Although his death somewhat seemed inevitable, the manner in which he met his fate was what attracted some talking points.
His death elicited some very measured responses among Hararians most of whom are so often obvious of the consequences that might befell them if they showed signs of rejoicing over the demise of the Libyan dictator.
After all he was President Robert Mugabe’s ally and rejoicing over his death although its against our traditional culture would have automatically be interpreted by the president’s men as wishing him the same fate.
Having said that, it was also a dangerous bait to be talking about Gadhaffi’s death whether sympathising or out rightly rejoicing.
There were reports on Thursday evening that the dreaded Central Intelligence Officers (CIO) officers had been deployed in the streets and bars of Harare to check out the public sentiment.
The death of Gadhaffi, one of Africa’s arch dictators, is seen as a sign that no leader no matter how ruthless is invincible, so the powers that be at Munhumutapa would do everything to keep sentiments of excitement over Gadhaffi’s death at a minimal.
Despite the cautious manner in which people spoke about Gadhaffi’s death, many had these hidden feelings of jealous written all over them.
But it is no secret that many Zimbabweans particularly those living in towns want President Robert Mugabe to step down from power. Mugabe like Gadhaffi has ruled Zimbabwe for the past 31 years and at the rate his going he might be entertaining the idea of setting a new African record.
Most of the people who spoke to Radio VOP had a sense of jealous over the death of Ghadaffi.
“I would have wanted them to capture him and parade him so he can save as an example to others,” said Tongai Shonganiso, an airtime vendor who plies his trade just below the offices of a privately owned daily newspaper in down town Harare.
A newspaper vendor stationed along Second Street said he was happy that Gadhaffi had gone but said he would like the scenes he has watched happening in North African countries to happen south of the continent.
“I am wondering what it would take to wake us up,” said the vendor speaking carelessly loud.
Harare’s suspended councillor, Warship Dumba said “It’s a good thing that he has been killed, it serves as a warning to the remaining dictators that we are in the 21st century and there is no place for dictators.”
Like many other African leaders, the Zimbabwean government had not yet officially commented on the death of the Libyan leader, by end of day Thursday. It seemed to have been calculating its reaction but they obviously had more to read into his demise.
The only close thing to an official government comment was the numerous Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) news bulletins that tried hard to lay the blame for his death on NATO forces also accusing them of killing civilians.
However the media response was much pronounced. Most daily newspapers had the Gadhaffi story on the front pages.
The Daily News led with a screaming headline, Dictator Gadhaffi killed News Day led with the headline Gadhaffi killed. These two newspapers also splashed pictures of a dying Gadhaffi on the front pages.
The state owned, Herald newspapers led with a rather sympathetic headline, Gadhaffi shot dead.
Although there were measured discussions over the death of Gadhaffi on the streets and in bars around Harare, most Zimbabweans were quiet vocal on the social network sites such as twitter and facebook.
Nyasha Geja wrote on facebook in reaction to Gadhaffi’s death, “The puppet must die, God never wanted a murderer, he has been hoisted by his own peturd.” But Blessing Ivan Vava disagreed. “Shame on you Nato,” he wrote.
Cyril Zenda chose to be humorous. “I am wondering why ZBC hasn’t started playing our favorite Heroes Acre tune…ngy’engy’engy’engy’e-
So was Edgar Ndatenda Makura. “For me dictators are like all these long museve songs on radio.
A 14 minute song will have sections which are very nice and some very atrocious. If you were to be asked about the song, you are vexed whether to call it good or bad. You wish it were 4 minutes long and you would have made an easier judgement. No-one should be in power for too long and that’s it!” he declared.
From Kabul Maxwell Saungweme appeared to be laying the law. “The dictator has fallen. The way he was smoked out may be contested but the truth is he is no more. The truth is these dictators are the same , ruthless but cowards. They kill but don’t want to die. All
dictators out there should know that your day will come no-matter how mighty the military around you is,” said Saungweme.
Miracle Mawadze, had no kind words for the late Gadhaffi saying without him the world will be a better place.
“The world without Gaddafi, is far better. This is a strong message to dictators alive that if you feast on ordinary and innocent people’s blood, God has a way of dealing with you. It is a matter of time. It was Saddam, then Gaddafi and who is next? I know we are all made equal by death, but dying in a drainage pipe under a hail of bullets somebody who used live in palace with wall of bodyguards, it is pathetic to say the least.”
Some like Hopewell Gumbo were much more worried about whether he will get a funeral befitting a man who at one point declared himself an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the King of Kings of Africa and the Imam of Muslims.
“What is painful about Gadhaffi now is that achavigwa nani and where is the funeral yake? vamwe vedu vachanobata maoko kupi?” Gumbo asked. But in between the sympathy Gumbo was not yet finished. He chose to sum up how Gadhaffi lived his life and chose to end it all.
“Gaddafi is a victim of greed; his own and that of imperialism. The writing is on the wall for dictators around the world, that they will die at the hands of their compradors in the globalised and info supersonic , technological village. Their compradors will desert them
when the force of the masses demands what rightfully is theirs. And the masses must watch closely, who is their real ally. Egypt is far from freedom and the death of Gaddafi is not a symbol for a democratic Lybia but the purging of a dictator and a blared lecture for the future,” Gumbo said.
Sydney Chisi appeared to be chiding the Harare government which sent the ex-Libyan ambassador to Zimbabwe packing in 72 hours for recognising the authority of the National Transitional Authority (NTC).
He said, “I hope the NTC will redeploy the same ambassador who was ‘deported’ by Harare administration.
Newspaper publisher, Trever Ncube also weighed in on his twitter page saying, “Pardon me but I have failed to find any sympathy for Gadhaffi.”
Lloyd Msipa chose to be academic with the whole issue. “Nothing in international law allows for regime change and the assassination of a leader of a sovereign country,” he reasoned.
For MDC Senator and Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Obert Chaurura Gutu, it was time for a double celebration.
“Forty nine not out..!!..Kindly permit me to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all family & friends,more than 500 of them,who wished me happy birthday yesterday!!…You guys are simply AWESOME..!!…And to think my birthday coincided with the demise of a notorious dictator, one Muammar Gadhaffi…..Eeish..!!”
Sakile Mamutse -Takavarasha had a direct question, she wanted to know who is next in a year that has seen dictators falling like a deck of cards.
But for now Zimbabweans can only watch wondering when the winds of change will start blowing their way.