Zimbabwe: Why Mugabe Turned His Back On President Mangagwa And His Allies, Till He Died

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

 Until his death on Friday, September6, 2019, Robert Mugabe, who had ruled the Southern African Country of Zimbabwe ,for  37 years was not a happy man.  His source of unhappiness  was  the plot by ZANU PF, military veterans, who  overthrew him  in 2014, and invited Emmerson Mangagwa,  a former Vice President , who  was forced into exile in 2014, shortly before the Coup,  by the ageing Mugabe ,  to return and take over the government in 2017.

 The fallout was that  Mugabe refused to have anything to do with the government , let alone those he described as his’’ tormentors and betrayers, including the Mangagwa’’, the beneficiary of the 2017 Coup d’état in the country.

 While the former President was  shocked by the Coup , many believe that  his  problem actually started in 1992, when his first  wife , sally, died.  Her death was a big blow to him as he broke down repeatedly.  Political watchers noted  that as his health  condition was getting worse by the day, he was repeatedly hospitalized in the Asian country of Singapore. This is because of his insistence that he must not be taken to any United States or United Kingdom Hospital for routine medical check- up.

 He believes that that Donald Trump, President of the United States, US and Theresa May, a former British Prime Minister, were part of his problem and therefore , do not see any reason, why he should patronise Hospitals in their Countries to  spend his hard his hard earned money for medical check-up.  

 It was reported that he had never spent more than a month in the Hospital at each visit. The last visit to the Country last April, was said to have dragged on for three months over alleged undisclosed sickness. The long stay in the Hospital  for the normal routine medical checkup may have given the government the opportunity  to step in to avoid being taking unawares by the family.  

The government was said to have taken the responsibility  of settling  the  accumulated medical bills which runs into millions of dollar, for  the  bedridden  President , despite his sour relationship with Mangagwa, his successor. The Value News  learnt that Mangagwa, the Zimbabwean President who could no longer shy away from  his responsibility towards the former President , giving their 50 years of close  working relationship as Liberation fighters , at party and government levels delegation, when he became aware that he may not recover from the sickness this time around.,

He was said to have repeatedly sent delegations to Singaporean Hospital to liaise with his family members  to know his state of health  to avoid taken unawares when he passes on.

One of the delegations was aid to have been led  by one Misheck Sibanda,a  Chief Secretary to the President. The delegation the, Zimbabwean Independent Newspaper, reports  had included  the country’s Director General,  Central Intelligence Organisation, CIO,  and Jonathan Matenga, a Professor and a one –time, Mugabe personal physician.the interest shown by the Zimbabwean government on the former President’s sickness may have informed why the family   agreed to carry  President Mangagwa  along despite the strong feelings of the bedridden President against any dealings with the government.   

Note that his hatred for the former Vice President and now President, was so pronounced that he had told his family members when it became obvious that he would not survive the undisclosed disease  that he does not want  to be buried at the’’ North Korean  -style shrine’’  in Warren Hills, tagged,  Heroes Acre,  in Harare, the Capital, to avoid giving room to the Mangagwa led ZANUPF  government to preside over his burial.

He was also said to have made it clear to the family members  that he does not want President Mangagwa and his allies who had succeeded in overthrowing him  in 2017,   to hold forth  and pontificate  over his dead body. In anger he had declared  that he must be buried  next to his mother, Bona at his ancestral  rural home  in Zimba province ,in order to ensure that the  Mangagwa government did not participate in his burial.

 Indeed, Mangagwa, resort to plan B, to fix , his  broken relations , with the family may have informed why the family informed him him on his death   last Friday at the age of 95 . He did not hesitate in announcing the passing on of the former President to the world.

‘’it is with utmost sadness that I announce the passing on  of Zimbabwe founding father and former President ,  Comrade Robert Mugabe’’, he had posted on twitter Account . He had showered encomiums on the deceased former Zimbabwean leader , describing him as an ‘’icon of liberation, Pan-Africanist who dedicated his life  to the emancipation and  empowerment of his people’’.

President Emmerson Mangagwa: Announced Mugabe’s Death At The Instance Of The Family

The Zimbabwean Chief mourner said  Mugabe’s contribution  to the history  of their nation  and the African Continent would never be forgotten. ‘’May his Soul rest in eternal peace’’, he added.  President Mangagwa, was said to have cut short  his trip to South Africa where he was attending  the World Economic  Forum on Africa on Friday,  when the information filtered out to him that Mugabe was dead.

Many older Zimbabweans who  will look back into history   would  remember him as a revolutionary fighter . They will also remember his massive social programmes  like expansion in the country’s educational sector and the building of Clinics in the rural areas but the younger generation would think differently of him. They will remember him as a’’ tyrant’’ who drove the Opposition politicians and  those alleged to be disloyal to him in ZANUPF,  into exile, including the Mangagwa, the current Present.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who have had a close working relationship with the deceased Zimbabwean President described him as  an ‘’indomitable fighter  who contributed  in no small measure  to the liberation  of hi country from apartheid  and oppressive radicalism’’. According to him,  he had become  the’’ living symbol and embodiment  of their long and valiant  struggle of the people of Zimbabwe  to occupy their rightful place in the Comity of nations’’. 

President Muhammadu Buhari, another Nigerian, leader, who have had a long time standing  interaction with late Mugabe  believes that his ‘’sacrifices  especially  in struggling for the  political and economic  emancipation  of his people  would always be remembered  by his people’’.

He Commiserated   with the family members , friends and political associates  of the political activist  who fought  for the Independence  of the country from colonial rule  and live most of his life in public service.

Note tat towards the tail end of his 37 –rule in Zimbabwe,  he served as rotating chairman  of the 54-member  nation African Union , AU, and  the 14-  nation Southern African  Development Community. His criticisms  of the International  Criminal Court of Justice, a United Nations Oraganisation speaks volume as it was welcome  by other African leaders including late Mummar Gadhafi,   who saw it as being used by the United States and the Industrialised nations to target African leaders.

‘’ When will Africa get such a rib cracking joke president again’’, remarked  remarked Uju Ukwe, a Nigerian business man. As at press time, the government and the family are yet to work out a burial arrangement for the late President.

There are indications that he may be buried in the  Heroes Acre as the government is making e  moves to resolve the differences with the family to ensure that the purpose of  establishing the Area in Harare ,the Capital City,  by the late former President  was not defeated. Diplomatic sources said the family members  are likely to bow to pressure to allow the government have its way to handle the burial at exclusive site because of the number of dignitaries both within and outside African that would  attend the burial as  soon as a date is fixed  

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