Between Mandela and Mugabe
Opinion by Joshua Tanko Ahmed
I can only imagine how the Zimbabwean president, Mr Robert Mugabe, would feel with the tributes that poured in during the burial of the former South African president, Nelson Mandela.
While Mandela was fighting to end white domination in South Africa, Mugabe was doing the same in Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia.
Mugabe, like Mandela, was the arrowhead of the war against white domination in Rhodesia, and in 1980, the country got her independence.
Mugabe, like Mandela, became the first president of his country, and that is where the similarities end.
Mugabe became president and waged war against the whites who had ruled the country before then. When Mandela became president, he forgot all the pains he suffered in the hands of the whites.
Mugabe seized all the white-owned farms and redistributed to blacks.
That was what then led to the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy, because the whites practised mechanised farming, and could produce enough food for export, thereby earning foreign exchange for the country.
When the farms were distributed to the blacks, they couldn’t match the skills of the whites, and so the country’s agricultural sector collapsed. A number of white Zimbabwean farmers even found themselves in Nigeria.
Apart from this, Mugabe refused to leave power. He kept forcing himself on the people until he became a dictator.
Now that he has witnessed Mandela’s burial, one is not sure all the tributes can come his way too when he dies, because he had taken a different route from that of Mandela.
Now, I am sure he already knows that majority of Zimbabweans, as well as the international community, would heave a sigh of relief when he passes on.
Joshua Tanko Ahmed can be reached on [email protected] This article was initially published by the Nigerian Tribune