Robert Gabriel #Mugabe, 1924-2019: A tragedy in three acts
“I have died many times — that’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once.” Robert Mugabe, on his 88th birthday.
Almost as long as there has been an independent Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe has presided over it. Thirty-seven years in charge.
It wasn’t all bad. But it was mostly bad, and the history books that he loved to read will judge him harshly.
He was, from the very beginning, an enigma: a jumble of contradictions that somehow fuelled rather than felled him. He was the Anglophile who hated Britain; the freedom fighter who denied basic rights to his people; the pan-African visionary turned archetypal African dictator; the teacher who refused to learn from his mistakes. He was charming, and he was cruel. He was loved, and then he was hated.
As long as he was in power, one thing never changed. L’ état, c’est Mugabe. Mugabe was Zimbabwe. Now he’s gone, dying far from home in a hospital in Singapore, and Zimbabwe is still searching for a new identity.