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Mugabe’s death can be the start of Zimbabwe’s healing process | Petina Gappah

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His successor must address corruption and human rights abuses and engage with the millions who feel disenfranchisedZimbabwe’s founding leader, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, has died. The widespread reaction to his death has revealed starkly the divided legacy he leaves behind. From one viewpoint he is Zimbabwe’s founding father, the man who led his comrades through an armed struggle for the liberation of Zimbabwe’s black majority from Rhodesian white-minority rule. His achievements in those early, heady years of independence were exemplary, with emphasis on health, education and women’s empowerment, thus opening up possibilities to many Zimbabweans, particularly the rural poor, who were shut out from Rhodesia’s opportunities.From another viewpoint, he is the hero who became a villain, his 37-year rule characterised by massive human rights abuses, from the Gukurahundi massacres and persecution of supporters of the rival Zapu party of Joshua Nkomo just after independence, to the persecution of perceived enemies, both in the opposition and within his own party, whom he considered threats to his power. Even the land reform programme, much admired across Africa for restoring land to its rightful owners, was implemented amid chaos and violence. Continue reading…



Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/08/robert-mugabe-zimbabwe-legacy-emmerson-mnangagwa

Author : Petina Gappah

Publish date : 2019-09-08 15:23:56

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