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Whites, gays, death: Robert Mugabe's most famous quotes

Friday September 6 2019

Robert Mugabe

Robert Mugabe delivers a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. in September 26, 2003. PHOTO | AFP 

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Robert Mugabe, who has died aged 95, was Zimbabwe's president for 37 years.

He had a long history of making colourful or controversial remarks during his nearly four decades.

He was ousted in a military coup in November 2017.

Here are some of them:

  • On staying in office

2014: "Some are saying 'Mr Mugabe is old, so he should step down'... No! When my time comes, I will tell you."

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2008: "Only God who appointed me will remove me — not the MDC (opposition), not the British."

  • On Independence

Mugabe's speech when Zimbabwe won independence was more conciliatory.

1980: "It could never be a correct justification that because the whites oppressed us yesterday when they had power, the blacks must oppress them today."

  • On seizing farms from whites

2000: "You are now our enemies because you really have behaved as enemies of Zimbabwe. We are full of anger. Our entire community is angry and that is why we now have the war veterans seizing land."

2002: "Our party must continue to strike fear in the heart of the white man, our real enemy."

  • On Britain, former colonial ruler

2001: "The British were brought up as a violent people, liars, scoundrels and crooks... I am told that (former British PM Tony) Blair was a troublesome little boy at school."

  • On homosexuality and gay marriages

2010: "Worse than pigs and dogs... Those who do it, we will say, they are wayward. It is just madness, insanity."

2013: "(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."

  • On Nelson Mandela

2013: "Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at the expense of (blacks)... That's being too saintly, too good."

  • On Hitler

2003: "I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective, justice for his own people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people.

"If that is Hitler, then let me be a Hitler tenfold."

  • On Trump

2017: "May I say to the United States President, Mr Trump, please blow your trumpet. Blow your trumpet in a musical way towards the values of unity, peace, cooperation, togetherness, dialogue, which we have always stood for."

  • On the economy

2007: "Our economy is a hundred times better, than the average African economy. Outside South Africa, what country is [as good as] Zimbabwe? … What is lacking now are goods on the shelves - that is all."

  • On his marital affair

Before his first wife died in 1992, Mugabe started a relationship with Grace, whom he married in 1996.

1998: "I wanted children and this is how I thought I could get them. I knew what I was doing and my wife knew."

  • On colonialism

1962: "Africa must revert to what it was before the imperialists divided it. These are artificial divisions which we, in our pan-African concept, will seek to remove."

2015: "African resources belong to Africa. Others may come to assist as our friends and allies, but no longer as colonisers or oppressors, no longer as racists."

  • On death

False reports of Mugabe dying were a feature of his old age.

2012: "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."