So the odious Robert Mugabe has finally accepted that he’s got to resign and the people of Zimbabwe have been dancing in the streets with the sheer joy of having got rid of him. He began well as the leader of a party opposed to colonial domination but power and wealth went to his head and for far too long now he has been greedy, ruthless and brutal, using his army to subdue his own people and taking so much wealth out of the economy that the poverty in Uganda is now extreme.
Zimbabwe was once one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, now warehouses are empty, fields lie fallow, banks are so short of cash that people wait hours to withdraw even tiny sums and the roads are full of potholes. There aren’t very many jobs and most of them are in government service where the salaries of the workers are very rarely paid. If ever a society was crying out for revolution, it is this one. I would like to think that now they’ve removed him from power the people of Uganda will put him on trial for his misdeeds. A precedent has been set for it.
This same week a man called Ratko Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment. This man was nicknamed ‘the butcher of Bosnia’ and was infamous for the extermination, murder and persecution of his countrymen and the massacre of Srebrenica. It has taken twenty years to bring him to justice, but at last he has been found guilty of all charges against him and, what is perhaps even more important, the court that managed to do this was an international criminal tribunal backed by the United Nations. How cleansing it would be in a world grown sick of greed and cruelty for the stage to be set, for the hideously greedy and savagely cruel to be brought to justice.
I can think of a great many other leaders whose behaviour is so obscene that we really should be stopping it. Is it power to the people again at last?