• Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said of him“He was the liberation hero of an era—a poster child for African liberation.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe who had previously opined thus on the occasion of his 88th birthday "I have died many times — that’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once.” died in a Singapore hospital.
Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said of him“He was the liberation hero of an era—a poster child for African liberation.
Bob Marley played at his inauguration in 1980"Mugabe was, without doubt, erudite and an intellectual "Mugabe’s secret was that he was always the cleverest person in the room[Simon Allison Mail and Guardian].
One of his biographers Blair argued that Mugabe shared many character traits with Ian Smith, stating that they were both "proud, brave, stubborn, charismatic, deluded fantasists".
According to The Black Scholar journal, "depending on who you listen to ... Mugabe is either one of the world's great tyrants or a fearless nationalist who has incurred the wrath of the West."
Morgan Tsvangirai said: “He is, on one hand, the man who liberated our country from the white colonialists, and he is also this man who has murdered and repressed in a dictatorial manner, I say he is the founding father of Zimbabwe, and the problem we have is to save the positive side of his contribution to this country, and to let history judge his negative contributions.”
He added, “For me, I find it quite profound that he is quite an old man who has mismanaged his own succession.”
Mario Vargas Llosa in his book, The Neighborhood which was a book about Peru in the time of Fujimori and The Doctor Vladimiro Montesinos wrote'' Something bigger than you and my power. You don’t fool around with power my friend'' which I would argue was a common and overarching thread of his 37 years of leadership.
After assuming power, he moved fast to create a de facto one-party state. In the early 1980s, he suppressed the Ndebele rebellion in Matabeleland with great brutality. He unleashed the War Veterans on the white farmers when Tony Blair's Labour Government reneged on promises to provide funds to buy out the white farmers.
Of course, neither the white farmers nor Tony Blair nor the Movement for Democratic Change overthrew him but in a Shakespeare level outcome it was his trusted lieutenant Emmerson Mnangagwa who "removed the plug from the socket of political power''
[ Alex T. Magaisa]. I have not got the space to dive further into the psychology of the man or the influence of his second wife ''Gucci'' Grace who actually should have been called ''Ferragamo'' Grace because she said that her narrow feet meant she could only wear Ferragamo shoes.
Jonathan Moyo said. “And, meanwhile, the people forgot the vision of the liberation struggle. The people were saying, ‘What good is liberation without food?’
And this is the point. Mugabe started well but then presided over the immiseration of his country. Gross Domestic Product per capita has shrunk by a third since the 1980s [IMF].
Today, Zimbabwe is the region’s basket case and this is a country with a literacy rate of 85%, in the top quintile of Sub- Saharan Africa countries.
More than three million Zimbabweans have fled and that's about one in five Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe is ranked 45 among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
The economy has crashed and burned not once but repeatedly. Inflation whilst not hitting the levels we saw in 2008 is flying off the charts again.
This is an economy which was the ''breadbasket'' of the region. Most of Zimbabwe's citizens are ''born free'' the fight for independence was real but is no longer relevant, is it?
We are grateful to all those iconic leaders who liberated our continent of which Mugabe is one but at what price? Fighting for independence is not the same as building an economy which provides the opportunity for all its citizens.
As some African leaders laud Mugabe today, @PastorEvanLive argues: "There can be no mixed feelings, misconceptions or complications about Robert Mugabe’s legacy. He presided over the destruction of millions of people’s lives over a span of 37 years."
Emmerson Mnangagwa who was eulogising Mugabe as a Revolutionary Icon has failed and is frankly as untenable as his erstwhile Mentor. This is an enormously rich Country.
My wife who comes from Blantrye described to me how when she was young driving to Harare was like visiting the 1st World. The human capital is seriously talented. It is time to boom the economy. Its not rocket science.