While Robert Mugabe celebrated his 95th birthday today, many Zimbabweans regret the departure of the former president. Robert Mugabe was ousted in November 2017 following a military takeover. He was replaced by his former protégé, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
After Mugabe’s resignation, there was so much joy in the air and many people took to the streets to celebrate. But since the departure of Robert Mugabe, the country’s economy is collapsing because of liquidity shortages and rising fuel prices.
“Mugabe misses us. If he did not care, he was at least pretending,” Anita Mugombedzi, a resident of Harare, told AFP. “Judging by what we see today, Zimbabwe will be worse than under Mugabe,” she added.
In the months after Mnangagwa came to power, it became clear that the security services were prepared to use force to suppress dissent just as they did under Mugabe’s rule.
Six people were killed after soldiers opened fire in downtown Harare following the presidential elections. In January, at least 17 civilians were killed, according to community groups, following a crackdown on thousands of Zimbabweans who took to the streets to protest the rising price of fuel.
“Mugabe made mistakes, but he was not as ruthless as those who replaced him. We thought things would be better under Mnangagwa, but now many people say that Mugabe was better,” says Edmond Jera, an unemployed accountant.
Mugabe’s birthday will not be celebrated publicly this year, and it will simply be a national holiday like any other. Before his fall, his birthdays were celebrated for days and he received cakes and sumptuous gifts, including cattle.