The horror of the tyrannical Mugabe, and Canada's shameful welcome

National Post, 13 September 2019

Like most Western countries at the time, Canada was not bothered by bloodshed in Africa. Trudeau even invited Mugabe to visit.

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe died in a luxury hospital in Singapore at the age of 95, two years after a coup ended his 37-year rule. He was Africa’s Fidel Castro — both in terms of longevity and brutality — which may explain why he was honoured by Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

In July 1999 I was in Zimbabwe on a Catholic mission trip. Our trip happened to coincide with the death of Joshua Nkomo, the long-time rival of Mugabe who later was appointed vice-president. Mugabe spoke at the funeral, which our little group caught on rabbit-ears television at a gas station before a long drive from Bulawayo into the bush. A few hours later we were at another gas station with a little coffee shop. Mugabe was on television there, too. We thought that it was news coverage of the funeral, but the locals informed us that the coverage was live, and Mugabe was still at it in the mode of the Castro-esque great orator.

Of course no one was listening to the profusion, but every television had it on, hour after hour. Mugabe’s thugs were everywhere and any lack of enthusiasm for the leader would no doubt be recorded, and reported. Reprisals could well follow.

Mugabe ruled by fear and terror, impoverishing his people even as he and his cronies looted the national exchequer.

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