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Why Britain is not mourning Mugabe

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Several countries hailed Zimbabwe’s late ex-president Robert Mugabe on Tuesday as a liberation hero — though his fierce critic, former colonial power Britain, recalled the suffering and repression of his rule.

Britain said Zimbabweans had “suffered for too long” under former president Mugabe, who died Friday.

“We express our condolences to those who mourn Robert Mugabe’s death. However, Zimbabweans suffered for too long as a result of Mugabe’s autocratic role,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It noted “mixed emotions” in Zimbabwe at the death of Mugabe, adding, “We hope that in this new era, Zimbabwe can continue to be set on a more democratic and prosperous path.”

SOUR RELATIONS

Mugabe won 1980 elections at the end of a black nationalist guerrilla war against white-minority rule in the rebel colony of Rhodesia.

Peter Hain, a leading anti-apartheid campaigner, told AFP he was “elated” at the time.

“It was a huge moment in history when he became president in a landslide and all of us cheered him on at the time.”

But he said Mugabe then “betrayed all of those values of justice and human rights and democracy under the freedom struggle and became a corrupt dictator”.

In 2000, Mugabe’s supporters violently took over white-owned farms — a watershed moment in relations between the West and their protégé.

READ ALSO:   Robert Mugabe's most famous quotes

Zimbabwe was suspended in 2002 from the Commonwealth, a grouping of former British colonies, and pulled out voluntarily in 2003.

Last year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa submitted an application to rejoin the Commonwealth after ousting Mugabe.

REACTIONS

Here is a selection of top world reactions to his death on Tuesday aged 95.

  • EAST AFRICA

KENYA

“We will remember former President Mugabe as a man of courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular,” said Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mwai Kibaki, Kenyan president from 2002 to 2013, said Mugabe’s death “marks the end of an era in Africa. It closes the chapter of Africa’s founding presidents whose commitment to the emancipation of the people of Africa remains enduringly remarkable.”

TANZANIA

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli tweeted in Swahili: “Africa loses a brave, determined leader, an Africanist who turned the rejection of colonisation into action. May God let his soul rest in peace.”

  • SOUTHERN AFRICA

NAMIBIA

In Namibia, which cast off South African rule in 1990, a decade after Zimbabwe won independence from Britain, President Hage Geingob hailed Mugabe as a warrior.

“Comrade Robert Mugabe (was) an outstanding revolutionary, a tenacious freedom fighter and dedicated Pan Africanist… President Mugabe made enormous sacrifices in the struggle against injustice and the liberation of Southern Africa from racist subjugation and colonial oppression.”

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

ZAMBIA

“He will be remembered for his fight for Africa’s liberation and fearlessly defending the continent. His place in the annals of Africa’s history is assured,” said Zambia’s President Edgard Lungu on Twitter.

  • WEST AFRICA

NIGERIA

Mugabe “fought for the independence of the country from colonial rule, and lived most of his life in public service,” said President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, hailing him as the “founding father” of a nation.

“Mugabe’s sacrifices, especially in struggling for the political and economic emancipation of his people, will always be remembered by posterity.”

  • CHINA

“Mugabe was an outstanding national liberation movement leader and politician of Zimbabwe,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

“Throughout his life, he has firmly defended the sovereignty of his country, opposed foreign interference, and actively promoted China-Zimbabwe and China-Africa friendship and cooperation.”

  • RUSSIA

“Many important dates in Zimbabwe’s modern history are tied to the name of Robert Mugabe. He made a great personal contribution to the battle for your country’s independence, to the building of Zimbabwean state institutions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

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My Experience: I could not withstand working 18 straight hours as a house help in Saudi Arabia

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Lydia Mutua attests to have been literary desperate about improving her life and her family’s fortunes. Despite the fact that her husband is employed by a reputable company in Nairobi, the mother of three just wanted financial independence and to better her life. “I had heard that people could make good money working for rich families in Saudia, so I wanted to have that connection as well.”

Asked whether she had heard previous reports of Kenyans being tortured in Saudi Arabia, she answered to the affirmative but argued that the incentive to end her financial desperation was so huge that she overlooked the possible consequences.

“I could not imagine that I could be pocketing a cool Sh 80,000 a per month. Even if I managed to work for six months, the money could be enough for me to start a business,” revealed Lydia.

In April 2018, Lydia, who currently lives in Mlolongo Estate Nairobi, approached a local recruitment agency where she paid Sh 60,000 as processing fees plus a Sh 5,000 medical fee for hookup to Saudia employers.

“The agent told me that I have to pay Sh 60,000 processing fee plus Sh 5,000 medical fee. Since I already had some money from my salon business, I decided to sacrifice and pay for the commission fees.”

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

However, she was unable to withstand the heavy house chores (working for 18 hours), humiliations, and physical abuse by her employers. During her short time there, her job entailed washing dishes, clothes, cleaning, gardening every day. She would wake up at 3.30 am and sleep at 1 am, so she had only two hours to sleep. As if this was not enough, most of the time, she was given so little food while at other times denied food altogether. “Woe unto you if you make an error while performing these duties because you will be subjected to physical abuse or your salary deducted.”

“After working for two months for a middle-class business family in Sakaka, which is about 1,200 kilometres from the capital Riyadh, I decided that there was no way I could stay there and watch myself die”. She told Ureport adding that “I decided to request for help from my parents back in Kenya who sent me money for transport after which I jetted back.”

Following these experiences, Lydia vowed never to go back to Saudia in the name of looking for domestic work.

“Unless I am going for a company job, there is no way I will go back there with what I experienced,” she says.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Why Mugabe’s family kept close eye on former president’s remains

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Entertainment

Papa Shirandula actress Naliaka ordained as a minister

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Celebrated Papa Shirandula actress Daisy Netia alias Naliaka is now a minister of the gospel after she was ordained as a pastor at the Harvest Family Church in Ongata Rongai.

Sharing the exciting news on Instagram, Naliaka – in prayer- thanked her spiritual father, Jimmy Macharia, for seeing her through.

“The day my life changed totally. I thank God for my spiritual father Jimmy Macharia who saw beyond my weaknesses. When God wants to do something in your life, He will introduce to you a man. Dear God, please help me not to ever forget where you picked from,” wrote Naliaka.

According to one of Naliaka’s close friends, the actress has been juggling between acting and ministry and are pleased that she was finally given the nod to do what she loves most.

Naliaka’s march to the pulpit is reminiscent with that of sports journalist Vincent Opiyo who not too long ago also heeded the call to minister through the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

In his last article published on May 19, 2019, Opiyo admitted that priesthood was his lifetime ambition despite his stint at the newsroom.

A passion to serve that, he said, began when he was 12 as an altar boy at his home Parish, Nangina Catholic Church.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Why Mugabe’s family kept close eye on former president’s remains

“At the age of 12, I became an Altar Boy in my home parish, Nangina Catholic church. This was a year of finishing my catechism classes that culminated into receiving Holy Communion. It is during this period that I started dreaming of being like my parish priest who was a friend and a father figure,” he recalled.

Opiyo explained that even though he went through hardships at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC), the U-turn was inevitable.

“I joined the University of Nairobi for a Broadcast Journalism course in September 2011 but my hopes for a bursary from a charity organization collapsed and I had to drop out after failing to pay the Sh110, 000 fees… I applied for evening classes at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) in Nairobi and sold Airtel mobile phone SIM cards on the streets to add to the little upkeep my father gave me. A SIM card was Sh50, my profit was Sh20,” he added.

by SDE

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Diaspora

Brampton City in Canada to Honor Kenyans in the Diaspora

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The Kenyan national flag is set to be raised for two weeks in the city of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, in honor of Kenya’s Independence Day.

The flag-hoisting ceremony also seeks to appreciate the participation of Kenyan-Canadians living in Brampton. The ceremony will be held at Brampton City Hall by the Mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown, on Saturday, December 14th, a day when Kenyans living in Canada will mark the 56th Jamhuri Day.

Several political, community leaders, Federal Members of Parliament, Regional and Municipal Councilors from the Greater Toronto Area are expected to attend the inaugural flag-raising event. A representative from the Kenya High Commission in Canada is also expected to attend.

“This is a great achievement and a milestone not just to the Kenyans living in Canada but to Kenya as a country. We are so proud to have the Canadian government recognize, for the first time, the contributions of Kenyans in this country.”

“This is a significant step towards getting integrated with other communities that form part of the immigrant Canadian society,” said Kenyan Canadian Association (KCA) President Ephraim Mwaura.

 

 

 

READ ALSO:   Robert Mugabe's most famous quotes
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