All dictators eventually go, usually in an embarrassing manner, says Alliance for Development and Democracy (ADD) president Charles Milupi.
Commenting on the current political crisis in Zimbabwe, Milupi wondered why African leaders never learnt the consequences of clinging to power.
“One greatest lesson that we can learn from this is that these things have got short legs. All dictators have got one way in which they go and that is embarrassment and humiliation. We saw that in Gadaffi, Mobutu Seseko…count them all, that’s what happens. But in spite of all that, we still see upcoming dictators following exactly the same path, it is as if they have been bewitched,” Milupi said.
“We see them get power, display their humbleness, their desire to serve people and they use that as a ladder to power but once they are there, the first step is to acquire wealth and once they do that, the next thing we see is to continue hanging onto power. Where it means altering the Constitution to allow them go for a third term, they do so and we see also their desire to silence independent voices even within their own parties and we see this in Zambia and it is very sad.”
He said what was happening to President Mugabe was not strange.
“I think over the years, everybody has been expecting something like this to happen because of the way Mr Mugabe was conducting himself especially that in the beginning, he was a star of all those people that wanted proper liberation but I think everything was compromised by his desire to prolong his stay in power and to acquire wealth. And once someone begins to acquire that way, the next stage is to prolong your stay in that position of power indefinitely. And we saw that with Mr Mugabe, even when he was 93 he still wanted to continue, even when he clearly lost the elections in 2008 he still manipulated the system to enable him stay in power and that’s the hallmark of dictatorship,” Milupi said.
And Milupi warned that those stealing public resources would be humiliated once they were out of office.
“The people of Zimbabwe have decided that that’s not the way they are going to go and what we see now is the humiliation of someone who was given so many years of service to the nation and instead of being held as a hero, he will go out as a whimper and he will be unable to enjoy his wealth because the world is like a village and that wealth will be followed just like those in Zambia who are plundering the country’s wealth right now, they should not think for one moment that the wealth will be there to enjoy when they are no longer in power and their families will not even have space to enjoy what they have stolen because everything they have stolen will be accounted for,” said Milupi.