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]



ELLANIE SMIT

Similar News

 

Election 2019: Governance structure

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Local News

In this series, we look at the manifestos of political parties to see what they say on certain key issues. ALL PEOPLE'S PARTY (APP)· Rein...

Shanghala, Esau yiikutha miilonga

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Local News

Omapopyo goombumbo ngoka ga etitha eukitho iilonga lyOminista yUuyuki, Sacky Shanghala oshowo Ominista yOohi nOonzo dhOmomeya, Bernard Esau odha etitha oluhepo moofamili odhindji okupitila mekanitho...

Bribes linked to fishing job losses

4 days ago - 14 November 2019 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES AND OGONE TLHAGE Bribery allegations that led to the abrupt resignations yesterday of justice minister Sacky Shanghala and his fisheries counterpart Bernard Esau...

Taxman moves on fraud

4 days ago - 14 November 2019 | Local News

Tax commissioner Justus Mwafongwe says the use of good standing certificates may be one way to ensure that billions do not disappear from local circulation...

Opposition are 'baby donkeys' - Swartbooi

4 days ago - 14 November 2019 | Local News

Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi has described fellow opposition parties as “young donkeys” that are being led around by their noses by Swapo.According...

Oshipangelo sha tindi omapopyo gaItula

4 days ago - 14 November 2019 | Local News

Omukomeho guundjolowele, John Hango, okwa popi kutya aapangwa ayehe moshipangelo shoka otaya pangwa taku landulwa omilandu dhuuministeli.Pethimbo a popitha aayambidhidhi ye mondoolopa yaHelao Nafidi, Itula...

Drought food scandal rocks Rundu

5 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Local News

The Rundu Urban constituency office has been accused of only registering residents aligned to Swapo to benefit from the drought relief food programme currently underway.Constituency...

Nujoma belongs to all - Diescho

5 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Local News

Academic and political commentator Joseph Diescho says founding president Sam Nujoma would not qualify to be the father of the nation, as he is currently...

New funding model urged

5 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Local News

Political parties are calling for a new state funding model that would level the playfield when it comes to election campaigning.The ruling Swapo Party says...

Tweya calls journalists 'bad Namibians'

5 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Local News

Industrialisation minister Tjekero Tweya launched a scathing attack on journalists yesterday, when he addressed a group of Emirati investors who presented an ambitious N$25 billion...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More