Zimbabwe’s former president, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, passes

Nayaba Arinde | 9/12/2019, 4:26 p.m.
Zimbabwe’s former president, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, passed away Sept. 6 at the age of 95.
L to R: Viola Plummer, Pres. Robert Mugabe, Omowale Clay and Attorney Michael Hardy

Zimbabwe’s former president, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, passed away Sept. 6 at the age of 95.

From guerrilla warrior fighting bitter colonial rule to premier of a nation he saw switch from white-controlled Rhodesia to land reclaiming Zimbabwe, Mugabe bore crippling international sanctions imposed by the west in response to his land reclamation efforts, to side-effect civil unrest, unemployment and western-backed political opponents, plus drought and the AIDS epidemic impacting the nation. He became a pariah in the mainstream media, who portrayed him as an overbearing leader, as he demanded that Britain not renege—as they had—on the Lancaster House Agreement, and not obstruct his redistributing white-held land to the Africans of the country.

Through much success then turmoil, the Zimbabwean revolutionary won the hearts and minds of the people to become elected first prime minister from 1980 to 1987 and then president from 1987 to 2017; a bloodless coup saw him removed from office.

After a long illness, Mugabe died in Singapore where he had been receiving treatment, on Sept. 6, 2019.

Dec. 12 Movement worked with and in Zimbabwe for many years. Recently they have continued their push for the U.S. and other European countries to stop the sanctions imposed on the nation.

Dec. 12 Movement’s statement on the passing of Pan-African hero and former Zimbabwe President

H.E. CDE. ROBERT GABRIEL MUGABE

Brothers, Sisters, Comrades and Friends,

African people mourn the loss of one of its greatest revolutionary heroes with the passing of former president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, H.E. Cde. Robert G. Mugabe. The magnitude of his loss parallels that of African Freedom Fighters such as Lumumba, Cabral, Nkrumah, Machel, Nasser, Neto…

The Dec. 12 Movement’s history with Zimbabwe is one of decades of revolutionary solidarity and support. Therefore, it is our responsibility to: share our profound respect for this African icon, comrade and friend; point out some key historical highlights and accomplishments that are political, concise and which honor the lessons he taught.

• It was Cde. Mugabe, the political brick layer, who took the lead in constructing the Zimbabwe African National Union party. ZANU was the political weapon the people of Zimbabwe needed for the sustained assault on western-backed British/Rhodesian colonialism. The Party, the agitator, educator and organizer of the Zimbabwe revolution, was the prerequisite to the success of the people’s armed struggle for independence.

• Cde. Mugabe was a Zimbabwe National Liberation War Hero and also a visionary Pan-Africanist who saw Zimbabwe, Africa and its scattered diasporan descendants in a global context and by necessity fighting for African peoples’ right to self-determination.

• Cde. Mugabe and the ZANU party took the lead in settling the Zimbabwean/British/Rhodesian Lancaster House independence negotiations in 1980. These negotiations witnessed Zimbabweans putting the strategic interest of Southern Africa over the immediate interest of Zimbabwe. The settlement preserved key white land rights for 10 years in order to protect and advance the liberation struggle in South Africa.

• Cde. Mugabe and the ZANU led government fought an internal civil war for the preservation and consolidation of one Zimbabwe. The war saw the emergence of a unified country and party under the leadership of the ZANU-PF (Patriotic Front) party—a party whose unity to this very day is demonstrated in practice—unbroken by every conceivable western plot to divide and conquer.