UNBELIEVABLE!!! Zimbabweans Choose Work Over Mourning Mugabe
Sept. 08, 2019
Photo Credit: Council on Foreign Relations
The streets and shops were packed, weddings and parties went ahead as planned. Most people were going about their usual business, trying to eke out a living.
For while Mugabe is hailed for having led Zimbabwe to independence, for many Zimbabweans he is also the man who wrecked their economy, leaving them to live with the consequences.
Commuter minibus driver More Kondo, 30, was busy decanting petrol from a large jerrycan into a smaller container to share with a fellow driver.
"If it were another leader, right now this country should have shut down to mourn," he said. "But he was an autocrat.
"Had he left power early and the country in better shape, we would be celebrating his life and would have seriously shut down the country in honour of him."
Mugabe died on Friday aged 95 at a Singapore hospital.
Lauded by some as a liberator and for his uncompromising stance against the West, Mugabe led a controversial land-grab programme nearly two decades ago -- seizing commercial farmland from whites.
This policy is widely blamed for having contributed to the collapse of the once-thriving economy.
Zimbabweans struggle daily to access basic services, while inflation hovers in triple digits. Many people on Saturday said they had more pressing needs to attend to than mourning.
"We not going to the funeral," said Kondo shaking out remaining drops of petrol in the container that previously had engine oil. "We will be busy trying to make money, we are hungry."
Fuel in Zimbabwe is in short supply and its price has been increased more than six times since the start of the year -- as have prices for several other goods.
Another man, a 35-year-old engineering graduate who would only give his first name, Tonde, was equally unimpressed.
"I have a degree, I'm unemployed and hungry and you expect me to waste my time to go to his funeral? What, after 37 wasted years?
"He stole money and today he is gone," he said.