Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe’s father of independence dies

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 6 September 2019:

Robert Mugabe, the former president and architect of Zimbabwe’s independence has died, aged 95. Mugabe has been receiving treatment in a hospital in Singapore since April. Cause of death is uncertain, but according to family sources, the former president has been suffering from failing health since he was forced out of office two years ago.

Mugabe was ousted in a military coup in 2017 after 37 years in power, and was replaced by his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Robert Mugabe will be remembered for his revolutionary war against  White supremacist – Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, for the right of black self-determination, economic empowerment and self-rule.

After successfully negotiating a new democratic constitution for Rhodesia – marking the end of British rule, Mugabe went on to win the first general elections in 1980 as prime minister and saw the birth of Zimbabwe.

His Marxist policies brought greater access to universal education and healthcare for Black Zimbabweans, and the emergence of a new and growing Black middle-class.

But his political alignment with communist China and North Korea was to mark the beginning of his downfall, and the start of economic misery for the people of Zimbabwe.

Hs policy of land reforms, based on the seizing of White-owned lands and farms after the failure of successive British governments to negotiate a comprehensive and orderly land reform strategy, became the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Zimbabwe’s pre-independence economic success was driven by White farmers who owned and tilled the vast majority of fertile lands. The forced transfer of those farms to the new crop of Black entrepreneurs, did not go down well with Western governments, who then imposed crippling economic sanctions on the government of Zimbabwe.

As sanctions bite and Zimbabwe’s exports fell, so too did standards of living of the majority of Zimbabweans began to suffer, causing widespread poverty and disaffection across the country.

A move towards a new form of governance based on power sharing and a government of national unity, was expected to bring political stability and economic change.

But the power sharing arrangement failed and saw the return of more political instability and unrest, as the economy descended to bankruptcy, amid allegations of rampant corruption and abuse of power by Mugabe’s family and senior government officials.

In 2017 Robert Mugabe was deposed by the military and was placed in house arrest. He was succeeded by his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, who – two years on, is still struggling to control the deep economic rot that Zimbabwe has suffered for decades.

Will Mugabe’s death mark the beginning of a new and prosperous Zimbabwe?

His party – ZANU PF has been in power for more than 30 years, and there is very little sign of the much needed political and economic reforms that could bring about such change. Emmerson Mnangagwa has been accused of perpetuating Mugabe’s failed policies.

Robert Mugabe has left behind a mixed legacy. He will no doubt be remembered as a deeply divisive leader by many.

But for millions in Zimbabwe and across the African continent, he was a liberator. There are also those who would remember him as a brutal dictator, responsible for the death of thousands of people in the opposition heartland of Matabeleland.

5 Comments

  1. If you have never seen a real lion or watch it hunt, growl and defend itself ferociously against a ruthless, bloodthirsty clan of hyenas, then it means, you are among those who have only seen the dandy, smiling faces of reality. It gets ugly and messy, when a gigantic lion is forced to defend its territory and itself. The overpowering, brute strength it displays in such a moment is mind blowing and frightening! That is exactly the kind of fight Robert Mugabe was involved in against Ian Smith and the merciless British Colonial powers. It was a fight for self preservation and protection of African sovereignty. An indomitable warrior fighting for independence, who had no other choice, but to bathe himself constantly in expanses of flowing rivers of White minority blood. That is who Mugabe was!

    Only undiscerning minds will frown and judge the gallant actions of such a courageous man. You think surviving a 15 year guerilla war is an easy thing to do? Trust me, it is nothing like drinking a cold glass of lemonade, but rather like walking on hot coals of fire and getting burned. Who’s asking to see what a hero looks like? And who is it, that wants to hear stories about the stuff legends are made of? The words of Pan-African leaders are clear – Kwame Nkrumah, Mandela and Robert Mugabe, have left us enough glorious stories to tell to our generations yet unborn.

    Are you anxious, to see what an enduring legacy looks like? The freedom Mugabe fought for and left behind is enough proof and so is the name he helped create and change from Southern Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. Again,Mugabe, holding on to power for so long was because of what he feared imperialist nations will do to his Country. He knew their intentions were to make his people as puppets and slaves once again, in the most discreet and subtle ways possible. Robert Mugabe – colonial powers, threw everything they had on him – one sanction after the other, until they totally crippled his economy, yet the giant would not yield, but was still defiant, standing on his own two feet…Such a man is rare…Rising Sun Will Rise Again!

  2. An enduring legacy is what a leader is remembered for, not necessarily what he or she did while in leadership. With all the vaunted accolades former president Mugabi achieved, it is what type of country he had finally left behind that will be remembered the most and the test of time.

    Clinging to power selfishly is one of those legacies, with the attendant features of struggling people, dilapidated
    infrastructure, large scale unemployment, food and electricity shortages and a host of others. Much like the rest of Africa.
    A survey of all African former Presidents, show a need for improvement in how they govern their countries.

    Present day “big men” and future Presidents must learn from President Mugabe’s rule to better position their countries and the next generation as a guiding principle as to how not to rule a country. May Zimbabweans remember him well for liberating the country. And forgive him for his human frailty.

  3. An Ode to Robert Mugabe:

    Drums are rolling, Guns are firing, Army boots are marching;
    Twenty one guns, Aiming at the Sun, Robert Mugabe is gone.
    An African legend, whom none could bend.

    A warrior made of steel, gifted with an iron will;
    has passed the ultimate test, by putting Africa First;
    First in dignity, integrity, empathy and Probity; Darkness weeps, while millions sleep;
    Knowing Mugabe is gone, no longer under the burning sun.

    A giant Tree, providing shade for you,and me, has been carried away,
    By a mighty wind, far far away;

    The seas are roaring, oceans frothing, wailing, fretting;
    A man of the people, kind, intelligent, and humble,
    Has been laid to rest, on the loving breasts, of Mother Earth, that gave him birth.

    A fearless champion, gone, forever, under the burning Sun;
    The trophies Mugabe won, to ensure that freedom, is born, nurtured and made strong,
    Must be celebrated in songs, by joyful crowds in throngs.

    The garments of morality, and decency, he wore night and day, Had the words “We Are not Gays”.

    We will remember you Robert, For your gallant efforts, against Colonialism, imperialism, and ruthless barbarism.

    Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  4. He was a hero. I held him in the highest esteem by the fact that, he ended WHITE MINORITY RULE in Zimbabwe. He succeeded in just kicking their BUTTS OUT of POWER. A true PATRIOT. Who dared IAN SMITH of the then RHODESIA to resist the REVOLUTIONARY PUNCHES of COMRADE MUGABE? OH OH. It was a ruthless and precision KNOCK OUT EH. May his soul rest in perfect peace and may GOD BLESS ZIMBABWE and ZIMBABWEANS.

  5. An African Legend that will live forever in our hearts – that’s who and how Robert Mugabe will always be remembered by millions. A fearless, indomitable warrior who stood up mightily against the evil scheming,intrusions, manipulations and conniving of Imperialist, Western Super Power nations. Mugabe was an iron that no one could bend,shape,and design for their own selfish purposes.

    Like most geniuses, he was always focused and unperturbed by criticisms. He could be changeable and unpredictable like the speed and sizes of massive ocean waves that appear out of nowhere and crash the bows of ships, wrecking havoc; and he also had the natural ability to transform himself easily into a harmless,loving dove,in pursuit of peace,extending generous consolations,and olive branches to his enemies,and critics.

    All good things must come to an end – such is the way of Existence! A great river that once quenched so many thirsty and parched throats is already on its way, moving unhurriedly towards the boundless majestic Seas to effortlessly merge its contents and disappear out of sight forever. An ordinary stone that once languished, burned and burned in the bowels of the earth for eons and millenniums, before finally becoming a priceless Diamond has finally been found, cut, polished, displayed and sold to the highest bidder.

    The Master of Creation has bought him with intense Joy, laughter and happiness that comes with finding that which we thought was lost forever. What a Blessing – Robert Mugabe’s birth and service to mankind. Rest in Heaven your Excellency, in peace, tranquillity and quiet….Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

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