The social Media has been awash with the news that Mugabe has refused to be buried at the National Heroes Acre. Firstly we need to understand the presidency. President, in government, the officer in whom the chief executive power of a nation is vested. The president of a republic is the chief of state, but his actual power varies from country to country; in the United States, Africa, and Latin America, the presidential office is charged with great powers and responsibilities, but the office is relatively weak and largely ceremonial in Europe and in many countries where the prime minister, or premier, functions as the chief executive officer.
The office of president is also used in governments in South and Central America, Africa, and elsewhere. Much of the time these chief executives function in a democratic tradition as duly elected public officials. Throughout much of the 20th century, however, some elected presidents— under the pretense of emergency—continued in office beyond their constitutionalterms. In other cases, military officers seized control of a government and afterward sought legitimacy by assuming the office of president. Still other presidents were virtual puppets of the armed forces or of powerful economic interests that put them in office Zimbabwe endowed the office of president with formidable executive powers, including the power to dissolve the national legislature and call national referenda. The elected president becomes a national property.
This means the president among being a human being is the property of the state. He is the face of the country and indeed his person is solely the person of the state. When the president leaves office his welfare remains the responsibility of the state. He can not decide his fate.
Now coming to the message purportedly said by Mugabe ED must not lose sleep. There is no official message to President Mnangagwa it is entirely based on a rumour. The government can not start reacting to rumours.
Matemadanda was wrong to say Mugabe has a choice. For the place of burial there is a place for heroes and there are some heroes are not allowed to have a choice. Robert Mugabe appears to be a president in rebellion against his former office. A former president, we have come to expect, hastens to the scene of a natural disaster to comfort the afflicted. He is expected to further national issues not personal vendetta. We have come to expect that when the national fabric rends, the former president will administer needle and thread, or at least reach for the sewing box of unity. We expect former presidents to be deal makers. Even when the opposition has calcified, they are supposed to drink and dine with the other side and find a bipartisan solution.
With Robert Mugabe we expected that his decades in the real national business would make him an especially able negotiator, he hasn’t much bothered to trade horses with the new leadership. To his critics, Mugabe’s detours from the expectations of his office prove he is unfit to inhabit it. Or they demonstrate his hypocrisy: The man who now ignores the traditional responsibilities of the job was once perhaps the nation’s foremost presidential scold, regularly criticizing his predecessors when they have not said anything.
Yes Mugabe is still angry with ED but his anger must never be above national pride and interest.
We might say what we want to say but Mugabe remains a property of the state and he can not chose where he wants to be buried.
There some vindictive people in ED’s government who would want to see the total humiliation of Mugabe. They have not understood ED when he said Mugabe was his icon. Indeed Mugabe is iconic but his position prohibits him from making sweeping statements about our hero himself. He does not belong to Grace anymore. He is a national property.
– Dr Masimba Mavaza
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