President Mugabe Is Dead

In 1964 following the breaking up of the British Colonial Empire, a war opened between two political factions in the southern African nation of Rhodesia. One faction consisted of minority Zimbabwean citizens of Anglo-Saxon descent and were largely farmers who produced the majority of the country’s food supply and economic power, and the other faction was of African nationalists, primarily of the Bantu Shona and Ndebele peoples. The latter was lead among its factions by a man named Robert Mugabe. This was was called the Bush War, and given that Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) force openly professed Marxism and Leninism and it was during the 1960s and 1970s, it is highly possible that the war was a Cold-War type operation of which the ZANU was being backed by the Soviets as their own variant of the US and NATO program of stay-behinds called Operation Gladio.

After fifteen years of war, the victory went to the Nationalists, who renamed the country “Zimbabwe” and Mugabe was made President, recognized and hailed internationally as such. However, Mugabe’s “leadership” was anything but being a leader. A dedicated socialist, remained true to his vision of creating a socialist society, and just as all socialists- be they International or National in variety -blame their problems usually on one “group”, Mugabe blamed his problems on the Euro-Zimbabweans. This lead to widespread racist violent against the Euro-Zimbabweans, murder, and eventually the forced robbery of their lands by the Mugabe government. Within two years of his ascent, approximately half of all Euro-Zimbabweans left never to return.

In the process of creating his own socialist tribal paradise, he had done so at the cost of destroying what was once one of the most bountiful places in the British Empire. Yet he still blamed his problems on the few Euro-Zimbabweans who remained:

Mugabe increasingly blamed the country’s economic problems on Western nations and the white Zimbabwean minority, who still controlled most of its commercial agriculture, mines, and manufacturing industry. He called on supporters “to strike fear in the hearts of the white man, our real enemy”, and accused his black opponents of being dupes of the whites. Amid growing internal opposition to his government, he remained determined to stay in power. He revived the regular use of revolutionary rhetoric and sought to reassert his credentials as an important revolutionary leader. (source)

Thus continued the cycle of Zimbabwe’s self-cannibalism until there was nothing left of her. Poverty, misery, disease, and hyperinflation became not events, but a way of life that has persisted in the nation to this day.

Perhaps was is most interesting is that the British government did absolutely nothing to better the situation. Rather, their inaction only worsened the racist violence.

But no man lives forever, and President Mugable, after forty years in power, has now passed away:

Former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, an ex-guerrilla chief who took power when the African country shook off white minority rule and presided for decades while economic turmoil and human rights violations eroded its early promise, has died in Singapore. He was 95.

Mugabe enjoyed strong support among the population and even the West soon after taking over as prime minister and Zimbabwe’s first post-colonial leader. But he was reviled in later years as the economy collapsed and human rights violations increased. His often violent takeover of farms from whites who owned huge tracts of land made him a hated figure in the West and a hero in Africa.

His successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, announced Mugabe’s death in a tweet Friday, mourning him as an “icon of liberation.”

A target of international sanctions over the years, Mugabe nevertheless enjoyed acceptance among peers in Africa who chose not to judge him in the same way as Britain, the United States and other Western detractors.

“They are the ones who say they gave Christianity to Africa,” Mugabe said of the West during a visit to South Africa in 2016. “We say: ‘We came, we saw and we were conquered.’”

But Mugabe’s violence was not limited to Euro-Zimbabwean only, but to his own people. He would regularly boast about using violence on his “campaign trail,” and elections many times were like those of any dictatorship, which were exercises in meaningless posturing to justify a conclusion that was already made. While the Euro-Zimbabwean people were made a target and affected, it was ultimately those he claimed in the name of racism and tribalism to represent that he hurt the most.

What makes this story even more unfortunate is that Zimbabwe, aside from being an agriculturally wealthy nation, is also very rich in minerals, gold, and other resources. There is no reason for Zimababwe to be as poor as it has been for so long, and yet so much of the misery can be traced to Mugabe’s polices and actions.

“I have many degrees in violence,” Mugabe once boasted on a campaign trail, raising his fist. “You see this fist, it can smash your face.”

Mugabe was re-elected in 2013 in another ballot marred by alleged irregularities, though he dismissed his critics as sore losers.

Amid the political turmoil, the economy of Zimbabwe, traditionally rich in agriculture and minerals, deteriorated. Factories were closing, unemployment was rising and the country abandoned its currency for the U.S. dollar in 2009 because of hyperinflation.

The economic problems are often traced to the violent seizures of thousands of white-owned farms that began around 2000. Land reform was supposed to take much of the country’s most fertile land — owned by about 4,500 white descendants of mainly British and South African colonial-era settlers — and redistribute it to poor blacks. Instead, Mugabe gave prime farms to ruling party leaders, party loyalists, security chiefs, relatives and cronies.

Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, said he was “mourning with the rest of Africa” over the death of Mugabe in the African tradition of Ubuntu, or humanity toward others, calling him one of Zimbabwe’s founding fathers and a freedom fighter.

Fortunately, there were many Africans- likely many people who may have supported him too, but the actual numbers are unknown -who came to see Mugabe for who he was, which was a tyrant who abused their trust, those of their fellow Euro-Zimbabwean citizens, and make everybody’s life terrible.

Mugabe presented himself often times as a savior to his nation, but just like many a political savior who becomes a nightmare that one cannot get rid of, so was what happened to Mugabe, who destroyed his nation and his reputation has since been defined by it:

On the streets of Harare, the capital, people gathered in small groups Friday and discussed Mugabe.

“I will not shed a tear, not for that cruel man,” said Tariro Makena, a street vendor. “All these problems, he started them and people now want us to pretend it never happened.”

Others said they missed him.

“Things are worse now. Life was not that good but it was never this bad. These people who removed him from power have no clue whatsoever,” said Silas Marongo, holding an axe and joining men and women cutting a tree for firewood in suburban Harare. They needed the wood to beat severe electricity shortages that underline the worsening economic situation.

Amnesty International said Mugabe left behind “an indelible stain on his country’s human rights record.” Mugabe’s early years as a leader saw “notable achievements” through his heavy investment in health care and education, the human rights group said, but he later eroded his own track record.

“While casting himself as the saviour of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe inflicted lasting damage upon its people and its reputation,” Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, said. (source, source)

Thankfully, Mugabe is gone and possibly Zimbabwe can move forward with her future.

The question remains though, what future? How will that country rebuild? has been following the state of racial affairs in the southern Africa region, as well as the economic and social problems there. Indeed, there is scarcely a person living there who will not admit that life was better under the imperial rule of the British and French, who built infrastructure and generally cared somewhat for the welfare of the nations.

We know for a fact that the nations of Western Europe are seeking, in some way, to revive their former imperial prowess as well as exert more influence over their old territories. Given that Zimbabwe is one of the largest producers of Platinum and has seen a lot of Chinese investment, one cannot doubt that the West has taken notice.

It will be interesting to see if racial tensions there flare up, and possibly spill over into South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, or Namibia. There are already a large number of terror attacks taking place in Mozambique, and since terrorism is an extension of foreign policy many times, one cannot help but wonder what the political machinations are going on that are yet to be revealed to the world.

But for now, Mugabe is dead, and regardless of what the future is for the nation, perhaps it can now at least move forward as she buries this chapter of her past.

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