Alex T Magaisa, a legal expert and former advisor to the late former Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai has said that is selectively forgetting that Zimbabwe’s founding leader, Robert Mugabe, preached peace and reconciliation earlier than Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
Mandela was in 1993 jointly with Frederik Willem de Klerk awarded the Nobel peace prize for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.
Mugabe is not remembered as a peacemaker even after his speech on the eve of Independence in which he noted that it was now time “to beat our swords into ploughshares”, so we can attend to the problems of developing our economy and our society.
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The former ZANU PF boss went further to create the Zimbabwe National Army that was comprised of former ZANLA, ZIPRA and Rhodesian Security Forces. A sign of reconciliation.
For Magaisa, the world has forgotten what Mugabe did. He said:
For most observers, Mugabe started well in 1980. He preached reconciliation in 1980, long before his great comrade and rival, Nelson Mandela did in the 1990s when became the first democratically elected leader of South Africa. But in its selective amnesia, the world remembers the latter more. Mugabe had a government of national unity in 1980, bringing in adversaries to work together after winning the first democratic elections in the new Zimbabwe.
Magaisa also noted however that Mugabe would later transform into a man of violence and the Matebeleland massacres known as Gukurahundi bear testimony to that.
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