Robert Mugabe

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Robert Mugabe

Robert Gabriel Mugabe was born on February 21, 1924. Mugabe was elected as Zimbabwe’s prime minister in 1980. In the year 1987, he was appointed as the president and has been re-elected to the presidency several times. He is currently the president of Zimbabwe. When Mugabe was appointed as a president, his major aim was restructuring as well as repairing the failing economy of the country. He implemented a five-year plan that loosened price restrictions for farmers thus allowing them depute their own prices in 1989. There was economic growth in manufacturing, farming, and mining industries by 1994 at the end of the five-year period. In addition, Mugabe helped in building schools and clinics for the black people (Chan, 2003). Mugabe also supported white-owned land’s seizure without compensation toward reversing the imbalance in the economy which disadvantaged several blacks in 1966. Moreover, he declined amending the one-party constitution in Zimbabwe and this upset many people. The government of Mugabe held an international conference toward raising money for distribution of land. Unfortunately, potential donor countries did not give Mugabe any money until he developed a plan meant to reduce poverty in rural areas. There was no money received since Mugabe did not establish the plan.

In addition, Mugabe’s government passed an amendment of the constitution which held Britain which was a former colonial power responsible to pay for land stolen from blacks during colonial rule in 2002. Mugabe made a threat to Britain of seizing land without compensation if they did not pay. Mugabe was unable to assist in improving the economy of Zimbabwe by the year 2002 thus leading to inflation. Moreover, there was increase of AIDS epidemic, widespread unemployment, foreign debt and famine in the country. During this time, there was fall in gross domestic product amounting to 24% and inflation reached 135%. Mugabe stated that he believed that the mining industry would enable Zimbabwe to revive its economy during the 2005 campaign. He also spoke out against potential violence which was expected during the elections. There was an expectation of Mugabe winning the election and staying in power despite Amnesty International naming him as one of the world’s ten worst dictators in the year 2004 (Compagnon & Project Muse, 2011).

Since there were economic ruin and shocking state of chaos, Mugabe tried to look for a solution. He made a decision of printing more and more money toward dealing with the economic collapse leading to runaway inflation. Mugabe did not accept the defeat when he lost the presidential election to Morgan Tsangirai in the year 2008. He demanded for a recount. There was violent attack and killing of MDC supporters by Mugabe’s members. Mugabe used force thus making Tsvangirai withdraw. The refusal of Mugabe to hand over presidential power resulted into another violent and ruthless outbreak which injured several people. A power-sharing deal was made between Mugabe and Tsvangirai. Mugabe still managed retaining most of the power by being in control of security forces as well as appointing leaders for the most sensitive positions (Laufs, 2010).

In conclusion, Mugabe’s major contribution to society is that he implemented a five-year plan when he was elected as Zimbabwe’s president. He loosened price limits which allowed farmers to set their own prices. Moreover, he built schools and clinics for the blacks. On the other hand, Mugabe has been perceived as a dictator. Over the years, he is determined to control Zimbabwe and not ready to hand over the power to any person. Thus, this had led to chaos and violence in the country. He failed to control the economy collapse which resulted into runaway inflation.