Ph and Zimbabwe compared
This is in connection with the editorial, “‘Deja vu’ in Zimbabwe” (11/21/17).
The similarities between the events that happened in the two countries are glaring.
To cite just a few:
1. Both countries had been under brutal dictatorial rule by their presidents who wanted to rule for life.
2. The wives of both presidents wanted to succeed their husbands.
3. The wives were notorious for their luxurious tastes that were bankrolled by the countries’ coffers: “Imeldific” in the Philippines and “Gucci Grace” in Zimbabwe.
4. The enforcers of the two presidents’ iron rule were/are lawyers who served as justice and defense ministers: Juan Ponce Enrile in the Philippines and Emmerson Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe.
5. Their opponents have been killed, imprisoned or missing.
6. Plunder has transformed both countries from bread baskets to basket cases.
7. Both presidents were deposed in bloodless and peaceful revolutions.
But the similarities end there.
Former Zimbabwe vice president Mnangagwa, who was removed from office by deposed president Robert Mugabe over the latter’s plan to have his 57-year-old wife Grace succeed him, will become president instead. Enrile did not succeed Marcos despite failed attempts by some of his allies in the military to unseat Cory Aquino in seven coup attempts.
Like Filipinos after the 1986 people power revolt, Zimbabweans sang and danced with joy as Mugabe’s resignation was read. Marcos fled to Hawaii but did not resign.
Though they have reasons to rejoice, there are some who expressed misgivings as to how Mnangagwa will lead his country. His hands were bloodied by the thousands who were killed as the enforcer of Mugabe’s brutal, dictatorial and wicked 37-year rule.
John F. Kennedy’s dire warning that “one form of… control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny,” rings loud.
While there is hope for optimism, Zimbabweans have to wait and see what the future has in store for them.
RAMON MAYUGA, [email protected]
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