BY GERALD GEKARA – President Mugabe was pronounced dead on September 6th 2019, hardly two years after he was ousted from his 3 decade rule by a military coup. As it is written in the vaults of African Heritage, ”You shall not speak ill of the Dead, but good things,” We highlight the life and times of the former Pan- Africanist, turned tyrant.
Mugabe schooled in the same South African University as did Nelson Mandela
The iconic African leader went to the same university in South Africa, and it is interesting that both of them turned to politics and eventually the presidency.
Mugabe abandoned a lucrative job to become a freedom fighter
Mugabe taught at various schools around Southern Rhodesia (as it was still under the British colony), among them the Dadaya Mission school in Shabani. thereafter he won a scholarship to go to South Africa where he met with fellow Africanists.
Later on, he moved to Ghana where he taught in various schools. According to Mugabe, “I went [to Ghana] as an adventurist. I wanted to see what it would be like in an independent African state” He later moved back to Zimbabwe where he was put behind bars to serve 11 Years for utterances against the Colonial authority.
After he was released he fled and joined ZANU, which made him their leader. It was then that the Zimbabwean guerilla war started, which ultimately soared him to power.
Mugabe had mixed feelings about Minority White Zimbabweans.
When Mugabe became president, he, unlike several african leaders did not chase white settlers away. Instead he chose to keep them in government by appointing two white ministers. However they didnot feel secure, as thety complained of racial discrimination since they were a minority.
In 2000, Mugabe was defeated when voters in a referendum rejected a constitution that would have given him more power. Mugabe blamed white race minority for his defeat in 2000. He pushed legislation through parliament allowing his government to reclaim white-owned properties.
Mugabe is one of the Big Africans who Enriched themselves after the fall of colonialism
Mugabe will be remembered for his struggle to liberate the African country from colonial power. However, Mugabe’s fall marked the end of one of the last surviving “Big Men” of the continent, the onetime revolutionary leaders who inherited from their colonial rulers and used an iron fist to enrich themselves and repress their citizens.
For instance, during the 2002 hunger that hit the country, Mugabe was known to dispatch food aid to areas that supported him and starved his opposers.