I have deliberately refrained from dragging Mugabe’s children into anything to do with their father and mother but that ends today. Their parents have done their part in destroying the future of many young people and those children have directly benefited from that, and are increasingly enmeshed in that dynamic of dictatorship.
I met Bona Mugabe for the first time in 2012. I was immediately struck by her affable and composed personality. I even joked and inquired whether she was spoken for. She struck me as a decent person.
I have always looked at Bona with a certain level of regard because she has been subtle and circumspect regarding her involvement in her parents’ story of leadership failure. However she has finally allowed herself to be dovetailed into their deplorable legacy of failure, corruption, nepotism and misrule – much to my dismay.
Last week, Bona was appointed to two boards, the Censorship and the Empowerment Bank boards. Of course, Bona is educated but she is not the only Zimbabwean youth who is educated. If anything, Bona has got so many privileges which she has accrued by virtue of being the president’s daughter. These privileges include, among other things, travel, exposure, wealth and connections.
For her to accept those two appointments is a huge disappointment. If it was just one appointment maybe she would have gotten away with it, not two. Two is unacceptable and I am convinced that she knows better. I used to think that Bona was the reasonable one in that family of shame but the pressure of her father’s political sunset and the trappings of power seem to be getting the best of her.
Her brothers constantly and unashamedly flaunt what they have and engage in petty fights on social media. Unapologetically, they show off the things they have been privileged to have as a result of who their parents are. By their crass behaviour, these children have become accomplices in their parents’ misrule.
Meanwhile, their power-intoxicated, motor-mouth mother never misses an opportunity to assert who she is thereby exposing her mental and political ineptitude. In her short political career she has become a tsunami, a trouble maker, a rabble-rouser launching wandering missiles like some sort of North Korea. Her character becomes apparent the moment she opens her mouth.
Lost in his own world of physical incapacitation and senile day dreaming, Mugabe no longer has a firm grip on anything. Age has taken its toll on him. His insatiable love for power has led him to erode his own legacy. He is now a villain who is detested by most of his countrymen. For presiding over the suffering of the masses and monumental atrocities such as Gukurahundi and Murambatsvina, Mugabe has become an enemy of the people.
Mugabe’s family is supposed to be the first family but it is a family of shame. It is a curse to Zimbabweans.
(Patson Dzamara is a leadership coach, author, political activist and analyst based in Zimbabwe).