As a self-declared life-time ruler of Zimbabwe, he would later lead the wealthy nation down the path of destruction. While a majority of the citizenry lived in abject poverty Mugabe and his close allies lived a lavish and extravagant life-a story replicated in most countries in Africa.
His 37-year chokehold onto power was a sad story characterised by decreased food production, famine, economic failure, human rights abuses and international sanctions
It has been almost a year since the military forced Mugabe to relinquish power in a soft coup.
The elections that followed saw Emmerson Dambudzo Mnagangwa take the reins of power. As the streets of Harare burst into jubilation, political pundits expressed concerns that the ex-intelligence chief and defense minister and later vice president would be another Mugabe.
Mnagangwa was nicknamed the Crocodile for his role in the early 80s massacre of the Ndebele ethnic minority for opposing the Mugabe government
The current crackdown on innocent protesters over spiked fuel prices and internet shutdown rekindles memories of the Ndebele repression.
With the highest fuel prices in the world occasioned by acute shortages, one could have wished that the current leadership would inspire hope through key institutional reforms coupled up with respect for human rights and expansion of civic space to stir up social economic development. But, with the current state of affairs, there is little hope.
In a report, the joint mission of the US-based International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute say Zimbabwe has not yet demonstrated that it has established a tolerant, democratic culture that enables the conduct of elections in which parties are treated equitably and citizens can cast their vote freely
Endemic corruption and systemic embezzlement of public funds have significantly eroded public confidence in both the public and the private sector.
Millions of shillings that could otherwise have been used for the public good are lost to corruption daily. Lack of transparency, corruption and misappropriation of public funds being on the rise.
The government has consistently come under sharp criticism for being complacent in the fight against corruption.
The hopes of the people on August 26, 2018 as Emmerson Dambudzo Mnagangwa was being sworn-in are quickly evaporating as almost every sector in Southern Rhodesia requires reforms.
It is the onus of the current regime to restore public confidence and set Zimbabwe on the path of success.
Opposition MDC party supporters protest in the streets of Harare during clashes with police.
- The Standard Media Kenya