Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Mugabe Knows Not His Time
Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe has been in the news a lot lately for his refusal to cede power and allow political freedom in his nation. No surprises there, really. It seems like most African regimes give up power very reluctantly. Queen Elizabeth II has yanked his knighthood, but unless his fellow African nations step up genuine pressure -- especially South Africa -- nothing will change. Unless . . .
Mr. Mugabe made an interesting statement. "Only God can remove me." That's very true. And as an octogenarian, this tinpot dictator isn't that far from eternity. Death will indeed remove him from the throne he has usurped. It might happen sooner than he expects. Saparmurat Niyazov of Turkmenistan could tell him that - that is if Niyazov was still alive. He died very suddenly of a heart attack. His carefully constructed personality cult is now dying, and Turkmenistan is beginning slow steps toward reform and opening up. They've got a ways to go, but they're starting.
In case I forgot to mention, Mr. Niyazov is probably in Hell. He just might be saving Mr. Mugabe a place. Of course, things don't have to be that way for Mr. Mugabe. But if I were him, I'd set about amending my ways pretty quickly.
At his age, the sand in the hourglass is near the bottom.