Zimbabwe’s Founding Father And Ex President Robert Mugabe Mugabe Is Dead

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Zimbabwe's Founding Father And Ex President Robert Mugabe Mugabe Is Dead

Zimbabwe’s Founding Father And Ex President Robert Mugabe Mugabe Is Dead

One of Zimbabwe’s founding fathers and long-serving president Robert Mugabe Mugabe who have been travelling regular basis to Singapore over health issue for treatment finally gave up the ghost on Thursday after a long battle with his health.

In a tweet released by the current president of Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said; “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe.

“Cde Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “There will be mixed emotions in Zimbabwe at today’s news. We of course express our condolences to those who mourn, but know that for many he was a barrier to a brighter future.

“Under his rule, the people of Zimbabwe suffered greatly as he impoverished their country and sanctioned the use of violence against them.

“His resignation in 2017 marked a turning point and we hope that today marks another which allows Zimbabwe to move on from the legacy of its past and become a democratic, prosperous nation that respects the human rights of its citizens.”

Born in 1924 in what was then Rhodesia, Mugabe went on to co-found a resistance movement against British colonial rule, and was jailed for 10 years between 1964 and 1974.

He ruled Zimbabwe for nearly four decades, before he was forced out in a military coup in November 2017.

“Even though I and our party, the MDC, and the Zimbabwean people had great political differences with the late former President during his tenure in office, and disagreed for decades, we recognise his contribution made during his lifetime as a nation’s founding President.

“There’s so much to say for a life of 95 years and national leadership spanning over 37 years but in the true spirit of Ubuntu, we would like to give this moment to mourning but there will be time for greater reflection.”

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta said: “In this moment of sorrow, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his relatives and the people of Zimbabwe who, for many years, he served with commitment and dedication.

“Words cannot convey the magnitude of the loss as former President Mugabe was an elder statesman, a freedom fighter and a Pan-Africanist who played a major role in shaping the interests of the African continent.

“Indeed, we will remember former President Mugabe as a man of courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular.”

South Africa’s leading party, the African National Congress, tweeted that it mourned the passing of “friend, statesman and revolutionary comrade Robert Mugabe”.

Zambian president Edgar Lungu remembered Mugabe as a hero, tweeting: “I am saddened at the passing of a Pan-Africanist and Zimbabwe’s founding father, Cde Robert Mugabe. He will be remembered for his fight for Africa’s liberation and fearlessly defending the continent. His place in the annals of Africa’s history is assured. We mourns with Zimbabwe.”

But former Africa minister and anti-apartheid campaigner Lord Hain said Mugabe had turned from being a “brave liberation hero” into a ruthless dictator who squandered Zimbabwe’s potential.

He added that Mugabe’s legacy would be “very two-sided”, with the early promise of his leadership outweighed by the “corrupt, repressive, dictatorial” approach he adopted.

“He is a tragic case study of a liberation hero who then betrayed every one of the values of the freedom struggle,” the Labour peer said.

“His legacy will be very two-sided.

“On the one hand – brave liberation hero who suffered imprisonment and torture and whom anti-apartheid activists like myself at the time were thrilled to see elected in a landslide in early 1980 with a promise to build a new, non-racial Zimbabwe which respected everybody and brought all races together and somebody who liberated his country from minority, white racist rule under Ian Smith and the old Rhodesia.

“That will be the positive memory.

“But the overwhelmingly negative memory that everybody will have I think is of that liberation hero who was a case study of the leader who betrayed all the values of the freedom struggle and became corrupt, repressive, dictatorial, self-serving and ruthless in eliminating opposition and becoming increasingly interested in enriching himself and impoverishing his own people.”

Zimbabwean opposition senator and human rights lawyer David Coltart said on Twitter: “He was a colossus on the Zimbabwean stage & his enduring positive legacy will be his role in ending white minority rule & expanding a quality education to all Zimbabweans.”

Labour MP Kate Hoey, formerly the chairwoman of the all-party Parliamentary group on Zimbabwe and a longtime critic of Mugabe, wrote: “Mugabe brought independence to Zimbabwe and then killed in the Gukurahundi-up to 80,000 of his own citizens in Matabeleland and brought his country to its knees economically.

“A hero to a brutal dictator.”

Former Zimbabwe international cricketer Henry Olonga – who was exiled from his home country and faced death threats after standing up to Mugabe in Harare at the 2003 World Cup – called the former president a “megalomaniac”.

While Speaking with the PA news agency: “It makes me incredibly sad because, for all he could have represented, he failed to scale the heights of someone like Nelson Mandela, because he became a megalomaniac, a power-hungry tyrant, a dictator and a man who subjugated his own people while purporting to be representing them.”

Mr Olonga’s sentiments were shared by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who twice attempted a citizen’s arrest on Mugabe, once being knocked unconscious.

Mr Tatchell said: “The world had so much hope for the freedom fighter who suffered imprisonment and later rose to power on a promise to build a new, democratic, non-racial Zimbabwe. But the truth is that he betrayed it all for a repressive, dictatorial, self-serving regime that boosted his personal wealth while impoverishing his own people.”

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