We are seeing a moment of history. Robert Mugabe is gone. His regime thrown to the heaps of history of yet another failed dictatorship.
With the celebrations going into overdrive in the capital Harare, the end of the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe came swift. Following the bizarre media spectacle with Mugabe hanging on to power instead of resigning digging in his heels the reign of Mugabe is over. Finally, the army and his own party ZANU-PF had enough of him. Good riddance. Today we have seen an extraordinary day in African and global history.
Now, like so many other examples the true test for Zimbabwe is yet to come. Will the successors be a continuation of just another African regime of corrupt leaders? Will the economic mismanagement continue or are the new leaders recognize the opportunity given to them?
The future leaders of Zimbabwe are given a unique opportunity to bring Zimbabwe into the light of democracy, economic wealth and social equality. The high literacy rate will help to enter Zimbabwe to usher in a new and hopefully brighter future.
Yet, the challenges for any successor regime are massive. Near economic collapse, the uncertainty of the new, or old actors taken over and the rule of the military. Are we seeing new, free, and democratic elections? Or will the army hold on to power?
Mugabe’s disastrous agricultural policies are lessons to be learned for Asian leaders who pursue populist utopian visions of re-distribution of land, ownership and wealth. The decade-long mismanagement of the economic drivers of the country, the disenfranchised of the domestic minorities has finally pushed the country over the edge.
The lesson of autocratic, self-styled leaders of the ‘people’, who are often dictators in disguise is a valid lesson for Asian leaders who play with the illusion to hold onto power. Ignore the lessons of democracy and you will join the Mugabe’s of the world. Change has come.