Robert Mugabe: Infamous quotes from statesman turned oppressor


Robert Mugabe: Infamous quotes from statesman turned oppressor
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe/ Courtesy AFP

The late Robert Mugabe leaves behind a legacy of oppression and tyranny, a shadow cast over the heroic nature of his hey days after overthrowing colonial rulers.

Until 2017, he was the only leader Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980.

Ironically, his clinginess to the throne had not always been. For many years after colonialists were unseated in Zimbabwe, he was likened to the late Nelson Mandela.

He would preach reconciliation following the brutal liberation war; he became the envy of the continent and hero to many across the African continent.

The trained teacher also presided over a revolutionary education and agricultural system that boosted the economy.

However, his leadership turned into dictatorship in the late 1980s.

Mugabe rooted for a one party state installing the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in a move that was deemed to discourage diversity.

According to CNN, Mugabe liked to say that “he had a degree in violence” and thereafter became popular for crushing dissent.

When his power was challenged at the ballot, he allegedly engineered violence.

In 2000, thousands of white Zimbabwean farmers were forced out of their land as Mugabe claimed that this would allow blacks to get what was rightfully theirs.

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“It must be remembered the whites established their fortune on the principal of exploitation of labour….If you want to talk about compensation then the worker should be compensated…. If you must compensate the Master you must compensate the servant, so no.”

In an interview with CNN’s Christian Amanpour in September, 2009, Mugabe maintained that every white person in Zimbabwe, even those born there, had a historical debt to pay since their ancestors took the land from the blacks.

“They are citizens by colonisation seizing land from the original indigenous people of the country, they knew about it!” said Mugabe.

In 2017, before his removal from office, Mugabe then 93 years, infamously claimed that “only God” could remove him from power.

In an interview with a state-run television, Mugabe also indicated that he would run for President in 2018. This was not to be.

The military staged a coup and he left a disgraced man.

According to Stephen Chan, the author of Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence, the once revered Statesman had become a pariah – the ‘Hitler of the time’.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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