Ten days ago we got the report that Uncle Roo died in a hospital in Singapore where he was receiving treatment. Mugabe, an exponent of negritude (a one-time exponent of the cause actually) was until two years ago, President of Zimbabwe, a country he led for 37 years (As Prime Minister from 1980-87 and President from 1987-2017) before he was thrown out in a COUP, even though his haters and the Western media and governments he had personal battles with saw the coup as another arm of Democracy. But what is the legacy of the man?
There are praises for his life from so many quarters and as typical of our treatment for dead people in Africa, he has been stripped of his sins and his history has been intertwined with a strange sense of negritude. What is negritude? What does it mean to be Pan-African? One popular school describes it as disdain for Western imperialism and subjugation of black power and ask witches and naysayers to follow their example. Here, the appreciation of Africa and the Negro is tantamount to the depreciation of Europe, America and Whites. You can massacre Africans but as long as you show reasonable hate on these people you are a legend of the black race.
Another school describes it as the reallocation of farmlands and subjugation of former owners. Seize the lands their fathers wrongfully gave them but don’t stop there. Throw them out of the country but don’t stop yet. Burn the farmland to the ground but still feel less fulfilled. Then there is a group whose understanding of it is black supremacy. Here, what you call racism is meaningful only when White people are the ones oppressing. Whites and oppressed in one sentence is not feasible. That combination, in the mind of the supremacist, is a wrong use of grammar. To him, no matter the amount of pain that befalls white people, whether they are innocent or not, it cannot be described in terms of racism.
Only white people can be racist. A black man, by virtue of white imperialism, has been stripped of powers to be racist, or be described as wicked in his relationship to whites. To these three categories of black people, this is what makes one a legend in the black community and people like me who disagree are put in the category of Western puppets and enemies of Africa. To these people, you do not agree because there idea is illogical but because you are a fifth columnist helping foreigners to ruin Africa. Mugabe has to be a hero even though he helped in destroying Zimbabwe and Africa and only fools disagree.
In Africa we often respect the dead (mostly out of fear of death, culture and playing to the gallery) and the destroyers become the creators but some of us don’t want to live in that Africa anymore. I was just a boy when Abacha died (and I know what he meant to Nigerians at the time) but the celebration of life on the streets that day wouldn’t compare to the joy on the streets of Zimbabwe the day Uncle Roo was removed in a Military coup. From Nigeria I could feel the heartbeat of Zimbabweans on that day but assuming they didn’t act the way they did, assuming they pretended to love the man, we know that truth is still truth everywhere.
This is not a question of media bias or Western propaganda but if there is anything that is solid in these liquid ululations it is that Mugabe is not the hero these praise singers are trying to make us believe he was. The only difference between Uncle Roo (and I’d add Abacha) and many other African leaders we have had was that while others worshipped white masters and still oppressed Africans, Uncle Roo (and Abacha) disdained the imperialist but still oppressed Africans. A man who insults his enemies for destroying his home went ahead to destroy the remaining furniture but some family members want everyone to call him saviour. If this is not a symptom of madness what exactly is it then?
People often speak of how Uncle Roo’s battle with the white monsters crippled his country but then I always wonder why the same thing didn’t happen in Libya under Gaddafi, another strong critic of the west. How was it possible for western powers to raise inflation in Uncle Roo’s country to millions and sextillions but couldn’t repeat same in Libya before and after Gaddafi? We all know that the imperialist love the oil producing countries because of what they stand to gain (steal, actually) when the country is in peril but why concentrate more on Zimbabwe? Maybe, unlike Zimbabwe, the oil money in Libya helped to cushion the effects of Western machinations but how does this explain the darkness and lack of democracy in Zimbabwe? Shouldn’t somebody in Zimbabwe share in the blame?
This comparison could be seen as jaundiced because Libyans themselves were not really in charge but this is an attempt to expose the depth of Mugabe’s incompetence. Internal democracy in a country is often a product of government and the people but how much power do people have when one man have weakened this democracy for over thirty years? Obviously, the supporters of Uncle Roo will point to the west again. We have to blame the west for Mugabe’s inability to build the institutions of government in Zimbabwe. We have to blame the west for creating the loopholes that allowed for the intrusion of the west in the first place. We have to blame the west for sponsoring the opposition to create havoc in the country. On a personal note, I will also like to blame the west for making Robert Mugabe President of Southern Rhodesia NKA (now known as) Zimbabwe.
While it is true that Western powers (and all powers in the world today) try to shrink smaller countries and keep them under control, what cannot be denied is that there are some things that these powers cannot control. Take the integrity of a man who loves his country for example. Assuming the moment this man got in in 1980, he tried to build the structures that mattered. Assuming he allowed parliament to operate and sent progressive bills to be passed and signed to law. Assuming his tenure expired and he, like all democracies around, ran for another term and won fairly. Assuming this man used the little money gotten from sale of the country’s resources to build the roads and provide stable electricity in the country. Assuming he mentored a successor to take after him to continue the good work he already set in motion. Assuming he stepped aside after his term has ended and refrained from moulding the constitution in his image and likeness. Assuming he did these things, how would imperialists get in the way? In the minds of his supporters I am wrong again because to assume all these things is to assume the western powers allowed him to do anything. Bullshit!
Uncle Roo had something with the paranoia or is it his tactics? I mean, he blames his incompetence on foreign powers and his supporters follow his lead but does he really believe that or this has come to be meal for the peasants? To me, it seems more like it. Uncle Roo knew in his heart of hearts that he did not do well but didn’t hesitate to use any opportunity to shift the blame. To capture the depth of rot he left one might ask what striking thing do we outside Zimbabwe know of Uncle Roo or his Zimbabwe? Which lesson or story stands out for us outside Zimbabwe or even for those inside the country?
White farmers and land ownership, literacy of Zimbabweans (this is unlike him), electoral malpractice and Morgan, hyperinflation, imperialists and small countries, in that order, but nothing revolutionary about his Zimbabwe unlike Kagame’s Rwanda. What policy of his changed the life of Zimbabweans that we across Africa aspire to replicate? But that is the media again, obviously. The media wants us to know only what it wants us to know and this makes a confused mind wonder what his countrymen who rejoiced the day he was ousted knew.
On the surface, Uncle Roo is a hero and a proponent of the negritude. On the surface it looks like he is fighting for the growth of Africa but how can you be fighting for the growth of Africa but still stagnate her political structures? How is it possible to love your people but still lead them in your 90s? Is that love or obsession? How much love can be found in the destruction of the next generation and the generation after? Uncle Roo was not much different from what you will get if tomorrow President Salvakir of South Sudan begins to blame the west for the messed up state of the new country. One of his advisors needs to sell that idea to him if he wants to be a true African hero.
Loot the country, neglect the country, fight the opposition with weapons and policies, create systemic corruption and a bad economy but when you go to the United Nations assembly give fine speeches on how the US is messing the whole world (something we already know), then talk about people who think they are better than your people because your skin is black. That way the mind of Africa is aroused by your speech and they look forward to it even though none of them look forward to visiting the country you claim to be fighting for because…well it is being subdued by the western powers.
to forge ahead this worship of false Gods needs to stop. This worship of
looters and destroyers of the continent must be brought to a stop. Look at the
big picture and stop lying on the surface. On the surface, Uncle Roo fought for
us but deep down he fought against us. On the surface he was trying to restore
the identity of the black race but deep down he was destroying the identity of
the black race. On the surface he fought the monsters that created the mess we now
found ourselves in but deep down he created more monsters to foster the original
monster’s cause. Uncle Roo is not my type of hero. Paul Kagame seems to be
doing fine but I hope he doesn’t forget Rwanda is a democracy.