Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Robert Mugabe: A Hero Turned Villain


Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe's cabinet has been dissolved by the new president. In The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which was founded by Mugabe, too was a growing discontent about him. The military had temporarily removed Mugabe's imprisonment and he was given an opportunity to step down from the post in honor. Mugabe's intention after being elected to power till the next year's election and then give the post to his wife, Grace Mugabe has been knocked down by the opponents.

Mugabe, who gave independence to the country by leading the freedom movement, had become the inspiration for the fighters against the anti-racism regime in South Africa. Nelson Mandela, after completing his presidential term, handed over the government to Thabo Mbeki and later to Jacob Zuma. Mandela could have stayed as a president at that time. But he was not fascinated by power. Mugabe did not find this example good enough to emulate.

11 years of imprisonment for the country, good work done during the first ten years after gaining power has been long forgotten because of Mugabe's obsession of clinging to power.

Mugabe's career, especially since the 2008 presidential elections, has been controversial. Even before that, in 2000, his scheme of seizing of one crore 5.5 million hectares of agricultural land from white minorities without compensation & giving it to black people failed. Political leaders, activists, military and civil officials grabbed four lakh acres of that land. Zimbabwe was Africa's biggest exporters of food. Minority white people were British. Therefore, the wrath of the international financial institutions influenced by the UK, the European Union and the Western countries fell on Mugabe. The country's economy declined. 4 million people out of 15 million flee from the country. Mugabe, being targeted at the international level became more aggressive. As a result of insecurity, the monopolistic tendency increased in him. 

If nothing else, Mr Mugabe has always been an extremely proud man. He often said he would only step down when his "revolution" was complete. 

Didymus Mutasa, one of Mr Mugabe's closest associates, once told the BBC that in Zimbabwean culture, kings were only replaced when they die "and Mugabe is our king".

But even his closest allies were not ready for Zimbabwe to be turned into a monarchy, with power retained by a single family.


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