By Sunday Oyinloye
Mr. President, I want to start this “epistle” by saying that I have respect for the office you occupy as the President of Zimbabwe, though deep inside you , I am sure you know that the seat you are occupying is probably not yours. I said probably not yours because the election that brought you to that exalted seat in 2018 was very controversial.
However, I am not here to discuss the election that produced you. But as you know very well, the opposition believes you stole their mandate in broad day light. That remains a great moral burden if indeed you robbed them of their victory as they have consistently maintained.
I remember vividly that the man who claimed to have won the election and the opposition leader in your country, Nelson Chamisa, told me last year in an interview that the opposition would” remove” you from office within five months through peaceful means, but a year after, you are still in office, and I never asked Chamisa why the opposition couldn’t do that.
Mr. President, I am not here to probe how you got to that seat, rather, I am here to remind you that you are a mere mortal and you will one day account for what you are doing to your people now and even what you did before you became the President of Zimbabwe.
I want to recommend to you, an article I wrote about your predecessor, Robert Mugabe, which I captioned “The President who will never die is dead”. I suggest with every respect to your office that you Google it and read, maybe it will remind you that at close to 80, you are moving nearer to wherever you chooses to be. As a Christian, your faith people will say heaven is real and hell is also real. The choice is for an individual to make. I hope the message is clear.
You were an active member of the government of late Robert Mugabe who left a very bad human rights record. Therefore, I am not surprised with your style of leadership. I knew your human rights record would be nothing to write home about as I predicted when you took over from Mugabe after he was forced out in 2017.
Let me also recommend another piece I wrote when the military seized power and gave you. The article written on 23rd November, 2017 was captioned “Zimbabwe: From hyena to saltwater crocodile”. It will be great if Mr. President could find time out of his busy schedule and read it. You might know and you might not know, Mr. President, that Zimbabweans nicknamed you crocodile even before you became the President simply because they see you as a brutal leader
In case you don’t have the time to read the write-up I referred you to, let me quote the first, third, fourth paragraphs , and the concluding part of that article.
“As I am writing this piece, the streets of Harare are filled with thousands of Zimbabweans jubilating over the resignation of Robert Mugabe an old man I normally call a life President and who ruled his country with iron fist for 37 years. While Zimbabweans have rolled out drums and trumpets to celebrate the exit of a tyrant and dictator, I have been secretly praying for the poor country, because I have genuine fear for the future of Zimbabwe.
“The Zimbabwean Army simply seized power and gave it to former Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75 who is liked by military Chiefs. The man stepping in as the President till the next election is part of the rots in Zimbabwe. Just like his former boss, he is said to be ruthless.
“The former Vice President benefited from systemic economic and political destruction of Zimbabwe, now he has successfully ridden on the back of the military to become the President of Zimbabwe. He is alleged to have bad human rights records like the ousted god of Zimbabwe, so the baton is being transferred from one evil to another, from hyena to saltwater crocodile.
“One thing is clear; Crocodile is not the messiah that Zimbabwe needs neither is Jezebel answering Grace Mugabe, who would have probably stepped into her husband’s shoes. Both are morally bankrupt, and now that crocodile has fought himself to power, you can see the reason why I am praying for Zimbabwe?”
I will not go into how bad your economy is. It was bad before you came to power and you have no idea of how to improve it because you were part of the elites that crumbled and paralyzed the economy of Zimbabwe, so nothing too good should be expected of you.
My worry is your continuous violation of the rights and freedom of your people who have been suppressed to a point where many are scared to tell you the truth.
I believe at close to 80, a good leader supposed to use the last leg of his journey in life to correct any evil he must have done in the past, but you have not chosen that honorable path. Rather your administration has continued to kill, torture, brutalize and detain those who are yearning for a real change. The case of the three opposition young women, Joanna Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova who were alleged to have been sexually assaulted and tortured readily comes to mind.
The young women have just been released from prison few days ago after an agonizing experience, yet one of the bail conditions your administration gave them was that they should not grant press interviews and not be seen on social media. What kind of a leader are you sir? You must have forgotten that the world is now a global village. You can repress or suppress the people living in your country, but you cannot repress the world.
Mr. President, do you care about how history will record you when you leave the scene some day? If you care at all, you would have used the current opportunity as the President to have a great break from your past unimpressive human rights records.
Why on earth can’t you withdraw the case against these women? As a matter of fact, they are supposed to sue your government and not the other way round. Do you also care about the legacy you will leave as a leader? After all, you were born of a woman or brought out from a woman’s womb.
I know dictators in Africa have little or no conscience, but I still want you to search your conscience and give total freedom to the three women. You should even go further to apologize and compensate them for the horror your government subjected the women to since their arrest.
Again, remember that you are a mere mortal, when the time is up, you will leave the scene. And by the time you leave, you would have registered in the minds of Zimbabweans as a former leader to be blessed or coursed. Mr. President, the choice is yours.