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Mbeki letter fuels love, and hate for former president in Zimbabwe

Mbeki letter fuels love, and hate for former president in Zimbabwe

By
Published: 1 March 2016

ZIMBABWE – Following weeks of violence and a run-off election boycotted by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mbeki persuaded longtime President Robert Mugabe to form a power-sharing government with the Movement for Democratic Change.

The coalition lasted from 2009 until 2013, when Mugabe once again won elections.

Here is a selection of notable quotes from Zimbabweans reacting to Mbeki’s newsletters:

Deputy editor of Newsday Nqaba Matshazi on Twitter: “Mbeki is hated and loved in equal measure in Zim, the letter just worked to polarise us more.”

@zanu_pf on Twitter (not acknowledged as the ruling party’s official account, but has a huge following in Zimbabwe): “We will never forget the great love and loyalty president Mbeki has for us. If it were not for him, Zimbabwe would be very different.”

Obert Gutu, MDC spokesperson, on Twitter: “Zimbabwe is in this current mess, thanks to Thabo Mbeki’s so-called ‘quiet diplomacy’.”

Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo on Twitter: “Mbeki revelations on UK/US plot to invade Zim at the behest of Bush/Blair toilets explain source of evil sanctions!”

Columnist Conway Tutani, writing in the private Newsday: “Mbeki showed that he had confirmation bias. Simply put, it’s cherrypicking evidence that seems to support your favoured hypothesis – that of regime change; and ignoring that which does not support it – that of 200 people killed in cold blood.”

Reader Nkunzemnyama, posting on the state-controlled Chronicle website: “Since Mbeki started this weekly letter of his,,,,,,,,he has been lying, lying and lying. He should NEVER be taken seriously.”

Reader Muturikwa we Gweru, posting on the Chronicle: “I will take him very seriously because he has not been lying.”

Gwinyai Taruvinga posted on Twitter: “Don’t think Mbeki knows or understands what he did to Zimbabwe.”