If you live on the shores of Africa either as a native or a visitor, you already have an opinion about Africa and Africans. Your opinions are possibly influenced by the observable living standards of many African citizens, but you may have reviewed the political character of some African leaders or you simply echo the opinions of Non-Africans sources who may or may not be fact-based. The world is a market of opinions and today, it is about the Late Ex-President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe who from an economic point of view, left a sweet-bitter taste in the mouth of Zimbabweans. Idolized as a hero in his early years of leadership and criticized as a villain in his later years of rulership, Robert Mugabe queues with the greatest freedom fighters and also with the meanest dictators of the world. From being the son of a carpenter, Robert studied under British teachers, moved to Ghana where he also worked as a teacher before he became a nationalist and was jailed for ten years without a trial for opposing white-rule. Speaking at the 36th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,...
"we will fight, and fight for our own identity, we are Africans"
Once seen holding hands with Libya's Muammar Gaddafi at the Organization of African Unity summit in August 1982 and later seen walking hand in hand with American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson during the Summit of Non-Aligned Countries in 1986, Robert Gabriel Mugabe died Friday morning at Singapore’s Gleneagles Hospital, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cause of death has not been released but the world's opinion market continues to trade in talks about a man who has moved from being an imprisoned guerrilla fighter to his country's longest serving leader. Upon his death, Robert Mugabe's political enemy Nicholas Chamisa who led the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) described Mugabe's death as the fall of a giant whose contribution as the nation’s founding President could never be forgotten.
From the conflicts of the 80s, punctuated by human rights violations and suspicions of treason and assassination attempts to the violent and deadly land grabs which took place in the early 2000s and the 2008 election in which there are more than 100 documented deaths and thousands of abductions, Zimbabwe has gone through economic upheavals that are spurred by authoritarian political decisions.
The coming to power of black-majority government in Zimbabwe in 1980 marked a critical turning point in the history of the country. The election of the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), led by Robert Mugabe, and the legitimacy surrounding his victory, set the stage for a new political configuration of power, with a variety of potential implications for Zimbabwe’s political economy which drew its support from the peasantry and working class in response to an urgent need to promote reconciliation between blacks and whites.
At that time, it would be impossible to predetermine the direction that the government would take as Robert Mugabe's earlier political configuration presented opportunities to correct not only the racially based imbalances of the past, but also to transform the livelihood of Zimbabweans. Over the period 1987–91, some fundamental changes took place in Zimbabwe’s development strategy. In July 1990, a document entitled Economic Policy Statement was released together with the 1990 Budget. The statement announced the government’s intention to launch major market-based reforms. In January 1991, a more detailed and targeted document entitled Zimbabwe: A Framework for Economic Reform(1991–95) was released. The Second Five-Year National Development Plan (SFYNDP), which was framed within the context of these previous two documents, was published in December 1991. The discussion of the debate over the need for market-based reforms has revealed that the economy was experiencing macroeconomic imbalances, which led to a consensus among senior decision-makers that quite far-reaching reforms were necessary. This decision is consistent with a state possessing an independent view of the need to promote the needs of the capitalist economy. Nevertheless, class and ideological factors intruded significantly into the shaping of the details and the range of policies included in the new strategy. In tackling these unavoidable problems, choices were made between policy options that impinged differentially on different economic interests and classes.
A historic lesson perhaps for the present and future leaders across all African nations, particularly of Zimbabwe. Many of the reforms designed to address macroeconomic imbalance were necessary, although choices were made in the selection of specific policy options that reflected a loss of the ruling elite earlier sensitivity to the welfare of the poor. Thus began a shift in Mugabe's development strategy and how he aligned all the social forces available to his government, moving farther away from a rural-centred strategy with a heavy emphasis on social welfarism, to a market-based strategy with a significant decline in the earlier emphasis on meeting the welfare needs of the poor.
The hero lost the city and the city lost a hero. Rest In Peace, Mr. Robert Gabriel Mugabe!