- Zimbabwe: Death Robert Mugabe, former president of Zimbabwe at 95 years of age
- Zimbabwe: A year without Robert Mugabe
It could have been Nelson Mandela but it shaped the ideal mold of African satrap. His legend as a hero of decolonization was buried by his bloodthirsty cruelty, his rampant corruption and his limitless ambition . Robert Mugabe, one of the most important characters in Africa in recent decades, has died this Friday at age 95 in Singapore (where he used to receive medical treatment) after having come a long political path between the stars and the sewers.
Robert Mugabe went through all possible phases from liberator to slave , from chain breaker to jailer, from just rebel to iron dictator. Your profile is fascinating. He was born when Zimbabwe was still called South Rhodesia , which was in the hands of a racist and supremacist government of white settlers who applied apartheid just like in South Africa. The path he undertakes in those early years is parallel to that of Mandela. He trained at a university in Fort Hare, then in Ghana and completed his studies in economics in London. When he returns in 1960, he is one of those young people whom Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski calls "Black Stars," the leaders who should lead the African continent to prosperity. We are in the Cold War and both the USSR and the US seek their space of influence by supporting guerrillas, leaders and puppet governments throughout the continent.
Mugabe, a great fan of cricket, becomes politically aware and joins the African People's Union of Zimbabwe (ZAPU), the projection of the Mandela CNA in Southern Rhodesia composed of black intellectuals, many of them trained in Europe, who start a dangerous crusade against oppression of apartheid. The fight is unequal and has consequences: Mugabe is arrested and tortured several times until he escapes to Tanzania, where he founded his own party, the National African Union of Zimbabwe (ZANU), more radical than the previous one, and he led the fight.
Like Nelson Mandela, he is imprisoned for a long period of time in prisons where his jailers treat them like terrorists , 27 years in the case of Madiba , 10 in the case of Mugabe. At that time the correspondence law career is taken out while Rhodesia achieves its independence from London, which is not a great change: the country is in the hands of a descendant of Scots named Ian Douglas Smith, fervent defender of European rule over the population native , whose motto was "essential maintenance of the position of the white man and white civilization." "As long as I live I will not give the vote to the Africans," said Ufano. His movement coincides with the racist parameters of the Afrikaner minority in South Africa that Mandela fought.
Mugabe's party, like Mandela's, participated in sabotage and attacks against the interests of that white minority, which ended up succumbing to the wishes of their peoples for freedom. In 1979, thanks to the Lancaster House agreements, the holding of the first elections based on the "one man, one vote" principle was approved, in which all Zimbabweans could exercise their right, although whites maintained some privileges , such as a fifth of the parliamentary deputies reserved outside the results. Mugabe's victory was so overwhelming (57 of the 80 seats in Parliament) that he did not need support to become the prime minister of Zimbabwe's history, since the country was renamed to change the name used by the old settlers . He was a skilled politician, intelligent, charismatic and manipulative.
The first years of that newborn illusion were relatively good. According to a World Bank study 500 hospitals were built, vaccinated children went from 25% to 67% . Life expectancy advanced four years to 59. Schooling multiplied by almost three. In 1988 a law granted women the same rights as men, but in the meantime an evil, which began to affect other African countries, poisoned Zimbabwe: ethnic cleansing.
Mugabe tried to keep the white population happy, despite the insults she gave them at her rallies, but at the same time she instigated tribal divisions among the black population, especially with the Shonas and the Ndebeles . His former partner Joshua Nkomo, Interior Minister, broke up with his training and took refuge with a group of loyalists in Bulawayo, where Mugabe's forces crushed them. The rebel movement moved to Matabebelandia, where it became strong . Mugabe not only ordered to end the dissent, but he threw his Shonas military to end the Ndebeles . Ethnic cleansing killed between 10,000 and 30,000 people. The man who could be Mandela was beginning to enter a spiral of chaos, hatred and violence . Mugabe, who had tasted the taste of power, would not let go.
Then he did what other satraps have done before: a constitutional reform with some good excuse. In his case, he tried to end the privilege of the white minority to maintain a fifth of the parliamentary seats. But in the meantime he changed a parliamentary system based on a prime minister to a presidential government, where he would have broad powers. On December 31, 1987, Robert Mugabe swore as president and did not leave office until a coup d'etat of his own personal guard and one of his ministers evicted him from the chair. In his speeches, the language began to harden: " Only God, who appointed me, will eliminate me, not the opposition, not the British colonists. Only God will eliminate me !"
While Nelson Mandela made his first trip as president of South Africa east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which at that time began its cycle of civil wars unleashed after the Rwandan genocide, Mugabe sent his troops to fight that same war in exchange for huge amounts of blood minerals not for your country, but for your pocket. His kleptomaniac madness had only just begun. The baroque luxury of the palace that was built in Harare lowers the category of some of the Versailles rooms to mere farmhouses. Donald Trump's golden room in his New York tower is a gross imitation of his 25-room mansion built by Chinese companies on a 22-hectare estate. Also their models began to change. In 2003 he acknowledged that he admired Hitler: "This Hitler has only one goal: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, let me be 10 times Hitler ".
While spending authentic fortunes on celebrating each birthday (with bills of $ 250,000 in cognac, lobster, caviar and French champagne) Zimbabwe's economy began to show signs of collapse. The occupation of land and businesses of white settlers caused an international condemnation and the application of sanctions. In 2008, inflation rose to 10,000% annually, an unsustainable situation, with an 80% unemployment rate and the government detaining businessmen for not being able to pay wages. In 2008 inflation rose to 160,000%. They came to print bills of a trillion dollars of Zimbabwe that, in fact, were worth nothing.
His political enemies are in jail, in exile or underground. He never believed in the free press, he hated homosexuals. Emmerson Mnangagwa evicted him from power with a coup d'etat. Billionaire has died.
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