HomeOpinion & AnalysisSundayOpinion: Don’t criminalise regime change!

SundayOpinion: Don’t criminalise regime change!

The same people that elect governments have a right to dethrone them any time they deem necessary. Governments come and go but people remain. It is a pity when others label agents of regime change all sorts of names for the sake of illegally clinging onto power. Politicians should bear in mind that if they stay too long in power, their political gloss and leverage also fades, their eloquence and intelligence is captured in the wilderness of foolishness and idiocy.


Regime change is not only vital but also healthy in the quest of democracy. No political party or political leader has the sole right to lead or rule any given country alone, even till death. In our own philosophical traditional wisdom “Ushe madzoro hunotambidzaniwa”,  literally meaning that leadership is best that occurs in turns. Brilliant politicians have been corrupted by political greediness and willpower to the extent of distorting and damaging their historic and political reputation. All this is done in the name of defending territorial sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Regime change is in a lighter way rejection of mismanagement, it is not something that a lot of people should die for. Reality is hard to accept but it is the only thing that safeguards one’s legacy. Abraham Maslow, one of the renowned psychologists in his hierarchy of needs ended on self-esteem. It is indeed important to reach the self-esteem level as postulated by Maslow, but beyond self-esteem lies legacy. What is it that the present political leaders will one day point to God in the heavens and say, “but look here oh Lord, at least I did this and that?” Would God tolerate, for example massive torture of innocent civilians? Would the divine Lord accept the butchering of guiltless souls in the name of security? Certainly not.

Regime change gives the country a better chance to clear the mess of the erstwhile loser or failure before it is too late. It is not fair in the interest of future generations and in the interest of the country for a club of a few people or one individual to hold the nation at ransom. Even if the people may appear powerless and vulnerable to instruments of repression, there is nothing so significant that any human being can do to coerce someone’s choice.

God created a human being in His own image. The human being was created with a natural gift and desire to reject and accept. What an individual dislikes, no one can force him or her to like, even to the point of death.  The leadership melancholy which afflicts most black African states is arguably one factor inimical to democratic achievement. The unfortunate part of African politics is that it is hijacked by strange men parading themselves as leaders in our respective societies.  Such leaders are susceptible to greed and easily bow down to pressures of kith and kin, even at the expense of the whole nation at large.


These citizens are the most sensitive people, they think by being leaders they will go unquestioned over their deeds, and would rather be answerable to God only. Unlike any other individuals in any given society, politicians are publicly accountable. They occupy those dignitary offices through the virtue of the trust bestowed on them by the citizens; their actions will never go unchecked or uncontested regardless of their vicious arsenals of power comprosing the police dogs, riot police or even teargases.  Their official shortcomings should always be brought to public attention, whose desire is good governance, accountability and transparency.

The moment people start to mention regime change, dictators who think that regime change is criminal resort to the revival of all machineries of intimidation and fear in the society. Regime change is at the epicentre of any dictator’s nerve centre. The moment one attempts to touch that, the dictator responds in furious and desperate actions. Regime change is not criminal. Best governance lies in the variety. Only if people are exposed to various tests of governance will they be able to make good choices in nominating a government or leader of their choice. Leadership renewal has become one of the clearest yardsticks in present day polities in assessing whether a given state is adhering to democratic principles.

The developments in North Africa provide practical insights in the prerequisites of dismantling dictatorships in Africa. The demise of dictatorship is not an easy one, but when it comes it arrives with a bang as devastating as the incumbent it wants to dislodge.

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