A nephew of the former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, Walter Chidhakwa delivered an emotional speech during the State Funeral of his uncle at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Chidhakwa said that Mugabe was a sad man, sad, sad man towards the end of his life. Mugabe spent the final months of his life in Singapore where he was receiving treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
He was ousted from power by his former comrades in the military, who replaced him with his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Said Chidhakwa:
I spent lots of time with him towards the end of his life. He was a sad man, a sad, sad, sad man. He recalled quietly the journey he had walked, a profound journey, a hard and excruciating journey, and thus must he leave.
Chidhakwa said that Mugabe always preached unity during his lifetime and was against all forms of tribalism. He said:
The language of unity and togetherness was his language. He detested tribalism, he wanted a nation that was united. He also recalled that the struggle had been won because of the uniting of the masses of Zimbabweans.
I hope, I have confidence, that as we remember him, as we go through his memory, we recall his voice calling us to unity, bringing us together as a nation.
… Our father was about consistency, being consistent and carrying it to its conclusion.
He loved his people and wanted them to have land and resources so they could look after themselves. The burden of looking after his people told him that it was better for some sections of society to be angry while the majority benefited from the land reform programme. He wanted his people to be part of economic development.
So we miss him already, we want to be with him. The mind knows that at 95, at some point we must go, but the heart wanted him to stay a little longer.