Robert Mugabe, a revolutionary hero or a person who destroys Zimbabwe?

Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.
As Zimbabwe's economy has deteriorated in recent years, the political and physical fall of Robert Mugabe has been estimated several times but he can always surprise his critics.

Until now.

However, it seems that by side with his wife in the competition to become his successor, he has gone too far and lost the support of the military leaders, who have been keeping him in power.
At the age of 93, it is clear that his health has deteriorated over the past year although he still officially wants to be re-elected next year.

Before last year's election, he said, "If you lose the election and be rejected by the people, it's time to leave politics."
But after being ranked second under Morgan Tsvangirai, he showed even more of his fighting character, saying 'only God' can get rid of him from his post.
Protesters have burned Zimbabwean banknotes that are of no value in one of the action of 2016.
And violence is used to maintain his grip on power.

In order to protect his supporters, Tsvangirai withdrew from the second round and although Mugabe had to divide power with his rival for four years, he remained president of a country he had mastered since 1980.

The important points of Mugabe's life

Mugabe supported his wife, Grace, to become Vice President.

  • 1924: Born
  • Got an education as a teacher
  • 1964: Jailed by the Rhodesia government
  • 1980: Win post-independence elections
  • 1996: Married to Grace Marufu
  • 2000: Lose a referendum, but support groups attack white-owned farms and attack opposition supporters
  • 2008: Ranks second in the first round of presidential election but rival Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the second round to stop violence against his supporters
  • 2009: In the midst of economic collapse, Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister
  • 2016: Bonds issued due to the worsening of cash shortage
  • 2017: Firing his longtime ally, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa
The Freedom Icon

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Mugabe was once considered a revolutionary hero, battling against a minority white ruler for the freedom of his people, and that is what makes many African leaders reluctant to criticize him.
Since Zimbabwe's independence, April 18, 1980, many changes in the world but Mugabe's view remains the same.

Mugabe (left) -when photographed in 1960-was deeply affected by the idea of ​​the Pan-African movement.
The heroic socialist party, Zanu-PF, in power still fought against the so-called twin demons of capitalism and colonialism.
His critics have been criticized as 'traitors', a name that during the first guerrilla warfare could have sentenced a man to death.

He has always accused the Western conspiracy of causing problems in the Zimbabwean economy and the conspiracy - according to Mugab - led by the British who wanted to overthrow him for his policy of confiscating white farmland.
Critics blatantly accuse Mugabe by stating he does not understand how the modern economy is running.
He called always concentrating on how to divide the 'national cake' and not how to make it bigger.

Mugabe once said that one country will never go bankrupt and with Zimbabwe's most shrinking economy in the world and annual inflation reaching 231 million% in July 2008, he seems determined to prove his theory to the very end.
Professor Tony Hawkins of the University of Zimbabwe observes the Zimbabwean leader argues, "If the economy stifles politics, then that always wins politics."

Mugabe did not hesitate to use force to maintain power.
In 2000, when faced with strong opposition for the first time, he destroyed one of Africa's most diverse sectors of the economy for the sake of maintaining political power.
By confiscating the white-owned farm, which is the backbone of the country's economy, and causing donor countries to worry, Mugabe manages to outsmart his enemies and stay in power.

With all the consequences

The tactics he used and his supporters came from the guerrilla war.
After he suffered the first defeat of his career in a referendum in 2000, he mobilized militiamen who used violence and murder - with the support of the security apparatus - as a 'strategy'.

Eight years later, the same pattern occurred when Mugabe lost the first round of presidential election from his old rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.
If necessary then all levels of the state apparatus-whether it be the security forces, civil servants, government-controlled media of Zanu-PF members will be mobilized to serve the ruling party.

The man who once fought for 'one person one vote' stipulated the requirement that every voter should prove residence with an electric or water bill, which is not owned by the large number of unemployed unemployed.

His attitude toward the opposition has been visible since the early 1980s, when members of the Zimbabwe-trained Military Fifth Brigade in North Korea were deployed to Matabeleland, his rival's hometown of Joshua Nkomo.
Thousands were killed before Nkomo agreed to share power with Mugabe, a pattern that was repeated with Tsvangirai.

One unquestioned achievement of the former teacher during his reign of about 37 years is the expansion of education and Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate and rate in Africa, which reaches 90% of the total population.

The late prominent political observer, Masipula Sithole, once said that by extending education, the president is actually 'digging his own grave'.
Young people who enjoy education are now able to analyze the Zimbabwean problem with their own views and most accuse corruption and mismanagement by governments that lead to lack of jobs and rising prices.
Mugabe's 93rd birthday celebration on 21 February 2017.
Cartoon character

Mugabe may have the conviction that it is easier to rule the country with people in the form of self-fulfilling farmers than the educated industrial workforce.
He claimed to be fighting on behalf of the rural poor but much of his farmland ended in his cronies.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said that the long-serving Zimbabwean president has become a cartoon character of a typical African dictator.
In the 2002 presidential election campaign, for example, he began to wear a flashy shirt with a picture of his face, imitated from many other African rulers.

For the past 20 years or so, this conservative man has always been seen in public using a tie suit or safari suit.
Many Zimbabweans are wondering why he did not just leave his legs and enjoy his life with his family.
His second wife, Grace-who is 40 years younger-once said that Mugabe woke at 4:00 in the morning for her daily exercise.
When he was 73, he gave Grace the birth of her third child, Chatunga.

His second wife, Grace-who was 40 years younger-married her when his first wife was seriously ill with cancer.
He claims to be a devout Catholic and a congregation of the Harare Catholic Cathedral, sometimes flooded with security forces when he arrives for Sunday Mass.

However his religious faith did not prevent him from having two children from Grace-who used to be his secretary-when his popular Ghanaian wife, Sally, was doomed to death by cancer.

King of Zimbabwe?

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Although Mugabe has survived longer than many people's predictions, the increasing tension over the past few years is obviously a consequence, while his almost faulty looks now look outdated.
In 2011, a US diplomatic message leaked by Wikileaks showed he had prostate cancer.

But Mugabe is a man who is always proud of himself and often says that he will only retreat if his 'revolution' has been achieved.
What he meant by the revolution was the redistribution of white farmland and also he who would appoint his successor, which certainly came from the Zanu-PF party.

There has been a widespread forecast that Zanu-PF or neighboring Zimbabweans will eventually oppose Mugabe, but both have remained faithful to him for years.

Didymus Mutasa - who had been a close friend of Mugabe but then broke up - told the BBC that in Zimbabwean culture the king would only be replaced if it died and 'Mugabe is our king'.
But it seems that some of his former supporters are not ready for a dynasty.
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About Maju Mapan