A new book titled “Life and Times of Robert Mugabe 1980-2017: Dream Betrayed” by award winning United States based author Professor Ken Mufuka and Cyril Zenda has hit the shelves.
Co-author Cyril Zenda, a journalist and editor at Afro-Media Publishers, says “this book is the story of one man who went out of his way to destroy what was once a prosperous country, the jewel of Africa, into one of the poorest countries in the world.
“A society that once enjoyed laughter and generosity was left destitute; three and a half million of its citizens permanently exiled; they became the laughing stock of the world. If this book does not make you angry, or make you cry, you are not human.”
According to the synopsis, the book seeks to shatter the Eurocentric view of Mugabe as a “shy and pious leader who in 1980 stretched his hand in friendship to the Europeans, who, only recently, had been Zimbabwe’s colonial oppressors. Favouring Seville Row suits, a flower in his coat lapel, erudite in his speech, inclusive in his government; he offered so much hope to Africa and the world.”
Mufuka and Zenda “have destroyed the myth of a benign Mugabe. There was only one Mugabe throughout his life. Mugabe wanted to be the master of everything he laid his eyes on. A perfect illustration is that he insisted on being Chancellor of the dozen plus state universities and capping every graduate. What he could not master he destroyed,” the book argues.
“In his universe humans were to be used and discarded when their usefulness expired. Imbued with a deep paranoia, callous about human life, the Ndebele pogrom was codenamed Gukurahundi (the rain that cleans out the dirt). Shanty towns were bulldozed in mid-winter and code named Murambatsvina; because the grievously impoverished were filth in his eyes.
“Seeing all those who prospered under his shadows as rivals, he cooked up allegations in order to destroy them. Like Tshaka Zulu, there was only one reality in his universe, himself.
“The expulsion of two vice presidents who had served loyally for thirty years opened the eyes of Zimbabweans. Enough was enough.”
Mugabe was eventually deposed via a military coup in November 2017 and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa, the same Vice President he had fired a few weeks before.