By Kwin Paul
It’s a dull day in Zimbabwean history as their former President, Robert Mugabe has died.
According to a statement released by Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mugabe died at the Gleneagles Hospital on Friday. The ex-president has been in Singapore since April receiving treatment.
The “strongman” former president, as he was oftentimes called, left a mixed legacy behind and consequently there are mixed emotions about his death.
Largely, he is being praised as an icon of Zimbabwean politics and a great hope for the nation, but some are still critical of his efforts, even in death.
“fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter.”– The South African government.
“the ‘new African’ — who having shrugged off the colonial yoke, would strive to ensure his country took its rightful place amongst the community of nations.”– South Africa’ ruling party
“an elder statesman, a freedom fighter and a Pan-Africanist who played a major role in shaping the interests of the African continent … a man of courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular.”-Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenyan President
“not going to shed any tears”- British opposition Member of Parliament, Emily Thornberry
“a tragic case study of a liberation hero who then betrayed every one of the values of the freedom struggle.”– Peter Hain, British politician.
In the beginning, Robert Mugabe went against the Rhodesian government which saw him imprisonefd for more than a decade but even through imprisonment, he continued fighting for his people.
After his release, he led guerilla raids to Rhodesia, which led to agreements that would result in the new Republic of Zimbabwe. His involvement in the road to independence, secured a major following for him and saw him winning the republic’s first election overwhelmingly.
The former president will be remembered for broadening access to education and health care for the black majority, as well as daring to defy the white-minority rule.
We send our condolences.