World leaders mourned former President Robert Gabriel Mugabe who died in Singapore yesterday morning, describing him as a true pan-Africanist and liberation fighter. He was 95.
Mugabe attended the formation of the then Organisation of African Unity in 1963, now African Union (AU) as an invitee.
AU chairperson Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is also the President of Egypt, said: ‘‘It is with immense sadness that I learnt of the passing of Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe. My sincere condolences to his family and the Zimbabwean people as we mourn an iconic liberation fighter, pan-Africanist in the struggle for liberation and continental integration.’’
China, through its foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, said Mugabe was an outstanding liberation movement leader and statesman who defended his country’s independence, opposed foreign interference and promoted good cooperation with China. China is Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend.
“We are deeply saddened by his passing and express sincere sympathies to the Zimbabwean people, Government and to Mr Mugabe’s family,” he said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa mourned the passing on of Mugabe and said he inspired South Africa’s struggle against apartheid and instilled hope that one day South Africa too would be free.
“South Africans join the people and Government of Zimbabwe in mourning the passing of a liberation fighter and champion of Africa’s cause against colonialism.“Under President Mugabe’s leadership, Zimbabwe’s sustained and valiant struggle against colonialism inspired our own struggle against apartheid and built in us the hope that one day South Africa too would be free,’’ he said.
“During the decades of our own struggle, Zimbabwe’s liberation movement supported our own liberation movement to fight oppression on multiple fronts.“After Zimbabwe achieved independence, the apartheid state brutalised and violated Zimbabwe as punishment for supporting our own struggle,’’ he added.
Namibian President Hage Geingob, who is the immediate past SADC Chair, weighed in and said Namibians owed Mugabe a debt of gratitude.“As Namibians, we owe President Mugabe a deep sense of gratitude for his immense and selfless contribution to the liberation of our country …The loss of the people of Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Kenyan President
Uhuru Kenyatta declared three days of mourning the death of former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe (95) and ordered flags in that country to be flown at half-mast beginning today up to Monday.State media