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Condolences pour in for Mugabe

by Staff reporter
07 Sep 2019 at 09:09hrs | Views
CONDOLENCE messages from across the world yesterday poured in following the death of former President Robert Mugabe with many describing him as an icon of liberation who dedicated his life to the freedom and empowerment of his people.

Mugabe, Zimbabwe's first post-independence President, passed away in Singapore at the age of 95 yesterday morning.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said many important events in the contemporary history of Zimbabwe are linked with the name of Robert Mugabe.

"He made a major personal contribution to the struggle for independence and to building institutions of Zimbabwean Statehood. The people of Russia will remember Mugabe as a consistent advocate of developing friendly relations between his country and other countries and a person who had accomplished a great deal to strengthen mutually beneficial bilateral co-operation," said President Putin.

South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa expressed his condolences to the people Zimbabwe. He said his country joins the people of Zimbabwe in mourning the passing of a liberation fighter and champion of Africa's cause against colonialism.

"Under President Mugabe's leadership, Zimbabwe's sustained and valiant struggle against colonialism inspired our own struggle against apartheid and built in us the hope that one day South Africa too would be free. During the decades of our own struggle, Zimbabwe's liberation movement supported our own liberation movement to fight oppression on multiple fronts. After Zimbabwe achieved independence, the apartheid state brutalised and violated Zimbabwe as punishment for supporting our struggle," said President Ramaphosa.

He added that in his life, Mugabe won a scholarship to Fort Hare University where he obtained the first of his seven academic degrees.

President Ramaphosa also acknowledged the role President Mugabe played in advancing regional solidarity, integration and development through Zimbabwe's participation in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

Zambian president, Edgar Lungu, remembered Mugabe as a hero, tweeting: "I am saddened at the passing of a Pan-Africanist and Zimbabwe's founding father, Robert Mugabe. He will be remembered for his fight for Africa's liberation and fearlessly defending the continent. His place in the annals of Africa's history is assured. We mourn with Zimbabwe."

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Mugabe's sacrifices, especially in struggle for the political and economic emancipation of his people, would always be remembered for posterity. Tanzanian President John Magufuli said Africa had lost one of its bravest Pan-Africanist leaders who led by example in opposing colonialism.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said: "In this moment of sorrow, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his relatives and the people of Zimbabwe who, for many years, he served with commitment and dedication.

"Words cannot convey the magnitude of the loss as former President Mugabe was an elder statesman, a freedom fighter and a Pan-Africanist who played a major role in shaping the interests of the African continent."

President Kenyatta said former President Mugabe would be remembered as a man of courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular.

Namibia's President Hage Geingob said: "He has lived 95 years. We have to celebrate his life. He contributed to the liberation struggles of many African countries and he's one of the African founding fathers.  

"May his soul rest in peace. We send our condolences to the people of Zimbabwe". Former Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, also mourned the African icon, saying: "I wish to pass my condolences to the people of Zimbabwe following the death of their founding Father, H.E. Robert Mugabe.  

"We join the country in praying for peace and stability at this moment of national grief."

Zanu-PF National Political Commissar Victor Matemadanda said the party and the people of Zimbabwe were saddened by the death of the country's founding President.

"Yes, we know he has been unwell for quite sometime, but all the same we feel that the country has been robbed of part of its history.

"We cannot get to a stage of the revolution of the liberation of the nation of Zimbabwe without mentioning Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Leopold Takawira, Herbert Chitepo, George Silundika, Jason Ziyaphapha Moyo among others," said Matemadanda. He said no one can take away a historical contribution by a person whether they are alive or dead.

"They carry their contributions with them and for that they have to be honoured," said Matemadanda.

South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), tweeted that it mourned the passing of a friend, a statesman and a revolutionary comrade. Mr Mpho Balopi, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party secretary-general, said Mugabe was one of Africa's most renowned freedom fighters and also one of the founding fathers of what is today known as Sadc (Southern African Development Community).

"The history of our respective parties' fraternal relations would be incomplete without the mention of Uncle Bob, as he was affectionately known. It's beyond any doubt that he leaves an indelible mark on the politics of the region," said Mr Balopi.

China's Foreign Ministry described Mugabe as an outstanding national liberation movement leader and politician of Zimbabwe.

"Throughout his life, he has firmly defended the sovereignty of his country, opposed foreign interference, and actively promoted China-Zimbabwe and China-Africa friendship and co-operation," said the Ministry.

The United States of America, through its Embassy in Harare, said: "The United States extends its condolences to the Mugabe family and the people of Zimbabwe as they mourn the passing of former President Robert Mugabe.  "We join the world in reflecting on his legacy in securing Zimbabwe's independence."

Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of South Africa, Mr Julius Malema, said: "I'm saddened by the passing of our martyr and giant of the African revolution Robert Mugabe. Let's continue the fight and 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 eternal peace."

MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa said his party recognises Mugabe's contribution made during his lifetime as the nation's founding President.

"My condolences to the Mugabe family and Africa on the passing on of Zimbabwe's founding President. This is a dark moment for the family because a giant among them has fallen. May the Lord comfort them. "Even though I and our party, the MDC, and the Zimbabwean people had great political differences with the late former president during his tenure in office, and disagreed for decades, we recognise his contribution made during his lifetime as a nation's founding President," said Mr Chamisa.

He added that there was so much to say for a life of 95 years and national leadership spanning over 37 years but in the true spirit of Ubuntu, his party gives this moment to mourning but there will be time for greater reflection.

Professor Lovemore Madhuku said: "May the soul of President Robert Mugabe rest in eternal peace. My prayers go, first and foremost, to the family. May they find comfort in the sure knowledge that his true legacy is this: Zimbabwe is, and has reason to be, a proud and great nation."

MDC treasurer David Coltart, who served as Education Minister during the Government of National Unity between 2009 and 2013, said he remembered Mugabe as a man committed to the education of his people.

"There is no doubt he was a colossus on the Zimbabwean stage. He is the person who brought the end of white minority rule. He also extended the education system in Zimbabwe," said Mr Coltart in an interview with the BBC.  

He described Mugabe as a brilliant but complex man with a deep commitment to the education of Zimbabweans and Africans. Mugabe's children Bona and Chatunga Bellarmine also took to Facebook and expressed their grief on the loss of their father. Bona wrote: "Rest in peace father, God has done his will," while Chatunga said: "Devastated and heartbroken dad."

Source - chronicle