidel Castro Cuba remains immersed in a vicelike grip of dictatorship, still supervised by someone named Castro.
Zimbabweans had a chance to vote for a new direction, [or so we thought ] for the very first time since 1980. The opposition MDC Alliance led by forty-year-old Nelson Chamisa offered that chance to Zimbabweans.
It is inconceivable to imagine that despite the reported peaceful nature of the vote on election day that the people went into the voting booths and again voted for ZANU-PF for another five years to the tune of a two-thirds majority in the legislature.
It is incomprehensible the level of greed and hunger for power which drives these people to the extent that they are incapable of putting country of their most base instincts.
Our own Jamaica is no different.
All to often in both political parties we see black leadership treating state power as their own personal fiefdoms to be passed down to their children.
The nation of Zimbabwe was done a terrible disservice last week by ZANY-PF and all of the agencies of state including the Military , Police and (ZEC) the Zimbabwe electoral commission. The energy and enthusiasm of the people certainly was not on the side of ZANU-PF. The people voted for change but what they received were bullets and a cleverly disguised Coup d’état