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Robert Mugabe, longtime Zimbabwe leader, dies at 95

37 Comments
By Farai Mutsaka

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I remember him as the only black leader to endorse Trump.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

From the initial joy and support that he elicited across Zimbawe, he managed to squander it all by brutal oppression of parties that went against Zanu PF and his leadership.

Comrade Bob won't be missed that much, I suspect.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It is impressive how he managed to flush of the richest and well-off countries in Africa down the toilet, but at least him and his cronies were better off! The seizure of the farmlands is also a good case study for South Africa, although the idiots in charge there seem to care just as much as Bob did.

I'd be willing to bet that for the average citizen, more tears were shed for Ian Smith's death than will be shed for Bob.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ian Smith was right in regards to what was going to happen to Rhodesia if Robert Mugabe and his supporters were allowed to take over, tens of thousands have been killed or have died from starvation or disease. But its not just Robert Mugabe to blame for what happened in Rhodesia / Zimbabwe - the Russians, Chinese and Scandinavians supported the terrorist groups that eventually took over, while spineless Western Countries failed to see what was really happening or support the Rhodesians fighting to save their country.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

For better or for worse, Zimbabweans took control of their destiny. It still rankles the colonialist mind set, of course. It always does. All countries go through an upheaval or several when they break free of the shackles.

Whilst Bob and Zanu PF ended up being corrupted, there were others interested in seeing Zimbabwe's first steps falter. Make no doubt about it.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The appalling mess that Zimbabwe is in and the abject poverty of it's citizens can be directly sheeted home to Mr Mugabe. It's interesting that some notable Politicions -such as the late Malcolm Fraser ,PM of Australia--seemed to think that the sun shone out of a most improbable part of his anatomy. Such was his praise for him.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mugabe was disease for Zimbabwe.

He turned one of the most fruitful countries of Africa into a desperate state.

He kept holding on to power for too long and never (until 2017 that is) allowed anyone with vision ever take over.

Independence has been bitter sweet but more bitter than it really had to be.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

He kept holding on to power for too long and never (until 2017 that is) allowed anyone with vision ever take over.

For sure. His focus crumbled and he assumed the role of dictator/President for life.

But anyone thinking the days of white minority rule over a black majority are to be lauded, are mistaken.

(not saying you are, btw)

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Toasted.  you may be right, but plenty of other countries that "threw off the shackles" did not go thru the same trauma as Zim (or indeed quite a few other countries where a freedom fighter morphed into a dictator).  Mugabe was a corrupt ideologue who hypocriytically milked his people while spouting the rhetoric of socialism, anti-colonialism and anti racism.  Seems to me that is a common theme where ex colonies wind up making little progress or as basket cases.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

He was a monsterous dictator.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Seems to me that is a common theme where ex colonies wind up making little progress or as basket cases.

I'd hardly call the Republic of Ireland a basket case. Apart from divided identities in a certain artificial statelet imposed on the island.

But a lot of people believed in Comrade Bob to begin with. And a lot of embittered colonials set out to make transition very difficult. I think the latter is as much to blame as the former.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

He never met a conspiracy theory that he did not love. He systematically destroyed his country's economy, infrastructure, and food production - all for personal gain and to take care of his cronies. And he was an unrepentant bigot.

He was a ruthless lunatic who masqueraded as a man of the people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

He was really a character and will be missed. His quotes were witty, sarcastic and a joy to read.

He was a good man and real patriot and can only be faulted for clinging to power for too long.

Like Gadaffi he was potrayed by the western media as a tyrant just because he didn't sell his country to the west.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I had a black Zimbabwean working for our company and the stories we were told is just unbelievable if it had came from anyone else, but for the fact he was a very honest and straight up guy, who just want to get on with life.

All those here who believe in the western narrative will be surprise in the future when the truth comes out. The Brits and their allies were very mean to the country post independence, and I'm not surprise Mugabe is as paranoid as he is portrayed to be purely because of the constant attacks on the country but never accurately reported by western media.

I encourage every one to get the black narrative...

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

But anyone thinking the days of white minority rule over a black majority are to be lauded, are mistaken.

Agreed with your sentiment. It's no surprise at all that black Africa would initially find authoritarian, communist China more palatable than the previous northern visitors.

I do wonder when we might have a globally dominant black African press.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

After the Smith regime the British ensured that Mugabe/Zimbabwe didn't succeed. It should have a very successful country had it been given the right support from Britain.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The Brits and their allies were very mean to the country post independence, and I'm not surprise Mugabe is as paranoid as he is portrayed to be purely because of the constant attacks on the country but never accurately reported by western media.

Oh, yes. Absolutely there was a lot of stuff going on that was conveniently dismissed in the British media, in order to paint Comrade Bob in a bad light.

Unfortunately, he ended up indulging their wishes and Zanu PF got their vicious side out for all to see and experience. Well, all those who voiced concerns that the revolution had soured.

Just think, the other famous Bob (Marley) actually paid his own flights over to play Harare in the independence celebrations. Such was the mood of positivity and endless opportunity for Zimbabwe.

I encourage every one to get the black narrative...

Good luck with that. There's a myriad of different narratives. Talking to people who regulary took part in the vigils outside the Zim. Embassy in London, there was no love left for Comrade Bob.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's interesting that some notable Politicions -such as the late Malcolm Fraser ,PM of Australia--seemed to think that the sun shone out of a most improbable part of his anatomy. Such was his praise for him.

Fraser changed his mind on Mugabe. By the late 1990s Fraser was considering speaking out against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe but didn't due to fears there would be dire consequences for the local workers of CARE, the humanitarian organisation that Fraser headed. He also believed that even before that Mugabe wasn't listening to anyone with a white face, and that other African leaders were the only ones who could have influenced Mugabe into a more reasonable course - but didn't.

"How could anyone be anything but deeply, deeply disappointed?" was Fraser's later opinion on Mugabe.

Info from Malcolm Fraser - The Political Memoirs - by Fraser and Margaret Simons.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

, Zimbabweans took control of their destiny.

No, sadly. A few Zimbabweans (Mugabe's clique) took control of the others' destiny.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

He never met a conspiracy theory that he did not love. He systematically destroyed his country's economy, infrastructure, and food production - all for personal gain and to take care of his cronies. And he was an unrepentant bigot.

He was a ruthless lunatic who masqueraded as a man of the people.

Total and complete bull. He kicked out the colonialist and took back his land, the colonialist off-course replied in kind by crashing there economy, this among others was done by cutting off Zimbabwe's currency, they even went to the extent of revoking his degrees. Due to the all out sanctions the former breadbasket of South Africa” experienced food shortages and hence started the call for his removal...

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1819727,00.html

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good riddance to the man who espoused equality and freedom while driving his country into the ground. Well, they say " Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." Too bad Morgan Tsvangirai never lived to see Mugabe's passing. "Comrade Bob" can now spend his time around the campfire with recent resident Nuon Chea. They can spend eternity discussing how they undertook a salubriously revolutionary cause in the name of nationalism.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Turned the breadbasket into a basket-case.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mugabe lacked the easy charisma of Nelson Mandela

What!!!!!?

How can anyone even compare the two?

I can't imagine two people any more different than these!

Nelson Mandela was a saint.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What!!!!!?

How can anyone even compare the two?

I can't imagine two people any more different than these!

Yeah, I did think that was a rather lazy comparison. Maybe aimed at the demographic who can't name any African leaders off the top of their head?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Turned the breadbasket into a basket-case

Yep, the western sanctions turned the country from a breadbasket into a basket-case.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I believe he presided over and probably took part in the white genocide and forced expropriation in that country. Heard that the new south African president is going to try the latter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is yet another example of why you need a separate head of state (monarch/president, symbol of country) from the head of govt (prime minister, political leader) as in a parliamentary system. If the political leader tries to do something unconstitutional, the head of state can remove and replace, but not directly rule.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To those saying the West turned their backs on black leaders post colonialism, I respectfully disagree.

Former Rhodesia and south Africa were kicked out of the commonwealth of nations (former British empire) for continuing apartheid and not integrating blacks. They had sanctions put on them and told to negotiate with terrorists.

Imagine if it were the US and the world put sanctions on us, kicked us out of G7, and other international orgs, and told us to negotiate and let Osama bin Laden rule the country with his supporters.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hard to make exact analogy as the US has no large terror group.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yep, the western sanctions turned the country from a breadbasket into a basket-case.

Nope, that's not what I was talking about but nice try ...

Mugabes agrarian reform led to white farmers being forced out.

Locals, with little or no experience took on the farms -

Mismanagement led to a depletion in crop yield, so as I was saying ...

From breadbasket to basket-case.

Mismanagement pretty much sums up the Mugabe regime over the years -

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The world is a better place. Watching this man fall from grace was one of the most satisfying things I've witnessed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He wasn’t the only black leader to do so. Sadly, he was one of the worst ones. But hey, he’s gone and like with Saddam and Gaddafi, these Monsters won’t be missed.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"Leader"

You mean dictator. He was a dictator.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

During the height of inflation from 2008 to 2009, it was difficult to measure Zimbabwe's hyperinflation because the government of Zimbabwe stopped filing official inflation statistics. However, Zimbabwe's peak month of inflation is estimated at 79.6 billion percent month-on-month, 89.7 sextillion percent year-on-year in mid-November 2008.

Sextillion.

The Bank of Japan's goal of 2% inflation seems tame in comparison.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It was 37 years of the Mugabe error.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

*Spry in his impeccably tailored suits, Mugabe as leader...*

Yes, impeccably tailored suits, no doubt very expensive. While his people are in poverty.

Why is it, despite millions and millions of humanitarian and economic aid going to Zimbabwe and other African countries, they still remain in poverty and infrastructure in third or fourth world condition.....long after Apartheid and white rule ended? Can't say the black leaders were any less corrupt, more humane or more ethical. In fact quite the opposite. Just as brutal if not even more so toward their own people.

Some sources estimate Mugabe's net worth to be around $10 million. Wonder how he got that much money?

" Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."

No, immunity from checks and balances corrupts; absolute immunity from checks and balances corrupts absolutely. Mugabe had absolutely immunity from any checks and balances in his government. Nobody dared challenged or questioned him. I doubt whether anyone ever audited him or his government and held them accountable.

True to the first three letters in his name, he certainly "mugged" his people.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

IMHO, it's a more fluid situation than how western media portrayed it. To say that Mugabe is manifestly good or evil is disingenuous.

He would have killed for the good of the people, he would have killed to maintain power, and he would kill out of spite.

What I do believe though, is that had the Brits not campaigned against Zimbawe and heaped sanctions on it during its most crucial phase as an independent nation, it could have faired better. That's leaving out all the sabotage and clandestine attacks that evidently happened but denied by the Brits and whites.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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