What matters is how you finish the race not how you start it: rip Robert Gabriel Mugabe

Mugabe’s last days as the president of Zimbabwe before he was ousted by the military.

RIP to (the so called) God father of Zimbabwe Robert Gabriel Mugabe. He was so smart as an academic that’s why he was regarded as the world’s most educated leader, boasting 7 degrees including two Masters. However before he assumed the office he was merely a teacher. His premiership started in earnest and he vowed to be a president for all. As a charismatic leader his speeches were coherent and moving. When I grow up I want to be like this guy, I thought after listening to one of his speeches as a kid. Back then the concept of sustainability was beyond my scope but I listened to his words promising environmental, economic as well as social changes to usher Zim into the new Millenium. Ushering free education as well as free health for all, driving the economy in the right direction as a bread basket of Africa and that. Other African nations used to envy Zim. Tourism was thriving. “I know Rhodesia or Zimbabwe man, I used to come there all the way from Angola to do my clothes shopping”, a guy I met in Portugal wants said. As an adult I began to understand that he wanted a better country for the future generations. As the South American chief Seattle said

“we borrow the earth from future generations”.

⁃ However what followed was a mud bath of chaos and pandemonium, the country was on a trade mill of abject poverty and corruption. Despite all that he had a loyal base of supporters which explains his impressive streak of winning presidential elections (boosted by the rural electorate) except the 2002 when many said he lost the elections to Morgan Tsvangirai resulting in a tenuous power sharing deal. The report commissioned by the president of South Africa stated that:

⁃ The elections payed no regard to international standards of free and fair elections “These elections, in our view cannot be considered free and fair”.

⁃ If Robert Mugabe is a hero how he gonna die in a foreign land receiving state of the art health care? (In that regards Smith had more integrity, guts and cojones than our own for he never crossed the oceans to seek better treatment. According to Mugabeism Singapore is for Singaporeans to live and die there. “Blair keep your Britain and I will keep my Zimbabwe” Big ego remember that. Had he built a better country with a strong health care service he would have died being cared for in his beloved country like other great leaders. If he wanted a better place to die why can’t they respect his wishes and let him rest in peace there rather than waste further resources repatriating his dead body.

⁃ The now vibrant Asian economies were once colonies just like Zim. Singapore officially became a British colony in 1819. During World War 2 it was conquered by Japan from 1942-1945. After the war Britain took over again. So it has had more trials and sufferings than Zim. In 1963 it merged with Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia only to be expelled. It became an independent republic same time as Rhodesia (remember the Unilateral Declaration of Independence, uDI in 1965 and the economy was thriving albeit under Imperial rule led by Ian Douglas Smith) but when Mugabe took over we know what happened. With regards to land reform, it was the right motive but poorly executed and unjust.

⁃ Singapore after the expulsion implemented the modernisation polices throughout the 60’s and 70’s. The policies focused on building thriving manufacturing industries and housing. Good governance helped build Singapore. Yet Mugabe and his cronies destroyed what was promising. His own party currently in power after seizing it from him can’t even fix the mess he left. The future generations’ new Zimbabwe was robbed, academics, intellectuals and skilled are now scattered in diaspora. Some facing racism or worse like xenophobia which is happening in our neighbouring country South Africa (foreigners cremated alive) yet the dead president’s posterity will inherit dad’s money trees. While the staunch supporters yell hala with an empty stomachs. They might be somehow benefiting themselves but their wider families be suffering.

Young cool Mugabe looking like Norbit (Eddie Murphy), Salisbury 1953

⁃ In conclusion rest in peace and thank you for the positive things that people can remember you for. According to Romans 13:1

⁃ “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God”

⁃ But man like me don’t care about how the race started but how it finished. Smart people should always remind themselves of their limits

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