by Hannes Wessels


I’m certainly shedding no tears upon the departure of Robert Mugabe from this world but I look back upon his life and his monstrous misrule, cognizant of the fact that he was only a player on a bigger political stage, with an influential supporting cast that enabled the tragedy that befell his country, the continent and even the world. The fact is, he was only able to get to where he did and stay there, through the enthusiastic encouragement of many people in high places and much of that support was drawn from influential leaders within the Western democracies.

By all accounts, a quiet, introspective and thoughtful child.  The son of an unidentified father, he went to a Jesuit mission school where he was noticed for his diligence and intelligence. One cannot help but speculate on what else might have transpired at this critical juncture in his life but these institutions were, we now know, in many cases, run by sexual deviants. Mugabe, later, expressed an unhealthy hatred of homosexuals, despite exhibiting a mincing gait and limp-wristed hand gestures that have left many wondering about his own sexual orientation and whether he may have suffered some sort of sexual and mental trauma at a young age that shaped him into the sinister personality he became.

His admirers like to refer to him as a ‘guerrilla fighter’ but this is a misnomer; he was never a combatant in any shape or form although he occasionally dressed as one; and this was the reason he was treated with disdain by real ‘fighters’ such as his armed-wing commander, Josiah Tongogara.

Tongogara, incidentally, may have been one of Mugabe’s early victims in his rise to power. He died in a mysterious car-crash having just returned to Mozambique from the Lancaster House talks in London which convened late 1979, where he made a big impression as a charismatic and rational man.

Having grown up happily on Ian Smith’s farm near Selukwe, Tongogara expressed a fondness for the then former premier and reached out to General Walls, who then commanded the Rhodesian military, in a spirit of real reconciliation. According to Walls, Tongogara was of the view that it was they – the ‘fighting men’ who should settle this and ‘to hell’ with the politicians. This message would not have been lost on Mugabe or the conniving Peter Carrington and the guerrilla commander was soon on a Maputo mortuary slab.

Ironically, given her perceived profile as being non-political, it was the Queen of England, who played the decisive role in propelling Mugabe to power. After the country’s first and arguably, only universal suffrage, free and fair election in February 1979, a moderate, black majority government led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, was elected. British PM at the time, Margaret Thatcher, promised to recognise the new leadership but reneged some months later at a Commonwealth Conference in Lusaka, following direct intervention from Her Majesty who implored her to change course which she duly did. This handed resolution of the issue to Foreign Secretary, Lord Peter Carrington who stitched up the settlement reached at Lancaster House and smoothed Mugabe’s path to power.

The BBC and most of the mainstream media like to tell us that Mugabe started off well and deserves recognition for commendable governance in the early years of his long tenure. This does not bear close scrutiny. The truth is, he took control of an economy primed for rapid growth and the best structured and governed country in Africa, with more blacks in schools per capita than anywhere else on the continent. Even radical black nationalists like Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere and Mozambique’s Samora Machel, reminded him of his serendipitous situation and entreated him not to make the same mistakes as they had done.

He ignored them and quickly set about destroying ‘the jewel of Africa’ by dragging the country into an encounter with a command economy where he and his cronies would attempt to control all the levers in the public and private sector, while following a vaguely Marxist blueprint.

Tax levels were hiked to being some of the highest in the world, the best civil service in Africa was smashed, and his stated commitment to a non-racial meritocracy was a lie from the start.  In all sectors, black political allies, regardless of their experience or qualifications were ushered into positions way beyond their ability.  Anti-white racism was institutionalised throughout the public sector.  Detention without trial was the order of the day and pressure on political dissenters mounted.

When the threat of an effective opposition appeared early in the 80’s in Matabeleland, Mugabe reacted ferociously. A systematic, state-sponsored genocide ensued and within three years of Zimbabwe’s independence, approximately 20,000 innocents were killed. The world looked the other way; British PM, John Major’s government rewarded him with a knighthood.

He returned from the investiture to Zimbabwe to announce that gays and lesbians should be evicted, before referring to like-minded people as “… worse than dogs and pigs … beasts … guilty of sub-human behaviour,” and called for them to be removed from society.

In the late 90’s, the Americans, despite Mugabe’s policies, were still cheering him on. Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tom MacDonald, was gushing in his praise of him and reached the astonishing conclusion that the country was an ‘An African success story.’

In 2000, in a fit of pique, after losing a referendum that would have granted him near dictatorial power, four thousand white farmers, (.03% of the total population) their families and dependents were ‘ethnically cleansed’ and the economy collapsed triggering the worst hyper-inflation in history. This resulted in soft sanctions and a travel-ban on the president and some of his cohorts but he was still warmly welcomed to The Vatican as a ‘devout Catholic’.

Zimbabwe now teeters on the brink of becoming a ‘failed state’ but when surveying the wreckage, one must remain mindful that this tragedy was only possible because the Western world, not only allowed it to happen, but enthusiastically aided it.

In a world obsessed with political correctness which forbids criticism of tyrants when they are black, Mugabe was accountable to no one and no institution and this is legacy. If the liberals who ruled and their media acolytes had removed their racist blinkers and applied the same rules to African despots as they do to their European counterparts the history of Zimbabwe would have been a happier one. Sadly, this message has not been lost on the people who govern and are now taking South Africa into the same abyss.



17 thoughts on “Legacy of a ‘Liberator’.”
  1. I have coincidentally just read your 2010 book, PK, Hannes,and, thoroughly enjoyed it.
    So this review squares the circle of the country’s tragic history.
    Having toured Rhodesia in the late sixties and early seventies with some sports teams, I witnessed first hand the wonderful hospitality, courage and enterprising spirit of people of all races.
    I really admire Zimbabweans for the way they punch above their weight wherever they live – rather like the Israelis and Afrikaners..
    But the late Chief Justice Hector Macdonald has,in his private papers, a first hand account of Ian Smith’s final negotiations with the British Government which puts into question the wisdom of and need for his UDI declaration.

  2. Thanks Hannes, another good one!!. I read an article long time ago , that when Mugabe was at a mission station when he was young, a Bishop? came to see the priest who was running the show . The priest was going on about how good he was doing with the education of the blacks and the Bishop replied , that it was waste of time educating the Africans as they were not very civilised, and he was very unhappy about that comment. It seems the white people is his own worst enemy.

  3. Yes accurate sharing my father was in SAS.. When talking of white people in Rhodesia under the white rule the black population grew.. The life expetance dramatically grew.. The literacy grew.. The life quality grew… Look at USA when whites arrived approx 8 million indiginious indians now about 2 million… There was a genocide… This not happened in Rhodesia… The majority back supported white there was a incredible mutual love and respect…

    Shooting down passenger aircraft and butchering survivors… Burning innocent villages alive all all the example of atrocities of the “freedom fighters” for what freedom… Only dependance in imf food aid and unparreled hardship is that “freedom”..

    Humans a complex creature

  4. Excellent article. There was a strong contrast yesterday at the Rufaro stadium funeral where there were mostly empty seats for the povo, but a notable presence of VIPs. That tells us a lot and maybe, just maybe, the days of the African political elite are now numbered.

  5. Hannes – the Queen did it? Really?

    I don’t believe you for a second – where is the supporting evidence for this statement?

    The Prime Minister advises the Queen on policy, not the other way round.

    In fact Her Majesty is on record for refusing to attend the Lusaka conference if she was to be put in the same room as Joshua Nkomo. To my knowledge it is the only red line she has ever put down; so that hardly seems sympathetic.

    The article, typically, fails to put any of the blame on the Americans – Kissinger, who instigated the demise of Rhodesia, and Carter-Young who instigated the demise of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. They, and John Vorster, were the primary villains of the piece – my source: Ian Smith’s autobiography. You don’t even mention them.

    Blaming the Queen is like blaming the No. 11 in a cricket team for the failure of a batting innings; if she had any say in the final analysis, it was minuscule on a die already cast.

    If you’re going to be the spokesman for the Rhodesian story you need to be able to back up your claims with evidence; otherwise you lay yourself wide open to a crushing rebuttal by our enemies.

    1. I stand by every word. I don’t have a transcript of the conversations unfortunately. President Kaunda and the Queen were very fond of one another and that was obvious when the pair took to the dance-floor the night of the banquet! I stand to be corrected but I think he’s one of the few heads of state to dance close to the Queen? Ian Smith and I discussed this at length and there is no doubt she was very concerned about a fractured Commonwealth and KK made it known to her this was a distinct possibility if there was discord over Zimbabwe. Nigeria was also piling on the pressure.
      As far as Kissinger is concerned Ian Smith said he was the one man who genuinely tried to find a fair solution to the Rhodesian problem without the vindictiveness shown by British politicians. He respected HK. I carried a letter from Ian Smith to Dr Kissinger when I met him in Washington. I watched him read the missive and weep. When his wife Nancy read it, she too cried.They were both very fond of him and very sorry about what had transpired.
      I fully agree the South Africans were part of our undoing. When I wrote this I didn’t set out to cover everything that happened. Please go ahead with a lengthier rebuttal and I’m very happy to post it.

  6. At the risk being thought some kind of left-winger, which I’m not, this article reinforces my dismal opinion of the supposedly frugal and impartial queen. It deals a blow to one of the many myths that support this monarchy, and that is that they have no power. But Power comes several forms, and this unelected woman does indeed have it, and power to do profound and meddling evil such as explained here. I’ll make this article more widely known.

  7. Showstopper of an article…………needs to be filed and produced in decades to come as a “one stop summary” of Mugabe and the massive mistake of the West in supporting him and his kind.

  8. I hadn’t previously heard about the Queen pushing for Mugabe. Who put her up to it? And why did she agree?

    1. President Kaunda had her ear and she was very fond of him. He told her recognition of Muzorewa would enrage African Commonwealth countries and this was of great concern to her. The Foreign Office would have been egging him on I’m sure.

  9. Once again an excellent post. I have been left speechless by the sycophantic hypocrisy of the world’s
    comments about the dictator who ruined a thriving country.

  10. Another riveting article Hannes.

    So even the Great White British Queen let Rhodesia down in the end, that great Paragon of Virtue, custodian of the Christian faith and moral compass to all lesser mortals, and that Great Speaker of the Christmas Message spoken at the end of each year while millions glued their eyes to their television sets listening to her infallible ‘words of wisdom’ and all the while devising and conniving with her globalist colleagues for the next move in the implementation of the final chapter of the globalist agenda which any casual observer can now see happening.

    And not being content to just wreck Rhodesia, she went on to play a large part in ensuring the new country of Zimbabwe would never again work properly by rewarding those responsible for genocide in the early 1980’s, either directly or indirectly, thus giving them the mandate to keep doing it.

    There’s no more to add here Hannes. You have said it all.

  11. Do not be so sure the British will have red faces. Judging by the way they have handled Brexit they are incapable of being embarrassed.

    I was not aware of the Queen’s intervention with Margaret Thatcher but am not surprised. The Royal family are a bunch of privileged demi-gods. I have no respect for them.

    Britain will never forgive the Rhodesian’s for declaring UDI. To this day we are not represented in memorial parades despite the fact we per capita provided the most support in the World Wars.

    The Jesuit theory warrants further digging….a can of worms waiting to emerge. Pity the culprits and the victim are presently feeding the worms.

    Unfortunately for the world there are plenty more like Mugabe eagerly waiting to take his place in the hall of insane leadership.

  12. Great article Hannes -John Major should be hanging his head in shame for that knighthood, unfortunately we have similar clowns attempting to govern here in NZ , they will destroy our agricultural industry with their ridiculous virtue signalling & proposed new laws supposedly to prevent “climate change” – it just never stops.

  13. A great article that should (but I doubt wont) cause some red faces in the UK, USA and a few more of the nanny states that gave Rhodesia to the jackals. Well done Hannes.

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