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Zimbabwe: On Libya, Gaddafi and Mugabe

As news of the fall of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi lit up the web, the Zimbabwean blogosphere was not left behind. Rumours have been circulating online that the man deposed after four decades in power is in Zimbabwe.

NewDZE reported:

FUGITIVE tyrant Colonel Gaddafi fled to Zimbabwe in a jet provided by its hated president Robert Mugabe, it was claimed last night.

Mugabe’s political rivals said their spies witnessed Gaddafi’s arrival on a Zimbabwe Air Force jet at the Suri-Suri airbase shortly after 1am on Wednesday.

He was then whisked away to a mansion in the capital Harare’s Gunninghill suburb.

And nearby roads were sealed off by Zimbabwean troops and plain-clothes police officers, it was claimed.

A spokesman for the opposition MDC Veterans party added: “There’s now no doubt that Gaddafi is here as a ‘unique guest’ of Mugabe.”

Eyewitness reports say riot police have taken over Africa Unity Square in a strong show of force. It is unclear whether this is related to widespread rumours sweeping the capital about Gaddafi’s presence.

Totorosi thought the story was not true:

This site was becoming very popular but of late some of their stories are unfounded.I hope you verify your stories before you feed them to us for your own credibility’s sake.Many Zimbabweans are just rumour mongers but a news site should not be like that.

If Kaddafi is in ZImbabwe,he will be found.Those drone planes will do their work.These Western guys went to Pakistani and got Bin Laden (hopefully) so they can and will get Kadaffi if he’s in Zim.Zimbabwe is very weak militarily and even the Bhanyamulenge embarassed them in Congo so Kadaffi anongotorwa sehuku iri pamazai without any resistance.Anyone anoramba shouldnt even forget kuti Air Force yeZimbabwe yakambobirwa ndege.If Mugabe took Kadaffi in ,a man on an international warrant of arrest then he has just sealed his own fate…

Kubatana, an online community of Zimbabwean activists, sought reaction from its mobile phone subscribers about the fall of Gaddafi:

Yesterday, we sent a text message to our SMS subscribers informing them about the breaking news in Libya: Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts unknown, sons detained, and opposition forces taking control of Tripoli. With reports today of a “defiant regime fightback,” the situation in Libya is clearly still unfolding. But Zimbabweans resonate with attempts to remove a strongman, decades long in power. Here are some of their responses to yesterday’s news:

• Hope the brutal dictator will be captured alive and face trial for other dictators 2 wake up and realise they can b next
• It is very unfortunate that dictators are incapable of reading between the lines of the changing times and hence become victims of political upheavals of our time. May he be forgiven for his hands tainted with human blood. We really wonder which existing dictator will give him refuge. Oh! Leaders never learn that they are mortals.
• Mugabe must smell the coffee. The upheaval in Africa e.g. Libya is causing some shivers into his helpless spine.
• Mugabe will never relinquish power. He committed many crimes against humanity.

Netizen Samuel Maruta commented:

As the age old saying goes, the last kicks of a dying horse are fatal. With no where to run to – as havens are fast dwindling – he has to fight till the last drop of his blood. Let’s draw lessons from this.

Sir Nigel tweeted:

These Libyan Rebels look organised!Their flag raised in Algeria and now Egypt has already recognised the new Libyan govt.

Nqaba Matshazi tweeted:

Ordinary Zimbabweans join in the celebrations at #Libyan embassy in Harare.

And then reported:

Jubilant Libyan citizens celebrate outside the country's office in Zimbabwe, burning down old flag, wonder what Zim govt thinks of that

Riot police have been called in to monitor #Libyans celebrating the demise of Gaddafi in central Harare, peaceful demo so far.

Jones Masura at The Zimpolitics blog said that Mugabe and Gaddafi are fundamentally the same:

And this success of the Libyan Revolution comes at a very significant time in history. At a time when more and more people across the world are becoming more enlightened and more assertive in demanding their fundamental rights and freedoms and what it reminds us is that there is nobody who can stop an idea whose time has come, and no one can suppress forever the people's basic and common aspiration for freedom, liberty and dignity. And when you look at it, our situation in Zimbabwe is fundamentally the same with the situation in Libya. Both of us have endured a long reign of tyranny and terror under Mugabe and Ghadaffi respectively. And Gadhaffi and Mugabe are fundamentally the same.

These are lessons from the Libyan revolution:

First and foremost,the whole world has borne witness to the dignity, courage, resilience, tenacity and good will of the Libyan people in the face of an unrelenting but eventually defeated brutal tyrant.

Secondly, we have learnt the power and ability of the ordinary people to fight back and overthrow systems of oppression and tyranny. In the face of mercenaries and troops which were send by Colonel Gaddafi to massacre civilians, we saw young men and women, the young and the old refusing to give in to fear, and rather decided to fight back through various ways and means of revolutionary resistance. We saw both educated and no educated, Christian and Muslim, coming together, united by our undeniable common humanity and a common longing for freedom, dignity and better lives, to fight back using whatever resources they had and that's how they were able to win against all odds and this has proven beyond any reasonable doubt the proverbial power of the people to make a change.

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