Events that have taken place in four African states of Guinea Bissau, Sudan, Kenya and Zimbabwe in the last seven days alone provide a sad reflection of a cancer that can only afflict African countries.
There has been another mysterious road accident in Zimbabwe and it claimed the life of the wife of Robert Mugabe’s bitter political foe.
While soldiers in another African country just went to State House and blasted their guns, killing their president, another African president was being indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity.
For years, Africa and its African Union watched as a madman butchered and starved people in Sudan.
Nations outside Africa, as usual, raised the alarm and made a lot of noise about the unnecessary brutality that was being perpetrated in Sudan.
African leaders stayed quiet as if they could not smell the rancid stench of innocent blood being wasted in Darfur.
Nations outside Africa, with severe resistance from African countries, took the matter to the United Nations in an effort to gather enough support to either censure, retard or contain the Bashir’s homicidal rage that was decimating a population in Sudan.
The world was provided with a puzzling version of humanity as African leaders came to the assistance of one of Africa’s most heartless and callous murderers.
At issue was semantics. Other countries, led by the United States, wanted to label what was happening in Sudan genocide and African leaders would not hear of it.
The determination shown by African leaders to protect a man responsible for so many barbaric acts on his own people became a shameful, chilling reminder that there indeed is something wrong with African presidents.
In the end, however, Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, ended up being cited by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. They said there was insufficient evidence to charge him with genocide although the United Nations estimates that “at least 300,000 Sudanese have died and
2.7 million have been forced from their homes in the fighting that has
convulsed the western region of Darfur since 2003”.
Imagine if this had taken place in Europe?
But the most astonishing thing about Bashir’s indictment is the reaction of the 30 something African leaders who actually threatened to abandon their seats at the court if Bashir’s arrest warrant was not revoked.
Their way of thinking is difficult to understand or translate.
African leaders have to be coxed or forced to save the lives of their own citizens.
In Guinea Bissau, the uneasiness that exists between African presidents and their military chiefs caused the deaths of both.
Soldiers simply shot dead their president, blaming him of a bomb explosion that killed the army chief of staff.
And that was the end of the matter.
African leaders don’t bother themselves with comments when such issues take place.
Meanwhile, utter disregard for life was displayed when two human rights campaigners were shot dead in broad daylight in downtown Nairobi.
The citizens are clamouring for an independent investigation because they suspect that the Kenyan police might be involved.
And while all these gory events continue to unfold across Africa, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is also doing his best to stay on top of the list of the worst dictator on the continent.
If there is one thing I acknowledge about Mugabe, it is his total disdain of African leaders. He thinks they are cowards who can only leak a stamp when its back is turned.
Mugabe thinks absolutely nothing of African presidents and on that score, he did his homework and that is why he does as he pleases without fearing censure.
Events that have unfolded since Mugabe was made to create a government of national unity show that he has now picked up momentum and is not going to be retreating.
Since the days of the liberation struggle, car accidents have been synonymous with ZANU-PF whenever it wanted to get rid of a foe or of one of its own political children for one reason or other.
Car accidents with trailers side-swiping a victim’s car or hitting badly parked trucks became prominent when ZANU-PF’s General Josiah Tongogara died under the same circumstances a few months before triumphantly returning home in 1979.
Tongogara was hugely popular and was clearly a threat to Mugabe.
After Tongogara’s death, ZANU-PF released an undertaker’s statement saying his injuries were consistent with a road accident, but no autopsy results or pictures were released.
A CIA intelligence briefing of 28 December 1979 said Tongogara was a potential political rival to Mugabe because of his ambition, popularity and decisive style.
After independence, many people active in ZANU-PF died in mysterious car accidents which almost always involved trucks, military or otherwise.
Interestingly, Mugabe’s last three Political Commissars all died through highly questionable road accidents.
The most recent of these was Eliot Manyika who perished after his Mercedes Benz sedan reportedly burst a rear tyre and overturned. This was on December 6, 2008.
“A tyre on the official Mercedes-Benz in which Manyika was travelling burst, resulting in the driver losing control,” said the official report. “The vehicle veered off the road then rolled. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.”
The man Manyika had replaced as ZANU-PF Political Commissar, Border Gezi, also died the same way.
“The Mercedes-Benz burst a tyre, resulting in the driver losing control,” said the official report. “The vehicle then rolled once and veered off along Masvingo Road on Saturday morning April 28, 2001. He was pronounced dead on arrival at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.”
Maybe Mercedes Benz Motors should sue Mugabe and ZANU-PF for tarnishing the image of their product.
Surely, their vehicles can’t just burst tires and overturn, killing Mugabe’s people?
And two days ago, we are told that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was traveling to his rural home in a convoy of three cars in front and one behind. But this truck, coming from the opposite direction, was only able to hit Tsvangirai’s LandCruiser and not any of the others.
Mrs Susan Tsvangirai reportedly died on the spot.
But then, a farmer who happened on the scene of the “accident” and was able to take some pictures was hunted down by the police. They found him and they confiscated his camera. He is now locked up incommunicado at the local police station at Beatrice. Why?
Mugabe was one of the first people to visit Tsvangirai in hospital. It must have been chilling for Tsvangirai to look up and see Mugabe and his wife, the Director of the Central Intelligence Organisation and a host of other Mugabe loyalists who had always persecuted him staring down at him.
Could Mugabe have gone to the hospital to warn Tsvangirai while he was in mourning and with his own wounds still fresh?
Yes, an allegedly drowsy truck driver might have hit Tsvangirai’s car but that was not the accident.
The accident was that Tsvangirai did not die.