Africa is a lovely, beautiful, marvelous and splendid continent. It is endowed with the world’s best natural resources, best fauna and best flora. It has amazing people, with captivating diverse cultures and traditions. It is a continent that bursts with a lot of potential for development.
This very same continent is the one with the poorest countries on Earth. It is the continent plagued by wars, famine, and endless conflicts between states and among people of the same states. Africa has had many opportunities to rise from such a sorry state but it seems only a few countries have been able to do that. Much of the countries on the continent are mired in abject and extreme poverty, unemployment, and many are ravaged by diseases.\
Other African countries, like Botswana, are greatly improving. Rising against all odds stacked against Africa, some stemming from the colonial epoch, such countries are putting their best for their citizens. Although not there yet, these are taking great strides in being powerful nations that are able to sustain their citizens. In Africa, problems like corruption forestall any prospects of development. They work to regress the efforts made by others in improving the unpleasant state of affairs prevailing.
The lack of development is fuelled by leaders who are only immersed in their self-interests at the expense of the citizens. Dictators in Africa have for long presided over failing economies, dilapidated health structures, and many other problems. This is heightened even by the fact that when these African leaders fall sick, like any other mortal on this planet, they are quick to fly to overseas countries for treatment. African dictators have regressed development in Africa. In Zimbabwe, the fall of Robert Mugabe has been welcomed with wild cheers and buoyant jubilation, signifying the extent of damage that had been inflicted on the country by Robert Mugabe.
In Africa, there is a toxic tendency by some leaders to believe that if they freed their nations from colonial and imperial rule they have the right to plunder state resources. African dictators thrive on the fact that they liberated their countries and hence people are indebted to them, even in circumstances where people no longer love these leaders. They just cling on, while everything else around them falls apart into smithereens. The likes of Edgar Lungu, Museveni,Teodoro Nguema, Paul Biya, Paul Kagame have been in power . This raises the question: Must they be removed the way Mugabe was?
The way the military operated this whole thing was very clinical. They committed an illegality by confining the president, but they worked spiritedly to ensure that what they did was within the law, and to deny it was a coup. On Sunday, Mugabe said that what they did was legitimate. It is a new thing in Africa, if not in the whole world. It seemed like a coup, but then it was not. It seemed like it was not a coup, but then it was one. This precipitated marches by the citizens denouncing Robert Mugabe on Saturday and also the students at the University of Zimbabwe later on joined the protests on Monday.
Do other African military generals have the capability to neatly do away with their dictators? Is it even called for? Aren’t there other methods to remove them? What can the people do? These are very difficult questions to tackle but one thing for sure is that dictators must not be tolerated. In Togo, people are now fed up. They are one entity, unified under one common objective. This is one of the ways to pressure dictators. However, dictators are very stubborn and will never leave power easily.
Do elections work where dictatorship thrives? Is the military intervention the only way available in Africa right now to dismantle evil regimes? There are parallels that can drawn from the Zimbabwean scenario. The Zimbabwean situation is going to be a case study for the many years to follow in legal studies, political studies, historical studies, and so forth.