Robert Mugabe to black Zimbabwe citizens – You Will Appreciate Me More When I Am Gone
My fellow Zimbabweans, I am writing this letter and hope that all of you will read it and share it.
My days on this earth are numbered; but I know that once I am gone, you and your children will never forget about me.
I stayed long in power, 36 years on, because I wanted to empower all of you my fellow black Zimbabweans. No other president in the entire continent of Africa has done what I have done for you; but you continue to take me for granted.
Do you know that in the whole of Africa, Zimbabweans are the only blacks who own their land? We are the only blacks who own and run means of production; we own our own companies, our own land. That is the true meaning of independence. Political and economic independence.
I have fought tooth and nail my entire political life to ensure all of you have both political and economic independence. I don’t hate white people, no, not at all. What I hate is their thinking that they are better than us; that they can just come to our country and take our resources and our land, and tell us what to do. To that I say no. Today, I am happy that almost all the land is in black hands.
It is up to you to use the education I gave you to develop the land so it is productive so you can feed yourself. One thing I am proud of is that I worked hard to ensure our natural resources and our land was given back to its rightful owners; you the black people of Zimbabwe.
Go to other countries in Africa. Right here just across he Limpopo, in South Africa, Mandela sold out and gave all the land and economy to the whites. The blacks in South Africa will be slaves to white South Africans forever. As long as land is not in the hands of its rightful owners, the Africans, the black man will continue to suffer in his own land.
The real wealth is now in your hands. I wrestled it away from the white people who came to steal it from you. Yes, the world was angry at me and punished the whole country with sanctions. But I don’t care because I know I was doing the right thing. I was empowering my people. You.
Take care of the land and the industries I have you.
I did my part, the ball is now in your court. Do your part.
You will remember me and appreciate me for what I have done for you when I am gone.
Your president and leader
Africa for Africans.
BIO OF ROBERT MUGABE
Robert Gabriel Mugabe, who first came to power in Zimbabwe in 1980, is a man of many faces; idealistic young Marxist-Leninist, political prisoner, freedom fighter, lauded icon of pan-African nationalism, etc.
Born on 21 February 1924, Robert is a Zimbabwean politician who has served as President of Zimbabwe since 1987. He previously led Zimbabwe as Prime Minister from 1980 to 1987. He chaired the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) group from 1975 to 1980, and led its successor political party, the ZANU – Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), from 1980 to 2017.
Robert Mugabe was born to a poor Shona family in Kutama, Southern Rhodesia. Robert Mugabe worked as a school teacher in Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Ghana. He joined African nationalist protests calling for an independent black-led state. After making anti-government comments he was convicted of sedition and imprisoned between 1964 and 1974. On release he fled to Mozambique, established his leadership of ZANU, and oversaw ZANU’s role in the Rhodesian Bush War; fighting Ian Smith’s predominantly white government.
He reluctantly took part in the peace negotiations brokered by the United Kingdom that resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement. The agreement dismantled white minority rule and resulted in the 1980 general election; at which Mugabe led ZANU-PF to victory and became Prime Minister of the newly renamed Zimbabwe. Mugabe’s administration expanded healthcare and education, and—despite his Marxist rhetoric. He adhered largely to conservative economic policies.
THINGS FALL APART
Mugabe’s initial calls for racial reconciliation failed to stem deteriorating race relations and growing white flight. Relations with Joshua Nkomo’s Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) also declined. Mugabe’s Fifth Brigade killed at least 10,000 people Ndebele civilians. Pursuing decolonization, Mugabe’s government emphasised the redistribution of land controlled by white farmers to landless blacks; initially on a “willing seller-willing buyer” basis. Frustrated at the slow rate of redistribution, from 2000 Mugabe encouraged the violent seizure of white-owned land.
Opposition to Mugabe grew through the Movement for Democratic Change. Internationally, Mugabe sent troops to fight in the Second Congo War and chaired the Non-Aligned Movement (1986–89); the Organisation of African Unity (1997–98), and the African Union (2015–16).
Having dominated Zimbabwe’s politics for nearly four decades, Mugabe has been a controversial and divisive figure. He is a revolutionary hero of the African liberation struggle. Robert Mugabe helped to free Zimbabwe from British colonialism, imperialism, and white minority rule.
Mugabe is celebrated for his humour and favourite quotes.