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The world reacts to former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabes death

Former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe dead

Former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has died (Picture: Getty/REX)

World leaders have paid tribute to former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe who died this morning – but others have reflected on his controversial legacy.

Former Africa minister and anti-apartheid campaigner Lord Hain said the ruler turned from being a brave liberation hero into a ruthless dictator who squandered Zimbabwes potential.

He said his legacy will be very two-sided, with the early promise of his leadership outweighed by the corrupt, repressive, dictatorial approach he adopted.

Mugabe ruled Zimbabe with an iron fist for almost 40 years before he was over thrown in a military coup in 2017.

He died aged 95 at a hospital in Singapore – triggering a mixed reaction from around the world.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ray Tang/REX (10390360v) Lord Hain speaks at an anti-Brexit rally in Parliament Square. Pro and anti-Brexit protests, London, UK - 04 Sep 2019

Labour Peer Peter Hain says Mugabes rule was a tragic case of a liberator turned despot (Picture: Rex Features)

Mugabe brought independence to Zimbabwe and then killed in the Gukurahundi-up to 80,000 of his own citizens in Matabeleland and brought his country to its knees economically. A hero to a brutal dictator

— Kate Hoey (@KateHoeyMP) September 6, 2019

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To his supporters, he is remembered as a revolutionary hero who helped free Zimbabwe from colonialism and minority white rule.

But his record in government is one of economic mismanagement, widespread corruption, anti-white racism and widespread human rights abuses.

A liberation hero turned dictator

Hain, a Labour Peer, said Mugabe was a tragic case study of a liberation hero who then betrayed every one of the values of the freedom struggle.

Commenting on his two-sided legacy, he reflected on the leaders promise to build a new, non-racial Zimbabwe which brought all races together following a landslide election in 1980.

Mugabe, who suffered imprisonment and torture under Ian smiths white-minority rule in what was then known as Rhodesia, was the nations first post-independence leader.

While in jail, he was chosen as president of the Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu), of which he was a founding father.

Hain said the moment he was elected will be a positive memory for those who suffered under almost 100 years of British colonial rule.

epa07821744 (FILE) - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe expresses himself during a ZANU-PF rally near the town of Mbaira south of Harare, Zimbabwe, Friday, 25 March 2005 (issued 06 September 2019). According to media reports, Robert Mugabe died on 06 September 2019 at the age of 95, in a Singapore hospital. Robert Mugabe became prime minister of Zimbabwe (formerly known as Rhodesia) in 1980 and served as the country's president from 1987 until his forced resignation in 2017, after 37 years of autocratic rule. In 1963, he co-founded ZANU, a resistance movement against British colonial rule. EPA/STR

Robert Mugabe promised to build a democratic nation that respected all races (Picture: EPA)

People carry a banner and shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of Zimbabwe's president on November 18, 2017 in Harare. Zimbabwe was set for more political turmoil November 18 with protests planned as veterans of the independence war, activists and ruling party leaders called publicly for President Robert Mugabe to be forced from office. / AFP PHOTO / --/AFP/Getty Images

However, his land reform policies caused wide spread poverty and famine (Picture: AFP)

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 14, 2017, Zimbabwe then President Robert Mugabe (2L) inspects a guard of honour during official Heroes Day commemorations held at National Heroes Acre in Zimbabwe. - Robert Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe with an iron fist from 1980 to 2017, has died aged 95, Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced September 6, 2019. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

He ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for almost 40 years before he was overthrown in a military coup (Picture: AFP)

Image said to be posted by the son of former Zimbabwe President Robert Junior with his father Robert Mugabe in wheelchair

He died age 95 at a hospital in Singapore this morning (Picture: Instagram @gxshxngo)

But he said the overwhelming memory would be a negative one – pointing to his ruthless take down of opponents and treatment of white farmers.

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Expressing similar sentiments, Labours shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said that shes not going to shed any tears over Mugabes death

Speaking on the BBCs Radio 4 she said: Im not going to shed any tears Im afraid for the death of Mugabe. He took over the country when it had such promise and we were all so hopeful. In fact, we were hopeful about him, but he completely lost his way and I think ruined the chance of a country that did have a great future.

Mugabe's divisive legacy

In 2000 Mugabe led a campaign to evict white farmers off their land. The Fast track land reform was meant to redistribute land from wealthy white farmers to black Zimbabweans who had suffered under minority rule, but the vast majority was given to the dictators henchmen and political supporters, leading to famine.

White Zimbabweans had no citizenship rights to settle anywhere else in the world and lived in mortal fear of being murdered by members of Mugabes regime.

Under his leadership, the economy of the mineral-rich country descended into chaos with thousands of people reduced to grinding poverty and near-starvation.

Political dissent was brutally quashed and enemies were accused of homosexuality and thrown into jail.

Stratospheric inflation happened in 2008 and 2009 after the states central bank printed so much of its currency that a loaf of bread would often cost millions of Zimbabwean dollars.

The economic collapse saw over 3.1 million Zimbabweans leave the country.

In August 2016, the mega demonstration took place which saw the countrys split opposition join together to confront the dictator. Those involved were met with water cannons, police batons and tear gas.

At the time people were suffering under country wide food shortages, exasperated by severe drought and tough weather conditions.

In November the following year, his 37-year-rule was brought to a dramatic end following a military takeover, political revolt, house arrest and the threat of impeachment, when he finally resigned.

Months before, he had threatened a new round of land seizures from Zimbabwes white farmers.

However, others around the world remember his contribution to African history.

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Icon of Liberation

Mugabe was an outspoken critic of the West – most notably the UK – and he denounced the former colonial power as an enemy country.

People taking to the streets as part of the mass action protests against President Robert Mugabe, in Harare, Zimbabwe, 18 November 2017. The Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has taken over the control of the running of the country with Robert Mugabe, being under house arrest for days, but making his first public appearance at a University graduation ceremony on 17 November 2017. EPA/KIM LUDBROOK epa06336626

Some remember Mugabe as a revolutionary hero, others a dictator who squandered the countrys wealthRead More – Source

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