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Mugabe is formidable leader – Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has described the late President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe as a “formidable warrior” who championed the liberation of Africa.

Delivering a tribute at the funeral of the late President on Saturday, in Harare, Zimbabwe, he said Mr Mugabe was an “impressive moral compass” who worked to further the struggle for freedom, justice and dignity of the continent.

He said Mr Mugabe was “an untiring steward of African progress. A pioneer of Black assertiveness and an implacable opponent of Neo-colonialism.”

 “Ghanaians, especially those familiar with Africa’s epic struggle for freedom, justice and dignity, are greatly saddened by the irreplaceable loss of one of our continent’s most inspiring liberation fighters. He was not only a popular and fearless liberation fighter; Mugabe was not only a teacher but most of all an impressive moral compass,” Mr Rawlings added.

He said Ghana’s affection for the late President rooted in the strong bonds of brotherhood that derived not only from his growing up, studying and teaching in the country but also from marrying a Ghanaian lady who supported him with passion, energy and wit in the fight against colonialism.

Such enviable passion and desire by the late President, Mr Rawlings explained, was the reason why Zimbabwe achieved a global status after attaining independence.

“Though Zimbabwe, unlike most African countries, shed the yoke of colonialism in 1980, through Robert Mugabe’s outstanding leadership the country came to assume a prominent and enviable status globally shortly after attaining independence.

Until his demise, President Mugabe had consistently demonstrated his steadfast commitment to our shared vision of the Africa we want as defined in the Agenda 2063 strategy document,” he stated.

Mr Rawlings recalled the continuous presence and eloquent speeches in international gatherings including the African Union summits and the United Nations General Assembly which preached  prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.

“From his fledging years as a politician until the twilight of his time, he never lost his oratory skills and sharpness of wit. It is doubtful if his most rabid critics could fault his dialectic deductions and power to convince. He clearly understood the internal and external forces that continued to obstruct Africa’s realisation of that vision and courageously did all he could to restrain them,” he stated.

The late Robert Mugabe, who died aged 95, last week, was Zimbabwe’s first post-independence leader.

 He was ousted in a military coup in 2017 after 37 years in power.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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