Back home in Zimbabwe, the biggest news for the week is the death on Friday dawn of former president Robert Mugabe who died Friday morning aged 95.
He passed on in Singapore where he was receiving medical attention. The first official news of his death was via a tweet from current president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mnangagwa who took over from Mugabe after a November 2017 coup praised his former boss and “founding father” of post-independence Zimbabwe.
“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe.
“Cde 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,” his tweet read.
The president is one of others who praised Mugabe for his influence at home in the wider African region and the world at large.
But many others could only point at the ills that Mugabe and the regime he presided over meted to citizens. From the incidents of political clampdown through to the economic crisis that his policies plunged the country into.
Several African presidents have sent their condolences to the government and people of Zimbabwe. From Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa etc. leaders have praised the legacy of one of Africa’s most divisive politicians.
“On behalf of the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends condolences to the government and people of Zimbabwe over the passing of the founding father and former President, Robert Mugabe, 95.
The President commiserates with family members, friends and political associates of the political activist who fought for the independence of the country from colonial rule, and lived most of his life in public service,” aide to President Buhari said.
“We will forever remember the worthy son of Africa, who came to our rescue when our country was victim of a foreign aggressor. The continent has lost one of its pan-African leaders, a hero of independence,” words of DRC’s ex leader Joseph Kabila.
African presidents reactions on Twitter:
https://t.co/3fdo5Ikfn1— Cyril Ramaphosa ?? (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 6, 2019
I learned with sadness about the death of President Robert Mugabe, an extraordinary revolutionary and tenacious freedom fighter who contributed immensely to Africa and Namibia’s cause for freedom. Condolences to the family and people of Zimbabwe. May his Revolutionary Soul R.I.P— Hage G. Geingob (@hagegeingob) September 6, 2019
“On behalf of the Government and the People of Kenya and on my own behalf, I wish to convey our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Government and the People of Zimbabwe following the death of former President Robert Mugabe.” ~ H.E. Uhuru Kenyattahttps://t.co/yuooPwrxZI— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) September 6, 2019
I learnt this morning about the passing of an African liberation icon & great Pan-Africanist, His Excellency Robert Mugabe. I join edmnangagwa, the people of Zimbabwe and the entire African continent in mourning the demise of this great son of Africa. May his soul rest in peace.— Yoweri K Museveni (KagutaMuseveni) September 6, 2019
Mugabe had been receiving medical care in a Singapore hospital for an undisclosed ailment. It is reported that he had been receiving treatment there since April.
Local media reported that President Emmerson Mnangagwa had told a Cabinet meeting two weeks ago that doctors had “taken him off life support.” Mugabe had led Zimbabwe in 1980 before being ousted from power after a military coup in 2017.
For close to the four decades he governed after the country’s independence from Britain in 1980, he was regarded by many as a tyrant, he was accused of rigging polls and overseeing the free fall of the economy in the relentless pursuit of power.
Robert Mugabe was an anti-colonial hero. But he morphed into a killer, torturer, and brutal dictator. I will not mourn his death. Nor should you.— Prof Makau Mutua (@makaumutua) September 6, 2019
Now I understands that there are neither permanent enemies nor permanent allies in politics. Those who were victims of Mugabe’s regime are now bereaved following this death. Mugabe is a hero but the truth is that he has died a villain, a dictator who fell by his own sword #Mugabe pic.twitter.com/lYFkCRZ3NO— Steve ?? (@SteveZwitter) September 6, 2019
Former Zimbabwe Leader dies at the age of 95. To some Zimbabweans he was a hero to some a dictator. To all on social media he will be famously remembered for this quote
“Even Satan is not GAY thats why he approached a naked Eve instead of a naked Adam. drop any Mugabe Quote below pic.twitter.com/S8Csv2E13a— AY COMEDIAN (@AYCOMEDIAN) September 6, 2019
Mugabe brought independence to Zimbabwe and then killed in the Gukurahundi-up to 80,000 of his own citizens in Matabeleland and brought his country to its knees economically. A hero to a brutal dictator— Kate Hoey (@KateHoeyMP) September 6, 2019
When you die in another country’s hospital because you destroyed your own country so much that you couldn’t get proper health care. History will not be kind to Mugabe. He will be remembered as a dictator that changed the bread basket of Africa into the rubbish bin. #dictator— Renaldo Gouws ?? (@RenaldoGouws) September 6, 2019
Mugabe is an example of “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Did great work as a liberator, then pissed all over his own legacy as a dictator. Should be a lesson to many leaders to leave the stage when the applause is loudest.— Lexis (@niilexis) September 6, 2019
No amount of revisionism will change the facts. Mugabe was a vile, genocidal dictator with no regard for anything but holding on to power. He ruined Zimbabwe and with it, the lives and aspirations of millions of hard working and we’ll meaning people— Siboe ‘s Brother (@abenetha) September 6, 2019
Pain and tears:
His youngest son, Cahtunga, reacted to his father’s loss with emojis of a crying face on social media platform Twitter. His former information minister, Jonathan Moyo said a dark cloud had enveloped the nation.
????— CHATUNGA (@bellagushaz) September 6, 2019
A dark cloud has enveloped Zimbabwe and beyond. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord! pic.twitter.com/GGbw8c1poS— Prof Jonathan Moyo (@ProfJNMoyo) September 6, 2019
I’m saddened by the passing of our martyr & giant of the African Revolution cde President Robert Mugabe. Let’s continue the fight & protect his legacy. We must not allow our enemies to tell us how to remember him; we know our heroes.
May his soul rest in revolutionary peace. pic.twitter.com/wpvQm3Waf0— Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) September 6, 2019
If De Gaulle and Churchill never sinned, let them throw stones at Mugabe even in his death.
Don’t allow them to choose our heroes for us. pic.twitter.com/h2khHg4oTR— Lonzen Rugira (@LonzenRugira) September 6, 2019
I choose to remember Mugabe as an African hero… they are few and far between! #RIPMugabe #Zimbabwe #Mugabe pic.twitter.com/pisExTfiOe— Dr. Mumbi Seraki?? (@DrMumbiSeraki) September 6, 2019
RIP Comrade Mugabe. You lived for the dignity of your fellow black. Your African pride, dignity and audacity were unassailable. Africa has lost a bold and noble Statesman. My condolences to the government and people of Zimbabwe. pic.twitter.com/Zx2slMlhoZ— Jerry John Rawlings (@officeofJJR) September 6, 2019
The Gambia’s late President Sir Dawda #Jawara and #Zimbabwe’s late President Robert #Mugabe. Great leaders, true sons of Africa, heroes, fathers of their various nations and true friends. Coincidentally they both died at 95 in less than a month in the same year pic.twitter.com/85sTqH4P2d— Alhagie Jobe (@freejobe39) September 6, 2019