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Conversation on The Life of Late President Robert Mugabe and The Future of Zimbabwe

Sep 06, 2019 07:51 PM
Conversation on The Life of Late President Robert Mugabe and The Future of Zimbabwe Africa Business Radio, Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe, Africa Business News


Today on the breakfast show, David Hundeyin joined Soji Akinlabi and Shepherd Osifeko. David had started a thread earlier today on twitter, speaking the life of Late President Mugabe, as the world woke up to the news of his passing in Singapore at the early hours of today Friday 06th September 2019. Here's the twitter thread:


"Intentionally steering clear of the #RIPMugabe conversation out of respect for the dead, but one thing I will say is that the monster RGM became didn't exist without a context. Some people created that monster. Always important to see things in their wider perspective"


Some people crossed the Atlantic with state backing and stole other people's land, then spent the next century fighting to keep the stolen land. The Chimurenga wars were some of the most brutal. We hear a lot about De Klerk's Apartheid, but not enough about Ian Smith's Rhodesia.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

The Apartheid regime in South Africa was tame compared to the Rhodies. Those guys were literally the bad guys from Pocahontas. When they arrested RGM (then a relatively harmless guy) and made him a political prisoner, they didn't even let him attend his 3-year-old son's funeral.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

They kept him in prison for 11 years when all he had done was make speeches that the Rhodesian regime did not like. They took a harmless, bespectacled academic and turned him into a bitter, angry shell of a man. 


That context is always forgotten.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

When the war ended with the Lancaster House Agreement, a newly liberated Zimbabwe suddenly found itself amidst a political power tussle between bush war veterans and Rhodesians who STILL do not think they did anything wrong. I've met many of them. Zimbabwe had no chance.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

The UK under a certain Tony Blair then decided to default on its obligations spelled out in the Lancaster House Agreement, which stalled the land reform process. Again, this important detail is always omitted when the story of Zimbabwe's chaotic land seizures is told.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

Unlike Mandela next door who had every kind of support locally and internationally to keep South Africa stable, Zimbabwe was constantly treated with contempt by Blair's people who privately referred to the country as "Rhodesia" (like calling Nigeria "Lugardia") - an insult


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

While Mandela and South Africa were set up as this fantastic story of reconciliation and cooperation, Zimbabwe and Mugabe next door were completely omitted from this narrative and treated with open contempt for reasons best known to those responsible.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

Again, important context for considering why a genteel speechmaker with 7 university degrees turned into an African dictator stereotype. If the likes of Winston Churchill can be judged contextually despite committing genocide, I think RGM also deserves to be judged contextually.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin

The original sin of White supremacist identity politics is what created RGM and his protégé Julius Malema. For obvious reasons, many journalists telling the story of Zimbabwe are eager to ignore that important detail, but that's why I'm here. We must tell complete stories.


David Hundeyin

@DavidHundeyin


Journalism is not relying on lazy racist tropes like "African Dictator" to tell an incomplete story of an important historical figure that will be palatable to an audience that hates hearing about its (very recent) misbehavior in Africa.


We can't all pander.

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