Opinion: Mugabe, a hero turned goblin!
Well, his final day was finally here. He turned 95 years old. He held office for over 37 years. Robert Gabriel Mugabe was special, was unique, but also very very brutal. He was conning, smart and knew what to say. What is even more striking about this man, he knew perfectly well, but still had the ability to destroy the good graces given to him.
The Republic of Zimbabwe, the Republic he liberated and made his own after the brutal and despotic rule of minority white rule under Ian Smith. The Rhodesia, which became Zimbabwe. That he fought from the outside. Went into exile, combined forces with other rebels and in the end signed a grand agreement at the Lancaster House. Which till to this is cherish and respected, because of that achievement.
What was to come, was someone who would use the colonial laws and expertise and use it on his population. Someone who had the breadbasket of the Southern African hemisphere. But destroyed it and now the state is importing needed food stuff. A country with a positive economy, functioning state institutions and so on. But no is questionable at best. That is shown by where he died. He didn’t die in one of the public hospitals in Harare. No his final days was in Singapore. Where he travelled to in the recent years for his medical and health care check-ups. That is sign of how mismanaged the Republic has been. As the head-of-state cannot trust his own civil service or the delivery of common health care.
President Mugabe will be remembered for 5th Brigade and its slaughter between 1983 to 1987. A brigade trained by the North Koreans to assault and kill the ones that betrayed and voted against the Presidency. The tribe that didn’t follow Uncle Bob. This was something he never said sorry for or ever addressed, as if it was a created myth, which wasn’t important.
Well, in consideration after that, he used his time in power to linger there. To destroy the nation he started to build Instead of leaving a legacy of greatness, of servitude and hope. He leaves behind many destroyed families, many families without answers, people abducted, people killed and activists scorned by them standing up his regime. There was a First Republic under Mugabe that was cherished.
He was so cherished at one point, that you could say, at one point in time. He was the Mandela of Zimbabwe. The unifier and the hope of the Republic. The one being honoured by the Queen of England. The one who was mentioned with good words. But that was only until he shown his true colours and what gave him power. He used methods of fear, the state to silence opposition and arrest them. Even aimed at killing them like he tried to do at least twice with Morgan Tsvangirai.
Just like Mugabe buried the remaining part of his former friend and ally turned opposition Ndabaningi Sithole Friday, who in December 1997 was charged with conspiracy to kill him at the tender age of 77. Clearly, a political imprisonment of someone who had the ability and the wording to challenge the President. This is the sort of acts, that will remember how a liberation hero turned oppressor.
Mugabe went from hero to a zero. By his own defaults, by his own measures, he had it, but spoilt it. By his greed, patronage and will to stay in power. Instead of letting go to next man by succession, he had to be overthrown in a coup, that wasn’t a coup in November 2017. Because, he couldn’t resign, when he was already at the stages of advanced age. He was supposed to be the biblical forever ruling Head-of-State. That was who he was or who he became.
He knew how to speak, he knew how to use words and show his brightness. No doubt about that. His speeches are colourful and shows his wit. No doubt about that, his quotes and wordings will be running past our life time. But, that wasn’t all.
Because, Mugabe was a lot, his tyranny went to a point, where people was arrested for calling him names. Being a foreigner supporting the wrong NGOs or whatever sorry excuse the state could find. This was more important than developing the nation or even trying to make it run on default. As the spiralling inflation, the deconstruction of its currency, the lack of foreign exchange and bountiful spending on the first family. The Mugabe’s was living lavish, while the ordinary man couldn’t afford bread. That is end-game of this family and this man.
A man that rose through the ranks of a righteous rebellion, who consolidated the power. Got the Republic, made it in his imaged and wrecked it. He could have passed it on, but decided to linger on. In the end dying in Singapore, because he hadn’t done his job at home. He did serve as the Head of State for over 3 decades, but still couldn’t get medical treatment at home. That shows his disgraceful governing right there. That is not strength, but weakness.
Mugabe, the one that freed Zimbabwe, was not the same man who was overthrown in a coup. Neither was he the same after he ordered and accepted the killings in Gukurahundi in the 1980s. His a man of many things, of many stories, countless ones actually. Even falling a sleep in the United Nations General Assembly. The man reading up the wrong speech at a rally. That is the sort of thing he did too.
Therefore, it isn’t one picture. Even though for me, he went from a hero to become a Goblin. A man who went from being respected for fighting for the righteous cause to destroy it all on his own. He could have been stature, a man of all seasons. Instead, he will be remembered by many for the hurt, the pain and suffering he ordered while being office. Peace.