Zimbabwe is a 40-year-old democratic state which won its independence from the white minority rule following a liberation struggle in April 1980. The first black President of Zimbabwe was Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who immediately became an instant sensation and a darling to many including the international community for his eloquence in the Queen’s language and his academic accolades. Mugabe was seen as a beacon of unity. A man that would finally bring freedom for the black majority and mend the racial divide that had caused the war.
Unknown to them he soon turned into a tyrannical ruler and a dictator. Then Zimbabwe was the jewel of Africa home to around 9 million citizens which have since almost doubled to around 16 million today’s count. Mugabe was driven by greed and the thirst for power. At the time when he should have stepped down and allowed the country to continue without him, he grabbed more power and drove the country into 2 decades of misrule, mismanagement and corruption. The jewel was no more.
The thriving economy turned into a spiraling nonstop free fall ever since attributed to corruption and mis rule and ill-conceived government policies among which was the Economic Structural adjustment program ESAP and the 2000 land grab from the commercial white farmers and later from even anti ZANU PF black citizens. This led to serious brain drain and an estimate 3 million Zimbabweans roam the globe in search of greener pastures and also in some cases escaping from victimization and torture.
Zimbabwe is a mere shadow of what is was. The hopes of 1980 are no more. The jewel of Africa no longer.