Former President of Zimbabwe passed away last week on September 6, 2019 aged 95. The former African strongman who became synonymous with the end of colonial rule in Zimbabwe as he ensured that minority white population that had held power was forced to relinquish it to the majority blacks in the country.
Many Africans came out to mourn the great leader despite his fall from grace when a more recent military coupe saw him forcefully removed from the office of the President after he assumed power in 1980. “Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” said the current President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
However, other people had a few thoughts of their own when it came to the former educationist turned politician, “Mugabe was a vile ruthless dictator who terrorized his own people & ruined Zimbabwe. That’s his legacy. The fact he’s your hero says all we need to know about YOU.” These were the sentiments of British celebrity news host Piers Morgan, a vocal critic on many tropics ranging from celebrity gossip to sports and politics, this is not the first time Morgan has been controversial in public matters.
Only just recently he showed his distaste in Hollywood’s decision to finally cast the infamous James bond or 007 as a woman, attracting a lot of backlash from the feminist community and in 2016, he tried to justify the use of the derogatory term ‘nigga’ by whites by blaming American rappers who used it: “Don’t get angry at white girls singing ‘Niggas’, blame Kanye West for putting it in his songs”
His portrayal of Mugabe as a dictator is perhaps triggered by the agrarian reform that took place in 2000, displacing a huge number of white farmers without compensation in an effort to equally distribute resources to black-Zimbabweans although not many had the experience nor knowledge to successful take over these commercial farms. This and another of haphazard decisions led to the struggle of the country’s economy under his 35 year reign, leaving Zimbabwe as the poorest country in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite this, Zimbabweans, together with the rest of the world continue to mourn the legendary icon, attributing the emancipation and liberation of blacks in Zimbabwe, even further hailing him as revolutionary, equating his efforts to that of Nelson Mandela’s during the apartheid era of South Africa. One political analyst, David Van Wyk said: “Robert Mugabe had many faults, but he did not only make mistakes. He, like any other politician was a complex figure. Many of those who now demonize him, like Piers Morgan, hero worship monsters by names of Winston Churchill, and other imperialist figures like Cecil Rhodes.”
Mugabe passed away last week in a clinic in Singapore where he was undergoing treatment for some time. The ruling party of Zimbabwe, ZANU-PF hailed him as a ‘national hero’ despite various critics blaming the former leader for being a tyrant and leading the country with an iron fist.