Late President Robert Mugabe divides opinion on Africa Day. Mugabe was consistent with his “Africa is for Africans” statement which he made at most international gatherings, where he took time to blast the West for interfering with the governance of African countries.
The South African Presidency yesterday used the Africa Day commemorations to remember the late former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s much-quoted “Africa is for Africans” statement, but immediately drew criticism from opposition activists in the neighbouring country who felt there was no need to use his image given his history of intolerance.
In his death, the former Zanu-PF strongman divided opinion, with many regarding him as principled given his stance against the West, while others felt he was a dictator who superintended over the multifaceted crises Zimbabwe was faced with during his tenure before he was ousted in November 2017 via a military coup.
“The Africa we want. Celebrating the founding of the African Union,” the South African Presidency tweeted with a portrait of Mugabe captioned, “Africa is for Africans.” The comments, however, caught the attention of former Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, a strong Mugabe critic, who immediately questioned the use of Mugabe’s image.
“Who approved Mugabe’s picture? We cannot be celebrating Mugabe on this day, on any day,” Maimane said. Another commentator weighed in, saying: “The man who collapsed a country and killed dissenting voices. Our President thinks he is great.”
Oliver Mhuriro said though Mugabe had his shortcomings, his role in liberating Zimbabwe and other African countries could not be wished away.
Several late former statesmen, among them Kwame Nkrumah, Ahmed Sekou Toure, Oliver Tambo and Julius Nyerere, were some of the many leaders whose pictures were posted by the South African Presidency in celebrating Africa Day.
Source – Bulawayo24 News