Robert Mugabe had become a very despicable and contemptuous figure in Zimbabwe. His ouster was long overdue, and people went over the moon when Emmerson Mnangagwa, the current president, with the help of the military, took the reins of power.
Ever since the November coup Mugabe had decided to remain silent about his feeble and unexpected fall from power. This time he has come out guns blazing, lambasting the current government by saying that it is illegal and the AU should help to "restore normalcy and democracy in Zimbabwe".
When the African Union Commission (AU) chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat paid him a courtesy call at his lavish "Blue Roof" mansion, Mugabe decided to launch a scathing attack on the new government. Mugabe said that the country was effectively under military rule and that there was an urgent need to restore democracy in the country.
It is ironical that a man who held on to power tightly for 37 years, wounding democracy in the process, is now the one complaining about democracy. The popular view has been that Mugabe is seriously bitter with the way he was forced to resign. Mugabe said since this year's elections would be run by the military, they will not be free and fair. Again, how ironical!
"I was pressured by the army to resign; I did so in order to avoid conflict and bloodshed in my country. I was worried because it had been brought to my attention that people had been intimidated, illegally seized, attacked, homes had been raided at gunpoint and destroyed, and weapons confiscated from other state security agencies," Mugabe said.
"Mnangagwa is in power illegally, yet some of his officials dare call me a dictator. What dictator? Maybe a dictator for dictating that we must take over our land and give it to the people; maybe a dictator for demanding that our people must be empowered. If that's why they call me a dictator, I have no problem with that," Mugabe added.
Mugabe also said that his wife was being harassed over allegations that her Doctorate degree is not genuine, and he said that because of this his wife cries daily. Zimbabweans would obviously be unbothered by this, a woman who made them cry for years because of her greed is now crying too. Mugabe raised concern over the issue of their security.
"For instance, they told you, I was safe, but how can I be in this environment? My wife is crying daily. They are persecuting her; that is obviously directed at me. What am I without my wife and family? We are not safe," Mugabe said. "We have constitutional benefits, for example, but these are being denied."
On his private birthday celebration, Mugabe said that people can no longer vote for the ruling party ZANU-PF because "it shredded the Constitution". Mugabe said during the standoff with the military last November, Chiwenga tried to reconcile him with Mnangagwa to no avail. "Let me give credit to Chiwenga, he tried to have me engage Mnangagwa, but [Mnangagwa] said, 'the people have spoken', I am quoting what he said. Which people? MDC people? What about those not in Harare? So today the people we must listen to are opposition supporters? What happened to congress?"
Mugabe was forced to resign from power, and because of that, he sounds very bitter. He argues that what the military and Mnangagwa did was wrong, and they should apologise to the people. The new government is not what every Zimbabwean would go in agreement with but one thing is certain - Mugabe's time was up.