Post Date: November 27, 2019

Robert Mugabe: Henry Olonga takes ‘no pleasure’ from ex-president’s death

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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 at 2017 after years of repression and economic ruin.
“People have been saying maybe I’ll have a drink as a toast, however that I receive no enjoyment from his death,” Olonga explained.
“In reality, it makes me unbelievably sad, because he could have represented, he failed to scale the heights of someone like Nelson Mandela. He turned into a megalomaniac, a power-hungry tyrant, a dictator and a guy who subjugated his own people while purporting to be representing them”
Olonga, who currently lives in Adelaide, Australia, wore a black armband in the 2003 Cricket World Cup, that was hosted by Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa in service of a pro-democracy demonstration in Harare.
He was connected by captain Andy Flower, and the group 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 – and ended their careers.
Olonga was exiled from his homeland and faced death threats, visiting England rather than playing for Zimbabwe again.
In his presidency Mugabe was commended for broadening access to health and education but later years were marked by violent repression of the political opponents and Zimbabwe’s economic ruin.
Olonga, the nation’s first black cricketer, stated he’s in a position to”give credit where it is due”.
“He was crucial in helping Zimbabwe attain its independence and liberty,” Olonga, 43, told PA news service.
“He also ensured that black individuals who did not have it in the 1960s and 1970s could be able to votealthough of course the very early elections the individual Zimbabwe had were marred with alleged incidents of voter intimidation and violence.
“He was among those liberation war heroes and that will never be removed from him. But regrettably the heritage of this man 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 famous black armband protest, former England head coach Flower explained a farming buddy influenced by Mugabe’s land reforms said that it had been his”moral obligation to not go about his business as usual throughout the World Cup”, which changed his own view of Zimbabwe.
Flower knew the odds of engaging the team were remote, so he chose to approach Olonga.
“I believed Henry could grab the concept and also have the courage of his own convictions to have a stand,” added Flower.
“I also thought the fact it would be one white Zimbabwean and one black one operating together gave the concept that the most eloquent equilibrium .”
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