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Saturday 20 April 2019
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Is Mugabe a hero or a villain?

For the past few days the name Robert Mugabe has been rolling on lips of almost everyone both at home and elsewhere.
I love the fact that Zimbabwe has been able to start a transition without any iota of bloodshed spilled. In this context let the transition yield good results in coming days.
This transition, although marked by a military intervention, it is one of a few exceptions in the narrative of progressive world.
The use of military take overs may not necessarily be congruent with the new way thinking, as it generally poses a threat to the constitutional order of a modern state. However, in the case of Zimbabwe the military’s conduct should be regarded as an exceptional precedent.
The military act has become one of its kinds since its circumstances, weighed against the legitimate issues, concerns and interests of the Zimbabwean populace, should an exception.
Retorting back to the issue of whether President Robert Mugabe is a hero or villain, this question must be answered both in historical and contemporary perspectives.
First and foremost, Zimbabwe ‘success story in form education, vocational training and progressive developments must be attributed to progressive policies under the tutelage of Robert Mugabe. It is indisputable that thousands of Zimbabweans are literate, skilled and experts in various fields one could think of. This should be attributed to the provision of high quality education that Zimbabwe has been able to offer until today.
As to whether or not Mugabe should be regarded as a villain or hero, it depends actually on whose interests one is serving.
In the context of collective Afrikan communalism, Mugabe has always been at the forefronts economic development and thus fighting for justice of his people. He reminded the world of their commitments towards the principle of horizontal status of all nations in terms of international law.
Mugabe represented a symbol of resistance to slavery and other forms injustices and in this sense he would always be a beacon of hope for many Afrikans on the mainland and those in the Diaspora. This view emanated from the fact Africa for too has  been a sole provider of natural resources to the rest of the world whilst, what she received in return comparatively speaking, was a mere meagre shred in form aid.
When people are inspired by this symbol of hope which demands freedom from all shackles of neoliberalism policies that is what irked those that do not stomach the idea of the Afrikan dream.
It is common cause that due to the resistance of neoliberal agenda by the West, this has resulted first and foremost in the misery and the economic hardships in form of sanctions, imposed on Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe’ socioeconomic and political woes may be attributed to a host of issues of which land has been the primary and root cause of challenges confronting her today.
Interests of indigenous Zimbabweans were superseded by the interest of children of the erstwhile conquerors. The sins committed Mugabe mainly would be attributed his restoration of people’s dignity. He gave land to his people and this is what others found in bad taste.
In contradistinction, the neoliberal hegemony view has been at the advanced stage, in trouncing Mugabe for the ruthless character that he has been and the one who presided over what is perceived as the failed political and economic state.
The aforesaid theory has been canvassed widely by branding Mugabe as nothing but the primary cause of every little, tinny and whinny ill that devilled Zimbabwe. Mainly the Western world and others have developed a concept reminiscent of neoliberalism outlook designed to effect a regime change in Zimbabwe.
It is an open secret that the West has been drumming support to effect a regime change and install government that they are able to exert their influence on, in order to serve their interests.
Western neoliberal governments have no interest of the Afrikans at heart.  Nor do they aspire to see Afrika ridding herself of slavery in many formats.
Rather, they are driven by selfish interests in name of globalization which come with attachments. Afrikans don’t benefit in the true sense of the word from this neoliberal order as their economies continue to serve a springboard aimed at supplying resources in the raw format to these so-called powerful nations of the world.
The present legislation in most countries particularly in Southern Afrika remains unprogressive toward according the Indigenous Afrikans the equity and fairness in land acquisition and distribution which is about zero.
Prices of land are manipulated to remain exorbitantly sky rocketing to the exclusion of many indigenous people.  The most laws contain what is termed as the property rights clauses which given the timeframe following the attainment of independence, have not yielded in favourable results.
The West always wanted to protect their own interests which would be threatened by the land take over by the indigenous Afrikans. Be that as it may, the land question remains unresolved up to date.  And this is the root cause of most political, social and economic ills bedeviling Afrikans.
These laws favor the descendants of foremost expropriators and when an Afrikan state decides to expropriate land, of which the property clause has always been invoked in the suppression of inherent rights to land of the indigenous people.
Mugabe would not mince his words to tell these people the brutal truth about what he believed to be the Afrikan ideals to which neoliberals opted to be blind if not ignorant.
Despite all odds, Mugabe was no saint just like many of us; thus he remains a legendary of the liberation struggle. He stood the test of time and refused to be remotely controlled by those in London or Washington.
Of course people that he invested his trust in, manipulated this trust for their benefits. The end result was ghastly to contemplate- his ultimately downfall.
In the finally analysis, Mugabe should be remembered for the iconic stature that he relentlessly stood i.e. to protect Afrikan ideals of freedom, dignity and self-rule.
His perceived or real dark side should never supersede his stance which he kept in the defiance of the neoliberalism policies and order which is a threat to the Afrikan dream.

Jambo Shipanga
Communal Commentator
Windhoek




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