President Robert Mugabe is not going anywhere soon and the precedents are there for the whole world to understand that African leaders so called do not willingly concede their seats to another. Most recently in Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki stole a freely won election from Odinga and after all said and done an arrangement was reached where he now co-governs Kenya, despite losing the election to the opposition. In Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo wanted a third term but was frustrated out of his desire, then he turned around and single- handedly picked Umaru Yar'Adua and installed him as president. Despite the lack of any credible election in Nigeria, the many cries and shouting, today, Umaru Yar'Adua is recognized the world over as the President of Nigeria, receiving red carpet receptions whenever he steps into any capital of any country in the world. South Africa Thabo Mbeki tried it but for the powerful Zuma whom the ANC thronged to, and thwarted his planned third term. So the question is why would Robert Mugabe listen to the world when precedents have shown that after a while the hot air usually blows away?
Africa it would seem was not tailored for a democratic governance! Before the advent of the Europeans Africa were merely kingdoms, fiefdoms and empires being ruled by various kings, rulers, emirs and emperors! So the sit-tight tendencies in their present day leaders so called run in their body genome, blood! As Jesus said, he who has no sin should throw the first stone, almost all African leaders are guilty as Robert Mugabe hence do not have the moral high-grounds to look Mugabe in the eye and ask him to do right and respect the wishes of the Zimbabwe people as expressed in the election - the present crossroads! Of the fifty countries/states that make up Africa, about twenty five of them are under the jackboot of very sit-tight rulers, who are ruling their people autocratically; and with tacit approval of the west and for rather too long now. Take for example, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak who has been in power since 1981. Muammar Qaddafi of Libya has also been in power since 1969 and today the west is wooing him because of proven and known oil reserves in the Libyan desert. In Angola, Jose Eduardo dos Santos has ruled the country's 17 million people since 1979. In Cameroon, Paul Biya has presided over the country's affairs since succeeding Ahmadu Ahidjo in 1982 prior to which he was Prime Minister from 1975 until his succession. In Burkina Faso, Blaise Campore assassinated former head of State Sankara and has remained the country's despotic leader since 1987. In Cape Verde a country of just about 530,000 people their President Pedro de Verona Rodriguez Pires has been in power virtually since 1975. In Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou-Nguesso has presided over this country of 3.8million people since 1979 and same longevity goes with Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea. Eriterea's Isaias Afewerki has been in charge of his tiny country since 1993. Gambia's Yahya Jammeh also has seen the greater 14years since he rose to power in 1994. In Guinea Bissau President Joao Bernardo Vieira has presided over his country since 1980 with a little break for only four years. Chad's Idriss Deby has been running the game-show in N'Djamena since 1991. Mali's Amadou Toumani Toure has been in power since 1991. Mauritius Prime Minister Navim Ramgoolam first came to power in 1995. Tunisia's Zine El Abidine first came to power in 1987; Uganda's Yoweri Museveni in 1986. Gabon's Omar Bongo has been in power since 1967 and this is a man who has dined and wined all the presidents of the West including President Bush. Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia has been in power since 1991 and same goes with Guinea's Lansana Conte since 1984. In Morrocco, King Mohammed VI has ruled since 1999; Lesotho's King Letsie III has been in power since 1990 and King Mswati of Swaziland since 1986. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe's 1980 ascension to power, although very long, is not the longest ruler-ship in Africa as Omar Bongo of Gabon holds that "ignoble" title. The question now is why single out Robert Mugabe? Why should Robert Mugabe be asked to give up his power? Is it because he has no power guaranteed security insurance of OIL flowing under the grounds of Zimbabwe to mortgage or serve as his collateral?
Aside from Nelson Mandela of South Africa who stepped down from power in 1999 and Sam Nujoma of Namibia who stepped down in 2005, virtually no other African leader has voluntarily conceded his office to another person in recent recorded history.
The only meaningful thing anybody can do is to try and be an honest broker and be seen to be really one by every concerned party with interest; otherwise it will be a hot air that will soon blow away. In Kenya the West agreed to let Kibaki steal an election won by Odinga because Odinga had some communist background and so they cannot fully trust him to be president of Kenya; hence they settled for a shared mandate! Maybe if Kibaki had been forced out and made to concede an election which he lost to Odinga in Kenya, Robert Mugabe would have seen a precedent to follow. Robert Mugabe probably asked himself, "but Kibaki had his way in Kenya so why not Mugabe in Zimbabwe? Such arranged governance in Kenya will surely be the fate of Zimbabwe; after-all Mugabe was even "honorable enough" to organize an election in the first place; which African leaders usually do not do. Remember the case in Nigeria where the former President Olusegun Obasanjo imposed a president on Nigeria without any credible election whatsoever. The West threw tantrums but today are cavorting Umaru Yar'Adua because of Nigeria's oil. It is called condonation and corroboration as a result of power guarantee security insurance of OIL! This is the bane of the neo-colonial societies foist on Africa by the lopsidedness of western policies therein. If the West seriously wants to make an impact in African democracy, they must stand firmly against any African dictator whomsoever! Whether it is Hosni Mubarak of Egypt or Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, whom President Bush most recently praised very highly (during the last time he was in Africa) and yet this is a dictator who has ruled Uganda by fiat for over 21years now. Justice must not only be done but must be seen to be done! It is called fairness! Icheoku does not carry water for Robert Mugabe but strongly opposes the current arm-twisting by the west because it has the semblance of their seeking a pound of flesh in the guise of upholding an election result. The west does not love the Zimbabwe people more than Robert Mugabe and they cannot be seen now to be crying more than the "bereaved" people of Zimbabwe. How can the west be more catholic than the pope, for crying out loud? If Robert Mugabe must go, then show some examples where it has been done before in Africa. Where has it happened before in Africa that a "leader" voluntarily conceded his office to another or a successor? Who has ever told Hosni Mubarak of Egypt to go? Who has said that Omar Bongo of Gabon should vacate the seat of power in Libreville since 1967, being the longest sit-tight head of State in Africa? The charade in Nigeria that put Umaru Yar'Adua in power since May 2007, which western leader has challenged it with every sinew in him/her; yet they are spitting fire because a similar exercise took place in Zimbabwe? The genocide in Darfur when will it be resolved and yet the government of Bahir is sponsoring the Janjaweeds death merchants! Where are the sanctions on Khartoum? WHY THEN ROBERT MUGABE?