The African National Congress (ANC) has hailed former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as a “friend, statesman, leader, revolutionary.”
Mugabe passed away on Friday at a hospital in Singapore, where he had been receiving treatment since April this year. He was 95.
The African National Congress mourns the passing of our brother Comrade President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who passes away having devoted his life to the service of his country and his people.ANC
In a statement signed off by Secretary General Ace Magashule, the ANC said Mugabe was an “ardent and vocal advocate of African unity and self-reliance.”
[He] will always be remembered for his rallying cry: ‘Africa is for Africans, Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans.’
To our friends in ZANU-PF, be comforted that you have lost a leader whose service to his country will forever be inscribed. We mourn with you the passing of our friend, statesman, leader, revolutionary.ANC
President Mnangagwa confirms news
Current Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed Mugabe’s passing in two tweets on Friday morning.
He described him as an “icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist.”
The family has also confirmed the news, according to a BBC report.
Mugabe’s mixed legacy
Mugabe’s 37-year rule of Zimbabwe came to an end in 2017 when the military helped Mnangagwa take over power.
He led Zimbabwe’s fight for freedom against white minority rule in the then Rhodesia.
He was imprisoned for 10 years in 1964 and upon his release, he led a guerrilla rebellion against Rhodesia from Mozambique.
Mugabe first became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe at independence in 1980 and then President in 1987.
He is credited with transforming his country’s health and education systems.
His land reforms, characterised by land seizures from white farmers in 2000, drew mixed reactions from both Zimbabwe and the international community.
The firebrand leader’s latter years as president were marked by increasing authoritarianism and suppression of opposition.
Zimbabwe’s economic deterioration under his rule, partly caused by international sanctions, resulted in the emigration of many Zimbabweans in search of a better life in other countries.
President Cyril Ramaphosa sent his condolences on behalf of the government and people of South Africa.
He described Mugabe as “a liberation fighter and champion of Africa’s cause against colonialism.”
Under President Mugabe’s leadership, Zimbabwe’s sustained and valiant struggle against colonialism inspired our own struggle against apartheid and built in us the hope that one day South Africa too would be free.President Cyril Ramaphosa
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) hailed Mugabe as a liberation fighter “who secured the independence and self-sufficiency of Zimbabwe and its people.”
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa tweeted:
My condolences. His role in liberating Zimbabwe is well documented. I’ll always cherish the moments I had with him & late Shamyarira, then Zim Foreign Minister, in the late 80’s. I still have his LPs gift, which contain his speeches whilst in exile. RIP. [Sic]Bantu Holomisa