Reports that four of former Ethiopian President, Mengistu Haile Mariam’s five body guards have deserted him should be a cause of great concern to the country’s leadership.
Scaling a 3-metre wall to seek asylum indicates clearly that things are not well at the Gunhill residence of the exiled former leader.
Being abandoned by people considered to be loyalists who risked their lives to escape with the former leader also indicates that something has gone terribly wrong.
One diplomat was quoted as saying the four appeared to be young men who were bored. That may be true, but bored by what? Just sitting around? Or was there something much more to it?
It is obvious that life can be very difficult for a person who was used to travelling abroad and all over the country to be confined to a small yard. It increasingly becomes clear that the person is not free but in a prison of his own.
There have also been reports that since he came to Zimbabwe the former Ethiopian leader has been drinking heavily to while up time.
After more than 15 months of whiling up time this may be just too much and there is a danger of turning into an alcoholic, and in such a state he could be dangerous not just to himself but also to those close to him.
Perhaps there was something the young men felt they could no longer tolerate. It would be worthwhile investigating.