There was little regret expressed on the streets of Harare at the news of the death of the former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
A hero of Africa’s independence struggle, but whose nearly four-decade rule descended into tyranny, corruption and incompetence, Mugabe died in Singapore on Thursday night.
Nomarn Makoto, 33, a school teacher from the poor outlying neighbourhood of Epworth, said he felt little sympathy for Mugabe, who was ousted in a military takeover in 2017.
“He has just died like everyone else. He left us in this mess and we are still suffering. The Bible says your deeds, good or bad, will follow you. His will surely haunt him on the other side,” Makoto said.
Netsai Gute, a 68-year-old retired civil servant whose pension was wiped out by runaway inflation caused by Mugabe’s economic mismanagement, said the former leader had become a distant “godlike” figure who believed himself infallible and indispensable.
“He was heartless … Everything that we fought for he threw in the mud. May God have mercy on his soul, because he left Zimbabwe worse off. My generation does not have a decent pension because of him, I can not afford a decent burial because of him. Surely justice must now take its course, and he will be punished as he deserves” Gute said.
Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party remains in power and is blamed by many in Zimbabwe for the country’s deep problems.