WHILST one cannot condone the disorderly conduct with which some junior MDC MPs conducted themselves at the opening of parliament on Tuesday, it was amusing to see Robert Mugabe being lambasted in an institution in which he had had his way for decades.
Most Zimbabweans have watched helplessly as Mugabe over the years built a cult personality in which he exuded the aura of infallibility and riding roughshod over all who dare stand in his way. Even African leaders usually articulate in criticising tyranny elsewhere in Africa, were seemingly tongue tied when it came to the Zimbabwean rulerâ€™s excesses. It appears however that the times are changing.
African leaders who are unimpressed by Mugabeâ€™s tired neo-colonial diatribes are sprouting up and are condemning his callous disregard for the democratic values he signed up to. Some have gone to the extent of not recognising him as head of state and he can no longer claim that Africa is solidly behind him when he addresses the West. Events such as these evoke memories of the gradual fall from grace of Mobutu Sese Seko and how the aura of fear he had fashioned steadily gnarled until he had to escape to exile.
It was good for a moment, to see him being drowned out whilst making a humdrum speech about economic recovery without any policy change and purporting to reach out to the opposition without sincerity.