He may be old and frail but the recently-retired President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, remains an influential figure, especially in the political realm.
While many people will remember him as the man who successfully fought British colonialists in Zimbabwe and subsequently ruled as the head of state for close to four decades, some will celebrate him for the provocative and controversial statements he made during his extended reign.
Here are some of the most memorable and controversial statements by President Robert Mugabe.
Colonization and Land Reforms
“The British were brought up as a violent people, liars, scoundrels and crooks… I am told that Blair [former British Prime Minister Tony Blair] was a troublesome little boy at school.” – 2010
“We did not send away whites. We took away land in accordance with what the British and ourselves had agreed upon, that commercial land reform programme, land shall be taken from the farmers and be given to the Zimbabweans. So, it was all constitutional.” 2015
“We had vowed that those who were guilty of apartheid and guilty of bombing our people, killing our people callously and throwing bodies into disused mines, would not get away with it. The moment we get home and we have power; we will cut off their heads. That is the anger you have when you are waging the struggle.” – 2015
Post-Colonial Resentment and Reconciliation
“We are full of anger. Our entire community is angry and this is why you have the war veterans now, you know, seizing land.” – 2000
“For [the white farmers] to band together to a man in support of the opposition and to have coerced their labor to support the opposition has exposed them as enemies of the state. They are not just political enemies, they want to reverse our independence.” – 2000
“It could never be a correct justification that because the whites oppressed us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today.” – 1980
“Attitudes of master race, master color, master owner and master employer. We can understand the frustrations of the war veterans, just as we appreciate the pressures faced by the commercial farmers.” – 2000
Homosexuality and Gay Marriage
“We equally reject attempts to prescribe ‘new rights’ that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays! Cooperation and respect for each other will advance the cause of human rights worldwide. Confrontation, vilification, and double-standards will not.” – 2015
“Obama [former U.S. President Barack Obama] came to Africa saying Africa must allow gay marriages… God destroyed the Earth because of these sins. Weddings are for a man and a woman.” – 2013
“Worse than pigs and dogs… Those who do it, we will say, they are wayward. It is just madness, insanity.” – 2010
Retirement and Death
“Others are like those that Jesus spoke about during his last supper, when he said ‘some of you eating with me here shall betray me’. The Judas Iscariot. They are here among us.” – 2017
“They want to cause leadership change … for the president to step down. I did not grab power. I was chosen by the people. It’s the people’s throne, so I don’t want with it.” – 2017
“When the day comes I will say thank you to my Zimbabwean family and I will step down so you can choose my successor. But for now I am the one in charge.” – 2017
“Only God who appointed me will remove me – not the MDC [opposition], not the British.” – 2014
“I have died many times. That’s where I have beaten Christ. Christ died once and resurrected once. I have died and resurrected and I don’t know how many times I will die and resurrect.” – 2012