As we mark the 90th birthday of the founding father of modern Zimbabwe, Cries of misrule, dictatorship and any demeaning adjectives directed at the president of Zimbabwe continues from the former colonizers of Zimbabwe and their cohorts. To most Westerners, Mugabe should be a relic of the past with Zimbabwe having a more pro- Western leader who adheres to the laid format of Democracy, human rights and anything flowery in between. What is not mentioned is that democracy and the good verbal adjectives are used as enticers to imperial interests that Mr. Mugabe is adamantly opposed to. This was the genesis of his protracted disagreements with the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, former colonialists who had agreed to finance land acquisition from whites to the Africans. For reasons best known to the Late prime minister, her government backtracked on the deal but that did not reverse or stop Mr. Mugabe’s intention of Acquiring land from the whites to Africans.
There were heated exchanges between the British government and president Mugabe and at one time he was quoted as asking “If primordial Zimbabweans can’t get the land, then what did they fight for?” At this point, a public relations offensive was on to demonize president Mugabe as undemocratic and human rights abuser with the sole intention of economic sanctions against his government. Sanctions were effected by Britain and other like intentioned countries and to this day some remain against the president and the ruling class.
To Africans, there are no illusions that mistakes have occurred in Zimbabwe but that didn’t justify the heavy handedness of the sanctions regime and the condescending attitude towards the Zimbabwean people and their president. Besides, Mr. Mugabe is seen in Africa as the only Continental leader who has the credentials and guts to address imperialism and willing to take short term hits for future gains. To those who vehemently dislike Mr. Mugabe, It is expected of you and is an affirmation of the good work by President Robert Mugabe to repel Imperial desires and guises.
Happy 90th birthday Mr. president and may you have many more.