I am not saying that Robert Mugabe, the ‘King of Zimbabwe’, is not qualified to be the African Union (AU) Chairman, in fact, he might have lived long enough to understand and appreciate the problems confronting the continent, but it is time for Africa to move on.
The first argument against the octogenarian is generational. His generation, most of whom may have died or are invalid.
And need to release their arthritic fingers from the torch of leadership and pass it on to another generation.
Age is another important consideration that works against Robert Mugabe, regardless of the howls of outrage from anti-western elements like Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper, who still thinks that Robert Mugabe has something new to offer.
Robert Mugabe’s comportment at the last United Nations (UN) summit shows that the man had already begun moving behind the veil of Alzheimer’s. This is not ageism. An accumulation of years, defines our range of capabilities, physically and intellectually and Africans, especially their leaders who gathered in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, need to confront the question of whether a person in his 90’s is the best to represent their interest, as per Mugabe’s status.
History, has thought us that in all forms of government, rulers are motivated by and subsequently judged based on the legacy they leave behind. Whilst in power they strive to shape their legacy through their deeds and statements they make.
Their level of success, naturally depends on the social context in which these leaders operate, but also on their character and charisma and vision of the world. It is needless here to say that rulers, with more powers like those ruling within an undemocratic system, have more scope to define their own legacies than those operating within a democratic system laden with checks and balances. One of the features that limits and characterizes democratic governments is the limited tenure in
which they have to operate.
Robert Mugabe, since 1980, when Zimbabwe gained independence, had remained the President of that country; charades have been held as elections, and he has always emerged victorious, in the elections that has seen him play the role of a participant, a referee and a match commissioner.
Does Mugabe’s success as a leader, commensurate the number of years, he has presided over one of the most blessed nations in Africa?
He is perhaps the longest serving head of State in Africa today, compare him to what is happening with the Asian Tigers, where they have relatively longer serving leaders at every point in their history.
The West or the advance world, will be laughing at us, and asking what breed of people are we. Which grouping or League of Nations, will elect or appoint someone as old as Mugabe to head it.
The problems confronting Africa are enormous. A fortnight ago, when Barack Obama, was delivering his State of the Union Address, he said that, you cannot win in the 21st century, when you don’t apply 21st century solutions.
Does Robert Mugabe, understand the problems confronting the continent in the 21st century?
How can a group of young men meet to decide a leader to move the continent forward and confront the Boko Haram insurgency that have become a nightmare to the people of Nigeria. So these leaders could not look among themselves and appoint someone who has energy in his stomach to confront the Boko Haram head on?
Goodluck Ebelebe Jonathan, the President of Nigeria, who is young and vibrant, is unable to fight off the Boko Haram threat, if after waiting for them to visit mayhem and chaos on innocent citizens, and our leaders meet to find a lasting solution, I doubt if Robert Mugabe is the solution we need.
On February 14, the people of Nigeria will be going to the polls in one of the most unpredictable presidential elections in that country.
It is a two horse race between the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who is seeking for reelection and General Muhammed Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The campaign against the candidature of General Muhammed Buhari is that he is old and do not have the capacity to rule Nigeria, of course, like Ghana, their conclusion is based on the experience they had with late President Umar Yardua, who passed onto eternal glory, whilest in power.
Apart from corruption which is high on the list of problems affecting Nigeria, Boko Haram is one single issue that is dominating discussions in the country.
It is a very important subject in the election. If supporters of Goodluck Jonathan, feel that Muhammed Buhari, is too old to contain the atrocities of these miscreants parading themselves as Boko Haram, why make Mugabe the AU Chairman, who will be leading discussions as to what should be done, either militarily or diplomacy to end the activities of the Boko Haram.
Back in Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, God forbid, will be 72, when he takes the oath office as the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
This week trending on Social media platforms, as well as making headlines in some newspapers is the decision by Mitt Romney of the Republican Party, not to lead the party going into the 2016 election. His reason was to pave way for a younger person.
A lot of people have called Nana Addo to do same; he was prevailed upon even before the congress of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), he was adamant and refused because to him, the presidency is his birthright.
The decision of the African leaders in Addis Ababa betrays the rest of us, who hold the view that the oldmen like Robert Mugabe have overstayed their welcome. Their performance on the stage is long done, the applause was up long time ago and should have left the scene. We should not make them relevant by giving them positions or roles, we well know they can’t perform.
Mugabe, like Nana Addo is a dead horse, and will not serve any purpose any longer. We have to move past them, if Africa wants better future for the unborn generations.