The explosive power of a revolution: the case of Zim and Ethiopia

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Gracious Madondo

No revolution goes unnoticed and no revolution is without the overpowered.

It is a historical fact that a revolution leads to another revolution. Whatever the nature of the political change, there is always the winner and the loser and in most cases, the loser fights back.

Over the past six months, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia have gone through significant political change through massive popular and peaceful demonstrations calling for new leadership.

In Zimbabwe, the historical anti-Mugabe march prompted the resignation of the country’s 94-year old former president who had ruled for 37 years since the country gained independence in 1980.

The demonstration made headlines worldwide, mostly because it was a revolution like no other, hailed by many because of its peaceful nature.

This peaceful transition of power led to the inauguration of the 75-year old Emmerson Mnangagwa as President of Zimbabwe.

Since President Emmerson Mnangagwa got into power late last year, he has mainly focused on repairing the battered economy through routing out corruption, which he said was a scourge retarding development in the country.

President Mnangagwa has engaged and captured the attention of regional, continental as well as international business people in thriving to make Zimbabwe great again.

Zimbabwe was known as the bread basket of Africa and Mnangagwa’s domestic policies such as the Command Agriculture programme all seek to put back the country on a global map and his business mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business” says it all.

Since Mnangagwa assumed the office of the president, significant socio-economic changes have taken place in the country. 

The narrative has been the same with Ethiopian situation.

A few months ago, Ethiopia went through a similar power transition characterised by massive anti-government demonstrations.

The massive protests led to the resignation of the then prime minister, Hailemariam Dasalegn, and the appointment of a new and younger prime minister – 75-year old Abiy Ahmed.

As soon as he assumed office, Prime Minister Ahmed has overseen the release of thousands of political prisoners, ended deadly anti-government protests and implemented an economic liberations plan, reports indicated.

The smooth transition of power in both nations did not go unnoticed, especially by those who used to pillage from the previous status quo.

The unforeseen events that unfolded on Saturday, concurrently in both Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, shocked nationals of both countries and showed that every transformation comes at a price.

President Mnangagwa escaped death by a whisker after a grenade was thrown at him after addressing a rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

In Addis Ababa, Ahmed received quite a threat on his life when a bomb erupted at the gathering which killed some and injured several people.

Both heads of state escaped the blasts unharmed.

Speaking after the attack in Bulawayo, President Mnangagwa said his enemies were behind the attack and that this was not their first attempt to end his life.

Both explosions remain under investigations but for the two leaders this becomes a test of the strength of their security forces and intelligent organizations as well as their reformist agendas.

 

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