Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s President, has stepped down after dominating the country’s political scene for over three decades in what many political analysts see this as the second independence of Zimbabwe. His departure, no doubt, elicits mixed reactions. While Zimbabweans celebrate, they must be cognizant of the fact that institutions – not euphoria –will build or bring down the country. A lot lies ahead to make the country inclusive and navigate geopolitical forces.
African leaders should not allow themselves to be controlled by a powerful cabal of sycophants and family members who are only keen to sustain the status quo for special interest. They must not entertain the perspective that they are the best and only solution to keeping their respective countries united and that handing over power would lead to chaos. They must not allow personal desires to override national policy. Finally, they must know that they are human, and seek counsel, and plan for a dignified exit from politics.
Africa, no doubt, celebrates the pan-African fervour in Mugabe. The continent should equally learn from the mistakes that have led to his undignified exit.