Connect with us

News

Obituary: The life and times of Robert Mugabe

Published

on

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe  was feted as an African liberation hero and champion of racial reconciliation when he first came to power in a nation divided by nearly a century of white colonial rule.Nearly four decades later, many at home and abroad denounced him as a power-obsessed autocrat willing to unleash death squads, rig elections and trash the economy in the relentless pursuit of control.

Mugabe, who died in Singapore aged 95, was ultimately ousted by his own armed forces in November 2017.He demonstrated his tenacity – some might say stubbornness – to the last, refusing to accept his expulsion from his own ZANU-PF party and clinging on for a week until parliament started to impeach him after the de facto coup.

His resignation triggered wild celebrations across the country of 13 million. For Mugabe, it was an “unconstitutional and humiliating” act of betrayal by his party and people, and left him a broken man.Confined for the remaining years of his life between Singapore where he was receiving medical treatment and his sprawling “Blue Roof” mansion in Harare, an ailing Mugabe could only observe from afar the political stage where he once strode tall. He was bitter to the end over the manner of his exit.

On the eve of the July 2018 election, the first without him, he told reporters he would vote for the opposition, something unthinkable only a few months before.Educated and urbane, Mugabe took power in 1980 after seven years of a liberation bush war and – until the army’s takeover – was the only leader Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, knew since independence from Britain.But as the economy imploded starting from 2000 and his mental and physical health waned, Mugabe found fewer people to trust as he seemingly smoothed a path to succession for his wife Grace, four decades his junior and known to her critics as “Gucci Grace” for her reputed fondness for luxury shopping.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Why Mugabe’s family kept close eye on former president’s remains
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is kissed by his wife Grace at his 80th birthday party in Zvimba, Harare, on February 21, 2004. [Reuters]

“It’s the end of a very painful and sad chapter in the history of a young nation, in which a dictator, as he became old, surrendered his court to a gang of thieves around his wife,” Chris Mutsvangwa, leader of Zimbabwe’s influential liberation war veterans, told Reuters after Mugabe’s removal.‘A JEWEL’Born on Feb. 21, 1924, on a Roman Catholic mission near Harare, Mugabe was educated by Jesuit priests and worked as a primary school teacher before going to South Africa’s University of Fort Hare, then a breeding ground for African nationalism.Returning to then-Rhodesia in 1960, he entered politics but was jailed for a decade four years later for opposing white rule.

When his infant son died of malaria in Ghana in 1966, Mugabe was denied parole to attend the funeral, a decision by the government of white-minority leader Ian Smith that historians say played a part in explaining Mugabe’s subsequent bitterness.After his release, he rose to the top of the powerful Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army, known as the “thinking man’s guerrilla” on account of his seven degrees, three of them earned behind bars.Later, as he crushed his political enemies, he boasted of another qualification: “a degree in violence”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Zimbabwean counterpart Robert Mugabe at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on May 10, 2015. [Reuters]

After the war ended in 1980, Mugabe was elected the nation’s first black prime minister.“You have inherited a jewel in Africa. Don’t tarnish it,” Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere told him during the independence celebrations in Harare.Initially, Mugabe offered forgiveness and reconciliation to old foreign and domestic adversaries, including Smith, who remained on his farm and continued to receive a government pension.

In his early years, he presided over a booming economy, spending money on roads and dams and expanding schooling for black Zimbabweans as part of a wholesale dismantling of the racial discrimination of colonial days.With black and white tension easing, by the mid-1980s many whites who had fled to Britain or South Africa, then still under the yoke of apartheid, were trying to come home.

READ ALSO:   Why Britain is not mourning Mugabe

NO CHALLENGES

But it was not long before Mugabe began to suppress challengers, including liberation war rival Joshua Nkomo.Faced with a revolt in the mid-1980s in the western province of Matabeleland that he blamed on Nkomo, Mugabe sent in North Korean-trained army units, provoking an international outcry over alleged atrocities against civilians.Human rights groups say 20,000 people died, most of them from the minority Ndebele tribe from which Nkomo’s partisans were largely drawn.

The discovery of mass graves prompted accusations of genocide.After two terms as prime minister, Mugabe tightened his grip on power by changing the constitution, and he became president in 1987. His first wife, Sally, who had been seen by many as the only person capable of restraining him, died in 1992.A turning point came at the end of the decade when Mugabe, by now a leader unaccustomed to accommodating the will of the people, suffered his first major defeat at the hands of voters, in a referendum on another constitution. He blamed his loss on the white minority, chastising them as “enemies of Zimbabwe”.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters during celebrations to mark his 90th birthday in Marondera about 80km east of the capital Harare on February 23, 2014. [Reuters]

Days later, a groundswell of black anger at the slow pace of land reform started boiling over and gangs of black Zimbabweans calling themselves war veterans started to overrun white-owned farms.Mugabe’s response was uncompromising, labeling the invasions a correction of colonial injustices.“Perhaps we made a mistake by not finishing the war in the trenches,” he said in 2000.

“If the settlers had been defeated through the barrel of a gun, perhaps we would not be having the same problems.”The farm seizures helped ruin one of Africa’s most dynamic economies, with a collapse in agricultural foreign exchange earnings unleashing hyperinflation.The economy shrank by more than a third from 2000 to 2008, sending unemployment above 80 percent.

READ ALSO:   Why Mugabe spent his last days in one of the best hospitals in Asia

Several million Zimbabweans fled, mostly to South Africa.Brushing aside criticism, Mugabe portrayed himself as a radical African nationalist competing against racist and imperialist forces in Washington and London.

ROCK BOTTOM

The country hit rock bottom in 2008, when 500 billion percent inflation drove people to support the challenge of Western-backed former union leader Morgan Tsvangirai.Facing defeat in a presidential run-off, Mugabe resorted to violence, forcing Tsvangirai to withdraw after scores of his supporters were killed by ZANU-PF thugs.South Africa, Zimbabwe’s neighbor to the south, squeezed the pair into a fractious unity coalition but the compromise belied Mugabe’s grip on power through his continued control of the army, police and secret service.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (R) with his South African counterpart Nelson Mandela on his arrival in the country on December 13, 1998. [Reuters]

As old age crept in and rumours of cancer intensified, his animosity toward Tsvangirai eased and the two men enjoyed weekly meetings over tea and scones, in a nod to Mugabe’s affection for British traditions.On the eve of the 2013 election, Mugabe dismissed cries of autocracy and likened dealing with Tsvangirai to sparring in the ring. “Although we boxed each other, it’s not as hostile as before,” he told reporters.

Even as he spoke, Mugabe’s agents were busy finalising plans to engineer an election victory through manipulation of the voters’ roll, according to the Tsvangirai camp.It was typical of Mugabe’s ability to out-think – and if necessary out-fight – his opponents, a trait that drew grudging respect from even his sternest critics.Writing in a 2007 cable released by WikiLeaks, then-U.S. ambassador to Harare Christopher Dell reflected the views of many: “To give the devil his due, he is a brilliant tactician.”

By Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Atwoli intensifies fight with DP Ruto over hustler tag

Published

on

BY KEVIN KOECH

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has once again put Deputy President William Ruto on blast for using the ‘hustler’ tag.

Speaking during a press conference, the Atwoli stated that the tag hustler had a negative meaning which translates to someone who uses mischievous ways to get wealth.

He added that all Kenyans are yearning for is an organized system of government that could provide employment and not creating hustlers.

He pointed out that William Ruto was not poor as he makes his supporters believe and he is just using them to climb to the top. He disclosed that William Ruto owns choppers, mansions, and every space in the country.

Atwoli went on to call out the DP for the donations he has been giving out to the youths and women stating that they were just peanuts compared to the amount of wealth he has amassed over the years.

“The person telling you about being a hustler owns five choppers, a mansion and owns every empty space in the republic of Kenya. You are calling yourself a hustler and yet you are not. Even God cannot allow. Then you go to the church to cheat about being a hustler,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Robert Mugabe's most famous quotes

A few days ago, Atwoli blasted William Ruto for using the tag while asking Kenyans to reject him stating that no one should allow themselves to be called a hustler. He claimed that hustlers are thieves.

Atwoli who claimed that he would disown his children if they referred themselves as hustlers stated that people should go to school, get an education and get jobs in reputable companies instead of hustling.

“You then become a branch manager of Kenya Breweries, get a house allowance, a car loan, and have a nice house. You are not hustlers. We cannot have a nation of hustlers because it is a man eats man society,” Atwoli said.

Continue Reading

News

Joyce Maina confirms dating sports anchor Tony Kwalanda

Published

on

BY KEVIN KOECH

After several speculations from netizens over who Joyce Maina’s mysterious man is, she has finally confirmed that she is dating Switch Tv’s sports journalist Tony Kwalanda.

The two have decided not to hide their strong emotions from the public anymore; as many of their social media fans already seemed to have uncovered their relationship.

They made the official announcement through their Instagram stories earlier today by uploading a photo of the lovebirds romantically kissing. They each also use the same picture as their phone wallpapers.

It is unclear when this work-relationship started since both the anchors work at Red Cross owned station Switch Tv.

However, just two months ago, sports journalist Tony Kwalanda confessed his long-time crush for Joyce Maina during one of his interviews on Chatspot Tv show.

At the time Tony Kwalanda was yet to meet Joyce Maina, but he confessed having watched her show several times.

He further suggested that the two go on even one date, which to our surprise, has blossomed to this beautiful union.

Joyce Maina started posting her photos with her alleged mysterious man about a week ago, which raised many speculations amongst her fans.

Some of her fans suggested that she was dating gospel singer’s Size 8 husband and Crossover show host Dj Mo.

READ ALSO:   Robert Mugabe's most famous quotes

This story highly angered the Chatspot show host, and she angrily lashed out on live TV, calling the fake rumour-mongers ‘sad pathetic losers’ for thinking that she’d publicly post a married man.

Joyce Maina added that she does not know Dj Mo personally neither has she ever met him in person.

According to her, she likes her men dark skin and also she would never break a stable home as she knows the importance of children growing with both parents.

Tony Kwalanda started working at Switch TV about three months ago after being fired from K24 TV where he had worked for 11 years. He was among over 100 journalists who had been laid off by the station over alleged redundancy.

Continue Reading

News

Citizen TV, Milele FM correspondents escape unhurt in carjack incident 

Published

on

BY KEVIN KOECH

Two journalists escaped death by a whisker after carjackers wielding machetes attacked them in Kisii on Thursday night, September 24.

The two, Citizen TV’s Chrispine Otieno and Milele FM’s Monica Zabibu, were traveling together when this incident happened.

They had gone to cover a charity event at Gasinga in Kisii.

While the two were traveling back, a D-Max pickup overtook their Probox only to block the road a few meters ahead.

The D-Max participants ordered the journalists out and started harassing them.

Some area residents revealed they saw another vehicle, a minivan joining the scene, and continue to harass the journalists.

In an effort to save himself, Chrispine Otieno ran into a nearby maize farm, leaving the others behind.

However, the Citizen TV news anchor tripped and injured his leg.

The police and other villagers rescued Milele FM’s Zabibu and the other two people in the Probox.

Jebel Munene, Kisii County Police Commander, confirmed the incident and further revealed he had deployed police officers to the scene to conduct investigations on the matter.

This is not the first time that robbers have attempted to injure journalists, in January, the Media Council of Kenya called upon the DPP to investigate cases of police officers assaulting journalists.

READ ALSO:   Why Mugabe spent his last days in one of the best hospitals in Asia

“MCK wishes to draw the attention of the director of public prosecutions and Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) to this matter with a view of facilitating justice for the journalists affected by the pending cases,” the media council said during a press conference.

Continue Reading


poapay3

Like us on Facebook, stay informed

NEWS TRENDING RIGHT NOW

2020 Calendar

September 2019
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
satellite-communication1.jpg

Trending

error: Content is protected !!