By Munene Kinyua
The former president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe died on Friday in Singapore but it was his storied life that will be discussed for years to come.
He was derided by a majority of the western powers and much of their populations chiefly because of the anti-Mugabe propaganda that had been fed to them through numerous reports.
Comrade Bob as he was often referred to in much of the African political circles was loved by a majority of Africans and peoples of the third world.
It is, however, not unusual to find Africans who have a negative opinion of him but that is understandable for it is odd to be loved by everyone.
To demonstrate human oddity at the risk of being accused of being blasphemous some characters 2000 years ago found it fit and just to crucify the son of man!
Mugabe was an anglophile who did not allow his fondness towards British culture to blind him from being rational and firm towards African interests on matters land.
Yes, the whites educated him but his schooling would be wholly futile if it was not used to serve Africans and enable them get their land back.
Land issue was at the center of all liberation movements in Africa and being branded “a prosperous bread basket” without land for black Zimbabweans was akin to a hollow victory that had to be corrected at some point.
The western reports used to give Mugabe unpleasant terms such as “tyrant”, “dictator”, “despot”, “iron fist leader” among other unflattering references but they forgot most Africans’ inner instincts supported him in his lonely struggle against domination.
The man used international forums to great effect that most Africans understood his fight with the west.
In many international forums available online he was often the most cheered leader by diplomats from the third world and this was subtle message to the west that he was not as a rudderless leader.
The message he espoused connected to African’s inner instincts and captured the deep desire to be free from domination.
Comrade Mugabe was often accused of being violent with no fault of the colonial and settler government being mentioned.
If one came to your land, took it by force later preach “forgetfulness” “prosperity” “co-existence” and lets look forward mantra-Is there a more brutal form of torment and violence than that?
The same people jail you for ten straight years; deny you a right to attend your son’s funeral and years later add sanctions on your people mainly because you took back the land.
Kenya’s maumau used violence to put pressure on the colonial government just because of the land injustices which unfortunately have not been addressed.
Commissions, conferences, repetitive debates, shelved reports and fake promises by successive governments on matters land have not delivered much in Kenya.
It is, therefore, right and just to salute a practical man like Mugabe as we wallow in our sorry theories.
Violence should not be cordoned in the modern world but a man is a total sum of cumulative experiences.
Mugabe grew up in a violent, unjust and callous regime and later used violence as a tool to achieve liberation.
Every man has his weaknesses and sometime Comrade Bob used a little force to defeat rivals and NGOs who there is no prize for guessing their source of funds.
It is normal for average Zimbabweans to talk ill of comrade Bob but they should learn form history.
Libyans are still running around with guns as they suffer from lawlessness and oil becoming meaningless after they achieved their “big goal” of removing Colonel Gaddafi.
In Kenya during former president Daniel Arap Moi’s era it was normal to see sharp tongued Kenyans demonising Moi and taking peace for a ride not knowing they would slaughter each other just five years after his departure.
Mugabe gave his people land and that is all that should matter. The average Kenyans tend to value land more than GDP, GNP, inflation data and percentage growth statistics.
Land truly puts food on the table as literally people do not eat statistics. Salute to Bob for your brave decision on the land for everything good must have a price and black Zimbabweans will understand later.
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