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Zimbabwe’s first black Test cricketer Henry Olonga, who had been forced to flee the state after protesting against Robert Mugabe, says he takes”no pleasure” from the ex-president’s death.
Mugabe died aged 95.
He was ousted through a coup in 2017 decades of violent repression and economic ruin.
“Folks have been saying perhaps I’ll have a drink for a toast, however I have no pleasure from his death,” Olonga said.
“In actuality, it makes me unbelievably sad, because he might have represented,” he failed to scale the heights of somebody just like Nelson Mandela. He became a megalomaniac, a power-hungry tyrant, a dictator and a man who subjugated his own people while purporting to be representing them.”
Wore a black armband at the 2003 Cricket World Cup, that has been jointly hosted by Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa in service of a pro-democracy demonstration in Harare.
He was joined by captain Andy Flower, and the pair issued an announcement to journalists at the Harare Sports Club in which they denounced the”death of democracy” in their homeland.
The activity made headlines throughout the globe – and ended their careers.
Olonga was exiled from his homeland and confronted threats, never playing for Zimbabwe and visiting England.
In his early presidency Mugabe was commended for broadening access to health and education however later years were marked by violent repression of his political opponents and Zimbabwe’s economic ruin.
Olonga, the nation’s first black cricketer, stated he is able to”give credit where it’s due”.
“He had been crucial in assisting Zimbabwe achieve its liberty and liberty,” Olonga, 43, informed PA news agency.
“He also ensured that black individuals who did not have it in the 1960s and 1970s could have the right to vote, although of course the very first elections the independent Zimbabwe had were marred with alleged incidents of voter intimidation and violence.
“He was one of those liberation war heroes which will never be removed from him. But regrettably the legacy of this guy is that he’ll be remembered as a vicious tyrant and dictator.”
In 2013, for a special BBC 5 Live programme aired 10 years after the famed black armband protest, former England head coach Flower said a farming friend influenced by Mugabe’s land reforms stated that it was his”moral duty not to go about his business as usual during the World Cup”, and that this changed his own view of Zimbabwe.
Flower understood the chances of engaging the group in a protest were remote, so he decided to strategy Olonga.
“I believed Henry might grab the concept and have the courage of his convictions to take a stand,” additional Flower.
“I also thought the simple fact that it would be one white Zimbabwean and one black one operating together gave the concept that the most eloquent equilibrium .”
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