The Sunday Mail
Humans have multiple roles.
A lawyer — on top of routinely putting up stocky defences in court — is a father/mother, brother/sister and citizen required by law to pay taxes.
That burly police officer responsible for collaring delinquents in the neighbourhood and enforcing law in broader society could be a granduncle or covert highwayman himself.
A President is no different.
In addition to running a government, he/she is a family person duty-bound to fulfil their familial obligations.
Sigmund Freud throws in a deeper dimension to this multiplicity of persons with his three-element deduction of the human mind.
Though abstract, the id, ego and superego add inextricable qualities to human behaviour and character.
The id is that part of us which impulsively dances to any beat be it samba or bossa nova.
Largely instinctive, the id requires ample riveting to prevent it from bolting to far away moorlands wherein impulsive desires are gratified regardless of consequences.
The ego is more temperate and counterbalances our actions by shaving off significant verve from the id’s excitable disposition. It makes sense of reality and angles to satisfy the id’s fleeting desires in more socially acceptable fashion. Then there is the superego, that third dimension of the psyche which raises moral red flags whenever we flirt with ill-virtue.
It is our compass to right over wrong, a vernier caliper imbued in us from our formative years by parents and larger socialisation agents.
Every businessperson worth his or her salt will tell you that good enterprise thrives on interactions of the multiple persons that customers are and their tri-dimensional psyche.
Goods and services are not sold to people, but the id, ego and superego — all signifying our true selves.
It is a fact global commerce has wrapped its head around.
It has also become a point of traction in the political sphere. Ideas are not sold to an empty electorate, but to those inner beings. How such profound knowledge escapes Mr Robert Mugabe, himself a self-proclaimed philosopher, is mind-boggling.
The thought of him being a father, grandfather, uncle and husband is well-settled in his sub-conscience, far away from the talons of doubt.
Yet, the one person he refuses to be is a 94-year-old retiree. Whether this is right or wrong is for others to judge. But from where I stand, it appears his reasoning tilts more to impulse, more to the id —the id that disregards consequence all to satisfy impulsive urges.
In November 2017, the people of Zimbabwe were emphatic in their collective resolve for him to step down from the Presidency.
Multi-coloured and energy-drunk, they marched on the streets. Their unrestrained chants found synchrony in telling Bob that his time was up.
On the same weekend, Zanu-PF recalled him from the Presidency. And as the business week opened, impeachment loomed large.
We later learnt that Mr Mugabe had taken in all this and let go of the reins of power; slowly, willingly.
Now for him to cry foul sounds pretty ugly.
Taking the fight to a government wielding the levers of power speaks less of his venerated intellect and much about his impulsive disposition.
Here is a man who, in denial, thinks he has a bastion of supporters in some nook somewhere. Someone should whisper to him that he is at sea; no one is out there! Maybe just Jonathan Moyo.
Mr Mugabe thrust himself into that invidious position when he turned a blind eye to a new brand of politics that targeted individuals and took no prisoners. This “new age politics” was designed and launched by one with a particularly peculiar cerebral casing.
Yet, Mr Mugabe allowed such politics to escalate to national level and distract economic focus. For that, he gradually became a deserving retirement candidate in the eyes of many Zimbabweans.
Perchance, he could have lingered longer had he stood for the people instead of doing the bidding of some “junior mafia” clique.
Personifying the id won’t do him much good now. He should listen to his more temperate ego and the voice of reason that is the superego.
Try something different, something exhilarating. Not bungee jumping. Not archery. Not becoming an equestrian. And certainly not political reinvention!
Writing or recounting history could be an invaluable start.
There’s no “Dilemma of a Ghost” here. The option is simple: choose reason over impulse. Shakespeare’s Mark Antony sayeth in Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.”
Mr Mugabe should restore his legacy, which, buffeted by the winds of sadistic politics, looked inevitably headed for the rocks until it was salvaged, valiantly so.
He should abide in his blue shed from where people will recall his heroism and not the embers of his political career.