Kudakwashe Mugari Deputy News Editor
World leaders mourned former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe who died in Singapore yesterday morning, describing him as a true pan-Africanist and liberation fighter.
He was 95.
Cde Mugabe attended the formation of the then Organisation of African Unity in 1963, now African Union (AU) as an invitee.
AU chairperson Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is also the President of Egypt, said: ‘‘It is with immense sadness that I learnt of the passing of Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe. My sincere condolences to his family and the Zimbabwean people as we mourn an iconic liberation fighter, pan-Africanist in the struggle for liberation and continental integration.’’
China, through its foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, said Cde Mugabe was an outstanding liberation movement leader and statesman who defended his country’s independence, opposed foreign interference and promoted good cooperation with China.
China is Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend.
“We are deeply saddened by his passing and express sincere sympathies to the Zimbabwean people, Government and to Mr Mugabe’s family,” he said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa mourned the passing on of Cde Mugabe and said he inspired South Africa’s struggle against apartheid and instilled hope that one day South Africa too would be free.
“South Africans join the people and Government of Zimbabwe in mourning the passing of a liberation fighter and champion of Africa’s cause against colonialism.
“Under President Mugabe’s leadership, Zimbabwe’s sustained and valiant struggle against colonialism inspired our own struggle against apartheid and built in us the hope that one day South Africa too would be free,’’ he said.
“During the decades of our own struggle, Zimbabwe’s liberation movement supported our own liberation movement to fight oppression on multiple fronts.
“After Zimbabwe achieved independence, the apartheid state brutalised and violated Zimbabwe as punishment for supporting our own struggle,’’ he added.
Namibian President Hage Geingob, who is the immediate past SADC Chair, weighed in and said Namibians owed Cde Mugabe a debt of gratitude.
“As Namibians, we owe President Mugabe a deep sense of gratitude for his immense and selfless contribution to the liberation of our country …The loss of the people of Zimbabwe
Meanwhile, Kenyan President
Uhuru Kenyatta declared three days of mourning the death of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (95) and ordered flags in that country to be flown at half-mast beginning today up to Monday.
In a statement, President Kenyatta said the honour was a sign of respect for a “shining beacon” of Africa’s liberation struggle and an African hero.
“In this moment of sorrow, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, his relatives and the people of Zimbabwe who, for many years, he served with commitment and dedication.
“Words cannot convey the magnitude of the loss as former President Mugabe was an elder statesman, a freedom fighter and a Pan-Africanist who played a major role in shaping the interests of the continent … a man of courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular’’President Kenyatta said
“As a mark of respect for the memory of this African hero and friend of our country, by the authority vested in me as President of the Republic of Kenya, I hereby order and direct that the flag of the Republic of Kenya shall be flown at half-mast at the State House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Republic of Kenya and throughout the Republic of, ’’ he said
“Yesterday, the 6th of September, 2019, Kenya has lost a close friend following the passing of H.E. Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe. I take this opportunity on my own behalf that of my family and the people of the Republic of Kenya to offer my deepest heartfelt condolences to Mrs Grace Mugabe, the entire family and the people of the great Republic of Zimbabwe,’’President Kenyatta said
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson,spokesperson also sent a condolence message,adding that; “His resignation in 2017 marked a turning point and we hope that today marks another which allows Zimbabwe to move on from the legacy of its past and become a democratic, prosperous nation that respects the human rights of its citizens.”
Tanzanian President John Magufuli
“Africa has lost one of its bravest and Pan-Africanist leaders, who led by example in opposing colonialism.”
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement said the late Mugabe will be remembered for the sacrifice he made for the struggle of political and economic emancipation of his people
“The President commiserates with family members, friends and political associates of the political activist who fought for the independence of the country from colonial rule, and lived most of his life in public service.’’
“President Buhari believes Mugabe’s sacrifices, especially in struggling for the political and economic emancipation of his people, will always be remembered by posterity,’’reads the statement
Ugandan president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said the continent had lost a great son of Africa
‘‘I learnt this morning about the passing of an African liberation icon & great Pan-Africanist, His Excellency Robert Mugabe. I join President Mnangagwa the people of Zimbabwe and the entire African continent in mourning the demise of this great son of Africa. May his soul rest in peace,’’he said
China through its foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Mugabe was an outstanding liberation movement leader and statesm a for Zimbabwe who had defended his country’s independence, opposed foreign interference and promoted good cooperation with China.
Former Mozambique President Samora Machel widow Graca Machel said Mugabe was a brother to her
“He was like a brother to me, I knew him very well. When Samora was killed, I came running and I stayed in this country, he gave me and my children some shelter to stay.
“I also came here to mourn Sally Mugabe with him, he is my brother.”she said