Politicians on the death of Robert Mugabe

09 September 2019 - 06:24 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Robert Mugabe died at 95.
Robert Mugabe died at 95.
Image: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

Tributes continue to pour in from across the globe for former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe, whose administration was accused of human rights abuses and corruption, died at the age of 95, two years after his rule lasting almost four decades was ended.

Here are reactions to his death from leaders around the world:

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa said South Africans joined 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.

"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.

"Many Zimbabweans paid with their lives so that we could be free. We will never forget or dishonour this sacrifice and solidarity."

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyatta said Kenya would remember Mugabe as a man of "courage who was never afraid to fight for what he believed in even when it was not popular".

"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 African continent.

"To his family, the government and the people of Zimbabwe, may the Almighty God comfort you and may the soul of former president Mugabe rest in eternal peace."

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa

On Twitter, Mnangagwa said Mugabe was an "icon of liberation".

"It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe's founding father and former president, Cde Robert Mugabe.

"Cde Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace."

Leader of Zimbabwe's Movement For Democratic Change Nelson Chamisa

In a series of tweets, Chamisa said this was a dark moment for the Mugabe family because a "giant among them has fallen".

"My condolences to the Mugabe family and Africa for the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding president. 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, and the Zimbabwean people had great political differences with the late former president during his tenure in office, and disagreed for decades, we recognise his contribution made during his lifetime as a nation’s founding president.

"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."

Zimbabwean deputy minister of information Energy Mutodi

Mutodi said there was no doubt that Mugabe was an "African icon".

"Rest in peace President Robert Mugabe. There is no doubt you were an African icon, a statesman of a rare character and a revolutionary."

Zimbabwean opposition senator and human rights lawyer David Coltart

Coltart said Mugabe was a "colossus on the Zimbabwean stage".

"Robert Gabriel Mugabe has died. My condolences are extended to his family and friends. He was a colossus on the Zimbabwean stage and his enduring positive legacy will be his role in ending white minority rule and expanding a quality education to all Zimbabweans."

Zimbabwe's first post-independence leader, Robert Mugabe, died at the age of 95 on September 6 2019 while in hospital in Singapore.