FPI / September 8, 2019
Robert Mugabe, the brutal despot of Zimbabwe who was once a hero of the Left, died on Sept. 6 at age 95.
Upon learning of the ex-dictator’s death, the United States Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe tweeted:
“The United States extends its condolences to the Mugabe family and the people of Zimbabwe as they mourn the passing of former President Robert Mugabe. We join the world in reflecting on his legacy in securing Zimbabwe’s independence.”
Mugabe, who was forced from office in 2017 and died in Singapore, ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years. His legacy included human rights abuses, the murder of dissidents, seizing land from white farmers and the ruination of the country’s once solid economy, analysts say.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson challenged the U.S. State Department after the embassy’s tribute to the dictator, slamming a “completely out of control” executive branch “run by bureaucrats who don’t care at all who was elected” and called for the U.S. ambassador to the country, Brian Nichols, to be recalled.
Carlson then commented on Mugabe’s murderous legacy:
“The only words in response to his death would be good riddance. He wrecked that country. He took control of one of the richest countries in southern Africa and reduced it to starvation. He literally committed genocide against an ethic group almost as soon as he was elected in 1980. Robert Mugabe didn’t liberate his nation, he destroyed it, and only the U.S. State Department doesn’t understand that. Somebody ought to get to the bottom of who sent those tweets out.”
Not long after Carlson’s report, the embassy deleted the tweet praising Mugabe.
At the outset of his rule, Mugabe had benefited greatly from wide support among leftists in the West, analysts say.
Hopewell Chin’ono, a journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Harare, wrote for The Guardian on Sept. 8: “Robert Mugabe is dead, never to come back again, and so are millions of Zimbabweans who preceded him, dying from easily treatable diseases, and from the violence that visited anyone who attempted to resist his tyrannical rule.
“The dreams of millions of young men and women – who, to this day, roam the streets of Zimbabwe with university degrees but without jobs or any decent income – were extinguished long before him.”
The U.S. embassy in Harare’s Twitter account did leave a re-tweet of a post by diplomat Tibor Nagy acknowledging a legacy “tarnished by human rights abuses & poor governance.”
Free Press International