Zimbabweans have been mourning their former president, Robert Mugabe who died on Friday after a short illness in Singapore.
Mugabe was born on 21 February 1924, in what was then Rhodesia. He led Zimbabwe to independence in 1980 and has ruled the country for decades.
Mugabe was Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader but resigned from power after a military takeover in November 2017.
Robert Mugabe first served as prime minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987 and then as president from 1987 to 2017.
While alive, he was noted for his ability to impress with his speeches. Many quotes have been credited to him.
The following 13 quotes were were reported by Aljazeera and credited to Mugabe.
The former late president spoke about how the continent was divided in his speech at Salisbury in 1962. He said the divisions were artificial.
1. “Africa must revert to what it was before the imperialists divided it. These are artificial divisions which we, in our pan-African concept, will seek to remove,” he said.
During one of the ZANU-PF’s rallies in 1980, he appealed to the white population to stay in the country and not leave.
2. “Stay with us, please remain in this country and constitute a nation based on national unity,” he said.
At a point when heavy pressure came down on him to step down from the government in 2008, he said only God can make it possible.
He said this during an election rally.
3. “Only God, who appointed me, will remove me – not the MDC, not the British. Only God will remove me!”
Mugabe said the white man is the enemy of the Zimbabweans and the ruling party must always instill fear in them. He said this at another campaign rally in 2002.
4. “Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy,” he said.
The late former president also held some controversial opinions on homosexuality, making a case against, on the basis that humankind must continue to reproduce and that it is against African norms.
He said the following at ZAD radio interview and UN General Assembly in 2015 respectively.
5. “We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality. John and John, no; Maria and Maria, no. They are worse than dogs and pigs. I keep pigs and the male pig knows the female one.”
6. “We equally reject attempts to prescribe ‘new rights’ that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays!” he said.
He had a very humorous opinion about Britain in 2013 during Mutare rally.
7. “Britain is a very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses,” he said.
Mugabe also blasted Tony Blair during the Earth Summit in South Africa in 2002, saying that Zimbabwe fought for and earned its sovereignty.
8. “We have fought for our land, we have fought for our sovereignty, small as we are we have won our independence and we are prepared to shed our blood … So, Blair keep your England, and let me keep my Zimbabwe.”
Mugabe also said some very interesting to US presidents. He made comments about Bush during the UN General Assembly in 2017 and ZDC radio interview in 2015.
9. “Let Mr Bush read history correctly. Let him realise that both personally and in his representative capacity as the current president of the United States, he stands for this ‘civilisation’, which occupied, which colonised, which incarcerated, which killed. He has much to atone for and very little to lecture us on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His hands drip with [the] innocent blood of many nationalities,” he said.
10. “I’ve just concluded – since President Obama endorses same-sex marriage, advocates homosexual people, and enjoys an attractive countenance – thus if it becomes necessary, I shall travel to Washington, DC, get down on my knee, and ask his hand,” he said.
One of his most recent comment was in 2017 on President Donald Trump during the UN General Assembly.
11. “Some of us were embarrassed, if not frightened, by what appeared to be the return of the biblical giant gold Goliath. Are we having a return of Goliath to our midst, who threatens the extinction of other countries,” he said.
12. “May I say to the United States President, Mr Trump, please blow your trumpet. Blow your trumpet in a musical way towards the values of unity, peace, cooperation, togetherness, dialogue, which we have always stood for.”
The former president in an interview in 2007 said his country’s economy was better than an average African economy.
13. “Our economy is a hundred times better than the average African economy. Outside South Africa, what country is [as good as] Zimbabwe? … What is lacking now are goods on the shelves – that is all.” – Interview, 2007.