Robert Mugabe, the former dictator of Zimbabwe, is dead. Because of him, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) has gone from one extreme to the other extreme (i.e. apartheid to being a racist and genocidal dictatorship).
A Leninist since his college days, Mugabe launched a murderous campaign against the white farmers who produced a majority of Zimbabwe’s food and all of its agricultural and industrial exports. As a result, the number of white farmers living in Zimbabwe dropped from 4,000 to 200, and those who were not murdered became subject to constant harassment by the government. Such a collectivization campaign, reminiscent of the Stalinist Era, also led to a famine, as well as a decline in the standard of living throughout the country. Thus, many Zimbabweans (black, white, and Asian) became unemployed and emigrated to other countries (particularly Britain, Zambia, and Mozambique). Mugabe also purged whites from the government, including those in Zimbabwe’s Parliament. He even stripped whites of their citizenship.
Due to his Leninist and anti-Western beliefs, Mugabe had close ties to North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, and Libya. He denounced America and Britain for Operation Iraqi Freedom, even going so far as to compare George W. Bush and Tony Blair to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
Mugabe cracked down on all opposition to his regime, in which many dissenters and human-rights activists were murdered. In addition, reporters (particularly those who criticized Mugabe) were arrested, and the number of journalists in Zimbabwe declined significantly.
Misfortune would continue to occur throughout Zimbabwe during the Mugabe regime. Inflation would go as high as 231 million percent (some say 79.6 billion percent), and 80 percent of the population would be unemployed. To make matters worse, a cholera epidemic broke out in Zimbabwe (due to its low standard of living).
The 2013 presidential election in Zimbabwe (won by Mugabe) was said to be the result of intimidation and voter fraud, according to the opposition. Mugabe responded to such allegations by saying the following:
“Those who are smarting from defeat can commit suicide if they so wish. But I tell them even dogs will not sniff at their flesh if they choose to die that way… We have thrown the enemy away like garbage… We say to them: ‘You are never going to rise again.”‘
In 2017, after decades of dictatorship, the military removed Mugabe from power (although it denied it was engaging in a coup). An impeachment hearing took place soon afterward, but Mugabe managed to avoid being impeached by resigning.
South Africa has also endured apartheid, but did away with it in the 1990s. Unfortunately, that nation is also going in the same direction as Zimbabwe.