Robert Mugabe, Retired Tyrant, Dead at 95

 

mugabe“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:

The Freedom Pastor, Once More

Silly Socialist Statements #3:

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]

Rhodesia

Zimbabwe

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.

Published in General
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There are 42 comments.

  1. 1
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  1. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Too bad he didn’t get overthrown many years earlier.

    Interesting that he died in Singapore, a capitalist haven. A pity he destroyed capitalism in Zimbabwe.

    • #1
    • September 6, 2019, at 9:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Zafar Member

    Mixed responses to his death.

    Rest in peace, Robert Mugabe: Hero, villain, human
    Robert Mugabe helped build Zimbabwe and helped destroy it.

    I hope they have started to turn it around – but the country is still very vulnerable to drought.

    It’s depressing, but I can’t think of any aftermath of a settler colonial state that didn’t involve unsavoury strong men, unmet expectations and economic chaos.

    • #2
    • September 6, 2019, at 10:04 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Percival Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    • #3
    • September 6, 2019, at 10:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. tigerlily Member

    Good Riddance.

    • #4
    • September 6, 2019, at 11:20 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    • #5
    • September 7, 2019, at 1:32 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Side note: reading the attached article on Rhodesia and further, I learned that Cecil Rhodes also established the Rhodes scholarships (makes sense). I’m somewhat surprised I’ve never heard of one being turned down.

    • #6
    • September 7, 2019, at 1:37 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    • #7
    • September 7, 2019, at 2:48 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Mark Camp Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Percival,

    Genocide is the deliberate killing off of any racial group. The number of people killed is irrelevant to the definition.

    • #8
    • September 7, 2019, at 4:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Kozak Member

    • #9
    • September 7, 2019, at 5:10 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Stad Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown: Robert Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore, at the age of 95.

    Boo-freakin’-hoo . . .

    • #10
    • September 7, 2019, at 6:09 AM PDT
    • Like
  11. Seawriter Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s depressing, but I can’t think of any aftermath of a settler colonial state that didn’t involve unsavoury strong men, unmet expectations and economic chaos.

    Australia? New Zealand? Canada? Well, there is Justin Trudeau in Canada, but he is only unsavory and not a strong man. 

    • #11
    • September 7, 2019, at 6:13 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. Percival Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Percival,

    Genocide is the deliberate killing off of any racial group. The number of people killed is irrelevant to the definition.

    Tribes don’t count? Genocidal immunity? I’m not buying it.

    • #12
    • September 7, 2019, at 6:50 AM PDT
    • Like
  13. Zafar Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s depressing, but I can’t think of any aftermath of a settler colonial state that didn’t involve unsavoury strong men, unmet expectations and economic chaos.

    Australia? New Zealand? Canada? Well, there is Justin Trudeau in Canada, but he is only unsavory and not a strong man.

    We are still settler colonial states. (Like the US.)

    No aftermath. 

    • #13
    • September 7, 2019, at 7:57 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. Seawriter Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s depressing, but I can’t think of any aftermath of a settler colonial state that didn’t involve unsavoury strong men, unmet expectations and economic chaos.

    Australia? New Zealand? Canada? Well, there is Justin Trudeau in Canada, but he is only unsavory and not a strong man.

    We are still settler colonial states. (Like the US.)

    No aftermath.

    My point.

    • #14
    • September 7, 2019, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Zafar Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s depressing, but I can’t think of any aftermath of a settler colonial state that didn’t involve unsavoury strong men, unmet expectations and economic chaos.

    Australia? New Zealand? Canada? Well, there is Justin Trudeau in Canada, but he is only unsavory and not a strong man.

    We are still settler colonial states. (Like the US.)

    No aftermath.

    My point.

    I missed it. My apologies, but ????

    • #15
    • September 7, 2019, at 8:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Out of how many, I guess would be my question. 

    • #16
    • September 7, 2019, at 9:53 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Percival Thatcher

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Out of how many, I guess would be my question.

    At the time it sounded like all they could catch.

    • #17
    • September 7, 2019, at 10:22 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    It’s depressing, but I can’t think of any aftermath of a settler colonial state that didn’t involve unsavoury strong men, unmet expectations and economic chaos.

    Australia? New Zealand? Canada? Well, there is Justin Trudeau in Canada, but he is only unsavory and not a strong man.

    Wouldn’t America fit the definition of a settler colonial state?

    • #18
    • September 7, 2019, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • Like
  19. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    Never mind, I didn’t read down far enough.

    • #19
    • September 7, 2019, at 10:54 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. SteveSc Member

    Are we sure? Poke him with a sharp stick.

    • #20
    • September 7, 2019, at 11:12 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Percival Thatcher

    SteveSc (View Comment):

    Are we sure? Poke him with a sharp stick.

    There are more scientific methods. Hold a mirror up to his nose. Then poke him with a sharp stick.

    • #21
    • September 7, 2019, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Gary Robbins Reagan

    A very small point. When Hitler and Saddam Hussian died, Time Magazine put a large “X” over their faces. I missed the second slash in Clifford’s picture to form an “X.”

    • #22
    • September 7, 2019, at 12:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. Full Size Tabby Member

    I always marvel that before Mugabe’s agricultural “reforms” Rhodesia / Zimbabwe produced enough food basics to feed itself and at least sometimes export to other countries, but under Mugabe’s rule, food production dropped to almost nonexistent. 

    I had always heard that before Mugabe, Rhodesia was the “breadbasket” of southern Africa. While trying to verify that, I came across the below source that is critical of that claim. I have no extrinsic information about the accuracy or reliability of the source cited below, but I cite it because it is critical of the idea that things went well before Mugabe came to power. But I note several of the comments in the below source take issue with the author’s methods of analysis. And regardless of the “breadbasket” conclusion, it is indisputable that food grain production dropped precipitously under Mugabe’s rule.

    https://africacheck.org/2017/11/28/analysis-zimbabwe-ever-breadbasket-africa/

     

    • #23
    • September 7, 2019, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Seawriter Member

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    A very small point. When Hitler and Saddam Hussian died, Time Magazine put a large “X” over their faces. I missed the second slash in Clifford’s picture to form an “X.”

    That is because Mugabe lacks white privilege. He only gets one slash. 

    • #24
    • September 7, 2019, at 12:47 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    A very small point. When Hitler and Saddam Hussian died, Time Magazine put a large “X” over their faces. I missed the second slash in Clifford’s picture to form an “X.”

    I hadn’t thought of that, indeed Time Magazine hasn’t been on my usual reading list. Fiddling with a Linux graphics program, it took me several minutes just to sort out generating the first straight diagonal line, as opposed to a wavy freehand slash, so I was happy to leave it at that.

    • #25
    • September 7, 2019, at 3:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Percival (View Comment):

    SteveSc (View Comment):

    Are we sure? Poke him with a sharp stick.

    There are more scientific methods. Hold a mirror up to his nose. Then poke him with a sharp stick.

    The scene from Charade comes to mind.

    • #26
    • September 7, 2019, at 3:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Out of how many, I guess would be my question.

    At the time it sounded like all they could catch.

    I believe the “attempted genocide” charge would have some merit if the brigade sent in was of other tribes, and was demonstrably trying to eradicate the rival tribe(s). 

    • #27
    • September 7, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  28. Percival Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Out of how many, I guess would be my question.

    At the time it sounded like all they could catch.

    I believe the “attempted genocide” charge would have some merit if the brigade sent in was of other tribes, and was demonstrably trying to eradicate the rival tribe(s).

    The Shona are the majority tribe in Zimbob. Although both Shona and Ndebele had fought against white minority rule and shared power in the Army after victory, Mugabe purged most of the Ndebele officers from power. Most of the remaining Ndebele deserted. When the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade entered Ndebele lands, they were almost exclusively Shona. The main purpose of the action might have been to round up dissidents, but it turned out that “dissident” was defined to be “all males of fighting age, plus anyone else who annoys us.” This went on nearly two years.

    Genocide doesn’t seem like a stretch to me.

    • #28
    • September 7, 2019, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. Mark Camp Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Percival,

    Genocide is the deliberate killing off of any racial group. The number of people killed is irrelevant to the definition.

    Tribes don’t count?

    All racial groups, including tribes, count, but that is irrelevant: you didn’t say it was genocide because it was directed toward a tribe. You said it was genocide because of the number killed. That is the statement I was responding to.

     

    • #29
    • September 7, 2019, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Percival Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Human rights groups estimate as many as 20,000 people died in a two-year purge the opposition referred to as genocide.

    Whatsamatter, Reuters? Score too low to make a slot on your List of Genocides?

    I don’t know. I think the term “genocide” gets thrown around a bit too easily these days. I would probably accept a charge of “attempted genocide” though.

    What would you call 20,000 dead? Excessive crankiness?

    Percival,

    Genocide is the deliberate killing off of any racial group. The number of people killed is irrelevant to the definition.

    Tribes don’t count?

    All racial groups, including tribes, count, but that is irrelevant: you didn’t say it was genocide because it was directed toward a tribe. You said it was genocide because of the number killed. That is the statement I was responding to.

     

    I was responding to Reuters characterizing it as what “the opposition referred to as genocide.” You didn’t have to be a member of ZAPU or the Ndebele tribe to see what was going on.

    • #30
    • September 7, 2019, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
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