The death of Mugabe and UK role in his legacy

The death of Mugabe and UK role in his legacy

Robert Mugabe, former prime minister and president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has died in Singapore aged 95 as announced by the country’s current president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Born in then named Rhodesia, Mr Mugabe co-founded the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in 1963, a resistance movement against British colonial rule and was jailed for anti-government comments between 1964 and 1974. He then became prime minister in 1980 of the new Republic of Zimbabwe and assumed the role of president seven years later.

His divisive and authoritarian way of ruling alienated many other African leaders as well as the majority of his people and stripped his country of wealth and many natural resources.

Tributes poured in from a number of world leaders including the current Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa who wrote earlier in a tweet posted online: “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.”

The South African Government said on its official Twitter account: “We send condolences to the government and the people of the Zimbabwe following the passing on of their founding leader and former President Robert Mugabe, a fearless, PanAfrican Liberation fighter.

The US embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, extended its condolences to the Mugabe family by saying “The United States extends its condolences to the Mugabe family and the people of Zimbabwe as they mourn the passing of former President Robert Mugabe. We join the world in reflecting on his legacy in securing Zimbabwe’s independence.”

Conclusively, Mugabe may have indeed been a hero of Zimbabwe’s independence struggle and the 1st to become the country’s leader in 1978 but nonetheless, he will be more remembered for his years of rule that rapidly descended into tyranny, corruption and incompetence. Though once widely recognised and celebrated for his role in fighting the UK white regime in his homeland, Mugabe had long become a deeply divisive figure in his own country and across the continent. His final years in power were characterised by greed, corruption scandals, financial collapse, surges of violent intimidation and a power struggle pitting his wife Grace, 41 years younger, against Mnangagwa, his former right-hand man.

May his soul rest in peace, and history be the judge of his legacy.

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