Remembering Mugabe 3 years on
He was loved, he was hated, he was feared; in his own terms he was a leader par excellence.
Tuesday September 6 marked three years since the death of former President, Robert Mugabe.
As expected, some remembered him with fondness, while for others there was nothing positive to say about a man they view as the author of Zimbabwe’s troubles.
Whatever opinion one has about Mugabe, one thing remains, he was a popular figure not only in the country but the world over.
He was a revolutionary hero who brought independence to Zimbabwe in 1980; he fought racial oppression and refused to be bullied by the West. On the world stage, he never missed a chance to chide his enemies, including most famously former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and for that he was seen as a superman.
After coming to power in 1980, Mugabe’s government expanded education and healthcare facilities and citizens enjoyed decent living standards.
Zimbabwe was also regarded as the bread basket of Africa because of its thriving agriculture sector.
But all that is history now.
The country’s economy took a turn for the worst following a chaotic land reform programme in 2000. It has never recovered. The blame is squarely on Mugabe as his government presided over this mess.
So as his death is marked, opinion is again divided about his legacy.
His good deeds at post independence seem to have been largely overshadowed by the bad things that befell this country, including the world’s highest inflation rate of 89.7 sextillion (that’s a whole lot of zeros!) percent in 2008.
“We remember him for dragging us into the mess we find ourselves in. He thought he was the only one capable of ruling this country. What a selfish bugger,’’ tweeted one Artwell Chibowora.
A certain Simbi noted Mugabe, who was 95 when he went to his grave, did so with the blood of thousands on his hands.
“He will be remembered for the Gukurahundi massacre (where thousands of people from Matabeleland and Midlands were killed in the 80s) that he and Mnangagwa masterminded. He died without having faced justice and if there’s hell, that’s where he should be,” slammed Simbi.
“Selfish, self centered and power hungry politician disguised as a pan Africanist…..his shortcomings destroyed our economy,” opinioned Grey Mamela.
Voicing his support, former cabinet minister in Mugabe’s government, Saviour Kasukuwere had nothing but praise for the late leader, much to the annoyance of his many followers on social media.
“We remember the founding father, liberator, educationist and leader President Mugabe. Three years ago you were promoted to glory. The teachings and direction you gave remain unmatched. We will not betray you and indeed our great people of Zimbabwe. The marathon continues,” he wrote.
As earlier indicated, we may all have different opinions about Mugabe but one thing is certain: he remains much talked about for his deeds, both good and bad.