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“Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.” —Ecclesiastes 8:10-13
Robert Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore, at the age of 95.
Mr Mugabe had been battling ill health, and after his humiliating fall from office, his stamina seeped away rapidly. He was hospitalised in Singapore for months for an undisclosed ailment, Mr Mnangagwa had confirmed earlier this year.
…The former political prisoner turned guerrilla leader swept to power in the 1980 elections after a growing insurgency and economic sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table.
In office, he initially won international plaudits for his declared policy of racial reconciliation and for extending improved education and health services to the black majority.
But that faded as rapidly as he cracked down on opponents, including a campaign known as Gukurahundi that killed an estimated 20,000 dissidents.
The violent seizure of white-owned farms turned Mr Mugabe into an international pariah – though his status as a liberation hero still resonates strongly in most of Africa.
Aimed largely at placating angry war veterans who threatened to destabilise his rule, the land reform policy wrecked the crucial agricultural sector, caused foreign investors to flee and helped plunge the country into economic misery.
All along, the Mugabe regime was widely accused of human rights violations and of rigging elections.
Reuters was unsparing: “death of a liberation ‘icon’ who crushed his foes as Zimbabwe unraveled:”
Just three years after independence, he sent the army’s North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade into the homeland of the Ndebele people to crush loyalists of his rival, Joshua Nkomo.
Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.
Villages were destroyed wholesale, according to “Breaking the Silence”, a 1997 report by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, with some victims forced to dig their own graves.
…In fiery speeches throughout his rule he painted his actions as a just response to a racist colonial legacy, with his most important priority the redistribution of land held by whites.
When he failed to change the constitution to allow seizure without compensation, his followers stormed farms. His enemies called it a lawless grab for power and wealth. Output cratered and southern Africa’s breadbasket could barely feed itself.
GDP fell by 40% and inflation reached 500 billion percent; he blamed a Western conspiracy.
I rather suspect that he is, in the demon Screwtape’s words, one of the crunchy ones:
Oh, to get one’s teeth again into a Farinata, a Henry VIII, or even a Hitler! There was real crackling there; something to crunch; a rage, an egotism, a cruelty only just less robust than our own. It put up a delicious resistance to being devoured. It warmed your inwards when you’d got it down.
For more on Mugabe and Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) see these resources:
Capitalism results in the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few.
Wealth is not nearly as concentrated in free market countries as it is in communist nations. Moreover, the free market automatically channels resources to those who most efficiently use them to improve the lives of consumers worldwide. By contrast, communism has historically “channeled” resources to the most ruthless and murderous: Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Castro, Pol Pot, Mugabe, Ortega, Chavez, Maduro. [emphasis added]
Pay special attention to Foreign Affairs Zimbabwe series.
It seems to me appropriate, on this occasion, to pray for southern Africa, for God’s mercy and deliverance in the face of both local tyrants and the depredation of foreigners, from Beijing’s agents to the Western secular supremacist billionaires and their spouses.