President Robert Mugabe’s resignation is a clear cut example of how a person can move from being a hero of his people to someone that most want gone.
Mugabe was born February 21, 1924, putting him at 93 years and making him the world’s oldest leader and strongman. He has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980. He started out as a teacher before turning to the freedom fighter who was imprisoned under Ian Smith’s Rhodesian government.
He led the Zimbabwe African National Union movement, being one of the key negotiators in the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement, which led to the creation of a fully democratic Zimbabwe. After being elected Zimbabwe’s first black Prime Minister, he alluded to embracing the country’s white minority but would later change tactics.
In looking at the fall from grace which led to Mugabe’s resignation, these signposts are definitely worthy of note.
Mugabe’s Resignation And What Led Him Here
Human Right Abuses
In 1980 Mugabe was actually considered for a Nobel Peace Prize. Public opinion was, however, soon turned against him and not since then would anyone have considered the nonagenarian for any prize related to peace (China tried once).
He has been said to employ a lot of politics and force in silencing his critics. Much earlier on 1982, Mugabe sent his North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade to the ZAPU stronghold of Matabeleland to smash dissent. In the course of over five years, 20,000 Ndebele civilians were killed as part of a campaign of alleged political genocide.
As advanced in age as Mugabe is, health incidents are not unexpected. The President’s health status was, however, shrouded in so much mystery that speculation ran rife in the country’s media.
He frequently made trips that resulted in death rumors circulating round the country. On several occasions the President was also caught sleeping on the job and committing a number of faux was that could have been the result of ill health.
President Mugabe may have meant well when he created policies like the Indigenization policy which required foreign-owned businesses to transfer majority shares to black Zimbabweans, but the policies worked to kill Zimbabwe’s economy by scaring investors away.
His controversial land-reform policies courted the outrage of the West. Starting in 2000, the Zimbabwe government backed the forcible seizure of white-owned land, despite a Supreme Court ruling. He stoked racial tensions when he stated that “The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans, Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans”
Wasting State Resources
In 2015, President Mugabe turned 91 and threw a party that was alleged to cost over $650,000. At the time, Zimbabwe had been in the midst of a severe drought. In fact, Mugabe’s government had applied for $1.6 billion in foreign aid to combat starvation. Mugabe’s removal from his people who continue to suffer under the weight of a terrible economy, is probably one of the major reasons that the people’s estimation of him dropped.
Mugabe fired his Vice President quite unexpectedly last week and set off the chain of events that eventually caused his downfall.