Africa Moyo and Joseph Madzimure
Opposition political parties have joined the nation, the continent and indeed the world in mourning liberation icon and former President Robert Mugabe, describing him as a revolutionary and educationist par excellence, who promoted free education to ensure everyone had access.
Cde Mugabe died at the age of 95 in Singapore yesterday, where he was receiving treatment.
MDC-T vice president Mr Obert Gutu said; “His role in ensuring that the majority of historically disadvantaged black people gained access to free education is salutary. In fact, he was a scholar in his own right.
“Former President Robert Mugabe played a crucial role in the liberation of Zimbabwe from decades of racist, colonial rule and oppression,” he said.
“His role in the political liberation of the entire African continent can never be underestimated.
“An erudite and eloquent orator, Robert Mugabe will be remembered for his famous, if not somewhat controversial speeches at several global forums such as the UN General Assembly and the AU summit meetings.
“Like all of us, Robert Mugabe was not perfect and indeed, his rule was marred by several misdeeds, that included the implosion of the national economy as well as rampant and insipid corruption. Be that as it may, we cannot take away Mugabe’s passionate nationalism and pan-Africanism.”
National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku said it was time for the nation to cherish the good things Cde Mugabe achieved during his era.
“Former President Mugabe is the founder of our nation and he is an icon par excellence,” he said.
“This is the time for the whole nation to focus only and only on the good works of our founding leader.
“President Mugabe led a post-Independence Government that secured all of us a proud place for Zimbabwe in the world of nations.”
MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa described former President Mugabe as the grandmaster of the revolution, who immensely contributed to the liberation struggle.
“My condolences to the Mugabe family and Africa for the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding President,” he said.
“This is a dark moment for the family because a giant among them has fallen. May the Lord comfort them.
“Even though I and our party, the MDC, had great political differences with the late former President during his tenure in office, and disagreed for decades, we recognise his immense contribution to the liberation struggle.
“There’s so much to say for a life of 95 years and national leadership spanning over 37 years, but in the true spirit of Ubuntu, we would like to give this moment to mourning, but there will be time for greater reflection.”
New Patriotic Front (NPF) leader Engineer Tendai Peter Munyanduri said; “On behalf of the NPF and on my own behalf, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the Mugabe family, Zanu-PF, the people of Zimbabwe, Africa and the whole world on the passing on of Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the former President of Zimbabwe.
“The world is now poorer without him and his contributions. Yes, he may have had his weaknesses which led some of us to form opposition political parties, but in Shona we say, afa anaka (one who dies has automatically become good).
“He tried his best whilst on earth! We hope the Almighty God, through his most gracious, most merciful and caring Holy Spirit, will comfort the Mugabe family, Zimbabweans, Africa and the whole world in this difficult time.”