Mugabe's divisive legacy

President Hage Geingob has paid tribute to the immense sacrifices Robert Mugabe made during his life, in the fight for Africa and Zimbabwe's freedom.

09 September 2019 | Local News

While tributes have poured in for Zimbabwean revolutionary, politician and president, Robert Mugabe, some have also painted him as a self-absorbed and selfish despot.

Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a national period of mourning until Mugabe's burial. He died on Friday in Singapore at the age of 95. Many have lauded him, while others have highlighted human rights abuses, most notably the 1980s ethnic cleansing of at least 20 000 people in Zimbabwe's Matabeleland province. They also pointed to his lust to cling to power and the economic collapse of a country that was once known as the bread-basket of Africa. President Hage Geingob paid tribute to the immense sacrifices Mugabe made during his life, in the fight for Africa and Zimbabwe's freedom.

Geingob said he had learned with sadness about Mugabe's death. “It is with a deep sense of sadness that I have learned about the passing of the former president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, comrade Robert Mugabe, an outstanding revolutionary, a tenacious freedom fighter and dedicated pan-Africanist.” Geingob said Mugabe had made enormous sacrifices in the struggle against injustice, racial subjugation and colonial oppression. “As Namibians, we owe president Mugabe a deep sense of gratitude for his immense and selfless contributions to the liberation of our country.

“On behalf of the Namibian people, I extend sincere condolences to my dear brother, president Emmerson Mnangagwa, the family and the people of Zimbabwe. The loss of the people of Zimbabwe is Africa's loss. May his revolutionary soul rest in eternal peace.” Founding President Sam Nujoma said Mugabe will be remembered as one of the most iconic leaders, who fought for the liberation of his country and Africa.

Nujoma released a video message through his foundation, in which he said Mugabe was a pan-Africanist and a “dear brother”.

“He will be remembered as one who stood firm when others wavered. He was an iconic pan-Africanist. On behalf of the veterans of the Namibian liberation struggle, stewards and on my own behalf, I wish to express our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the family and the entire revolutionary people of Zimbabwe,” Nujoma said.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani also extended his condolences and empathy to the people of Zimbabwe.

While Venaani said Mugabe was a hero of the liberation struggle, he also pointed out that he made many mistakes that undermined his legacy.

“We all need to take our lessons. We put his country in prayer to seek unity and economic transformation.”

Landless People's Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi credited Mugabe for Zimbabwe's quality education system and agricultural development. “He empowered his people and returned dignity to people,” Swartbooi told Nampa. He said Mugabe was instrumental in land reform and ensured that the land was returned to his country's people.

He further described the late leader as a qualified spokesperson for the African agenda and its concerns at international platforms.

Swartbooi, however, said Mugabe became self-absorbed and selfish with state resources, which he used for self-enrichment. Swartbooi warned that Namibia is destined for the same fate. Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Mike Kavekotora told Nampa that Mugabe will be remembered as a great leader, who did not waver.

“On the other hand, his political manoeuvres contributed to the economic downfall of his country in his later years,” Kavekotora said.

Seasoned journalist and Zimbabwean commentator, Wonder Guchu, told Namibian Sun that Mugabe was everything in one.

“He had a good side and a bad side.” Guchu stressed it was the Zimbabwean people who made Mugabe what he became. “Nobody held him accountable and he later thought he was irreplaceable, but from the beginning his intentions were good.” Guchu explained that in the beginning Mugabe had focus, but when he realised how much the people loved him, it made him what he became. “We create our own dictators,” said Guchu.

“In the 60s Mugabe was never power-hungry, but in the 90s he got it in his mind that the Zimbabwe cannot do without him.”

Guchu said people might blame Mugabe now for many things, but it was Zimbabweans that made him what he became. “It made him believe that he was some kind of God.”

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party has conferred national hero status on Mugabe and called him “a great teacher” and a “remarkable statesman”, whose passing “leaves a national void”.

Mugabe served as Zimbabwe's prime minister after the country's independence, before taking over the presidency in 1987. He held the position for three decades, until he was ousted in 2017.

[email protected]


Similar News


AR plots city takeover

1 hour ago | Local News

The provision of more than 75 000 houses, the recruitment of 3 000 security personnel, and the reopening of Ramatex to provide all municipal uniforms...

Govt office without power since July

1 hour ago | Local News

The agriculture ministry's state-of-the-art Kavango East regional headquarters in Rundu has been without electricity for over two months.This is after Nored disconnected the electricity supply...

NHE suspends Titus

1 hour ago | Local News

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) this week suspended its senior manager for business development and operations, Willem Titus. The company announced the suspension in a...

Kavekotora brags about 'knockout victory'

1 hour ago | Local News

While some party members are threatening court action to nullify his election as party president in June this year, Mike Kavekotora yesterday bragged that his...

Sanitary pads bring joy

1 hour ago | Local News

Over 260 schoolgirls from Ncamagoro Combined School could not contain their joy on Tuesday, when they each received a parcel containing free sanitary products and...

Ekondjitho lyuukongo waaheli paveta

1 hour ago | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT Opolisi yaNamibia oya tumu iilyo yi li 280 opo yi ka yambidhidhe mekondjitho lyuukongo waaheli paveta.Omukomeho gwopolisi, Sebastian Ndeitunga okwa popi kutya...

NCCI a hogolola aaleli monooli

1 hour ago | Local News

ILENI NANDJATO Ehangano lyoNamibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) olya ningi omitumba dhalyo dhokomvula miitayi yawo Ondangwa, Oshakati nOngwediva moka aaleli aape ya hogololwa.Omahogololo...

Kashindi gets nod as Omusati CRO

1 day - 18 September 2019 | Local News

The Omusati regional council has appointed Gervasius Kashindi as its new chief regional officer (CRO).Kashindi, who is the current director of general services, replaces Protasius...

Hearing-impaired 'left out'

3 days ago - 16 September 2019 | Local News

An association representing the hearing-impaired says it is high time that their needs are looked at and addressed, as they feel neglected.Chairperson of the Namibian...

Omategelelo noHIV tayi teya po aanona moNamibia

6 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Local News

Shoka osha kolekwa kuVeronica Theron, omugandjimayele gopautekinika mOmbelewa yOmunyekadhi gwOshilongo, ngoka a popi woo kutya moshitopolwa shaKunene omakwatathano gopahole pokati komapupi ga yooloka ogeli...

Latest News

Roar young lions, roar!

1 hour ago | Columns

Youth without a consistent voice are inevitably excluded from the pockets of power that exist throughout societies.Youth who become praise-singers and imbongis, even when they...

Teko trio walk free

1 hour ago | Justice

Teckla Lameck, Jerobeam Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fang, known as the Teko trio, have been found not guilty of all charges relating to a...

'He decided to flee'

1 hour ago | Crime

Defence minister Penda Ya Ndakolo says Benisius Kalola (32), the second unarmed civilian killed during Operation Kalahari Desert this year, was shot when he fled...

280 cops deployed against poachers

1 hour ago | Crime

The Namibian police have deployed 280 members to assist in the fight against poaching.Inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga says these members, selected from across the country, are...

Uanivi gets Warriors chance

1 hour ago | Sports

African Stars veteran defender Pat-Navin Uanivi has finally been selected for the national team after years of being omitted. Uanivi forms part of Brave Warriors...

Horn suspended for alleged doping

1 hour ago | Sports

South African women's 100m record holder Carina Horn has been suspended from competition over doping allegations.The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Monday: “The AIU...

'Hitman' faces tough brawl

1 hour ago | Sports

Former two-time world champion Paulus 'Hitman' Moses is set for tough night, as he not only faces Russia's Adlan Aburashidov, but also the home-ground advantage...

Loubser ready to get his...

1 hour ago | Sports

Four years ago, Cliven Loubser was inspired after watching his native Namibia score a try against New Zealand and earn their first Rugby World Cup...

Billionaire pushes oil deal

1 day - 18 September 2019 | Energy

Comsar, the proponent of a 250 megawatt power station, says the government is moving at snail's pace in getting the project off the ground.The company,...

Load More