Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. — Ex 23:1
The former leader of Zimbabwe, President Robert Gabriel Mugabe will get a fitting burial indeed. The former freedom fighter who relentlessly fought with Ian Smith’s unilaterally declared independence (UDI) of Rhodesia, passed away in a Singaporean hospital two years after a military-negotiated relinquishing of his presidency.
There are probably many people, Zimbabweans and for certain the Western leaders included media and some global organizations, that would think this hero’s ceremony was not necessary, that Mugabe left Zimbabwe in economic ruin coupled with massive corruption, that he had policies that ran counter to western ideals or that simply it’s too costly for the deposed despot.
According to news reports the founding president’s burial is being delayed for up to month to give construction workers time to erect the special mausoleum “at a prominent spot at the National Heroes’ Acre monument.”
As a scholar of history, this design by the government of Zimbabwe is very welcomed because of the decision, like the one which former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi took when Malawi’s first President, Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda passed, is a patriotic decision and one that is above politics.
Although Malawi does not have a Heroes Acre, the Banda mausoleum, serves as the start of such an entity, as for Zimbabwe, it indicates great management of the nation’s history.
Recently a call was made for Africa to celebrate the life of Robert Mugabe. He is the man who was the voice of Africa on numerous issues throughout his 37 years in power. Nine years after taking power from Smith, Mugabe went for and seized land from white colonial farmers. In the next couple of decades, any time issues arose, both sides of the aisles waited on held breaths for Mugabe’s reaction on it.
It was the land-grab and his stand on sexual orientation that was his signature bequeathing that Zimbabwe, and Africa will be remembering Zimbabwe’s first President.
Thus, in many corridors on the continent people chanted “Mandela left quotes for South Africa, Mugabe left land for Zimbabweans.” The quote brings to mind the bequeaths that Kwame Nkrumah, Halie Selassie, Muammar Gaddafi, Kamuzu Banda, and others left for the African continent: there are numerous.They range from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) that later morphed to African Union (AU), the breaking of the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the financing for and supplying personnel in peacekeeping missions on the continent, the creation of numerous regional organizations among many others.
Nyerere amalgamized a language that is now internationally popular, recognized, and has its own channel on international media such as the BBC. The language Swahili has grown in popularity, thanks to Nyerere that adopted this as the national language; it catapulted Tanzanian literacy rates hovering over 80 percent.
Mugabe’s land-grab actions against white farmers are akin to Kamuzu’s push to have Asians removed from the rural areas. This program was to create room for Malawians to compete among themselves and drive the economies of their home districts. He injected the program with national structures such as the People’s Trading Center (PTC), Chipiku Stores, the Agricultural Development Marketing Corporation (ADMARC).
Kamuzu also bequeathed the Malawi nation massive developmental landmarks that are unmatched by any of his successors. There is a myriad of structures that are Kamuzu’s signature, and his penchant and passion for transforming the Malawi landscape
Former President Bingu wa Mutharika left the continent the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA), that has 21 members of the 54 African countries. COMESA was formed in December 1994; it replaced the Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981. Mutharika spent many years personally traveling throughout the area to woo membership of the organization.
Mutharika also left Malawi the Nsanje Inland Port. If fully operational, it could lead to an economic boost for Malawi as imports would be using the cheaper route than the current surface transport system.
Bingu’s signature and penchant for improving the lives of Malawians is the two-year universal voucher system for subsidized farm inputs. This program re-wrote Malawi’s food security picture.
Sirleaf Johnson and Joyce Banda left Africa the inspiring legacy that African women can rule their countries well, without bringing them to wars. Following their taking the offices of the presidency of their respective countries, numerous women on the continent have flooded ballot sheets, vying for elected positions.
The achievements by our leaders on the African continent, and there are countless more than the ones outlined above, are seldom recounted and given the positive and bright glitter they deserve. They must be recounted, or we could lose focus since the opposite is that narrators will loudly recount on our behalf, the negatives of our former leaders.
Let all Africa pick up the proverbial megaphone and blast out the good report pf the achievements that our leaders bequeath us!Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :