Robert Mugabe’s most infamous quotes to other world leaders

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The outpouring of grief has been tempered by a palpable dismissal of Robert Mugabe’s achievements on Friday morning after the 95-year-old passed away while receiving medical treatment in Singapore. One thing that can’t be debated, however, is Mugabe’s ability to rattle other world leaders.

The former icon of liberation, who soon became Zimbabwe’s face of authoritarian rule, has never stepped away from a good verbal dust-up with some of the biggest names in politics. Although he tended to cross the line in incidents which saw him:

Best Robert Mugabe quotes

A legacy as toxic and complicated as Mugabe’s is difficult to eulogise. The tributes we’ve seen this morning touch on both sides of the debate, although Bob’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa praised the 95-year-old for his stewardship of the country.

But Mugabe wasn’t always full of warm sentiments for his political enemies – or even his comrades across the border in South Africa. In a life as long and colourful as his, you’re bound to say a few controversial things…

Robert Mugabe vs American presidents

Donald Trump

“Some of us were embarrassed by what appeared to be the return of the biblical, giant gold goliath who threatens the extinction of other countries. Mr Trump, please blow your trumpet. Although, blow your trumpet in a musical way. Towards the values of unity, peace, co-operation, togetherness, and dialogue.”

Robert Mugabe at the UN Assembly, September 2017

Barack Obama

“We have this American president, Obama, born of an African father, who is saying we will not give you aid if you don’t embrace homosexuality. We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality.”

“Since President Obama endorses the same-sex marriage, advocates homosexual people, and enjoys an attractive countenance – thus if it becomes necessary, I shall travel to Washington D.C, get down on my knee, and ask his hand.”

Robert Mugabe during a speech in 2003

George Bush

Let Mr. Bush read history correctly. Let him realise that both personally and in his representative capacity as the current president of the United States, he stands for this ‘civilisation’, which occupied, which colonised, which incarcerated, which killed. He has much to atone for. His hands drip with [the] innocent blood of many nationalities.”

Bob’s speech at the 2007 UN Security Council

Robert Mugabe takes on other world leaders

Tony Blair

“We have fought for our land, we have fought for our sovereignty, small as we are we have won our independence and we are prepared to shed our blood … So, Blair keep your England, and let me keep my Zimbabwe. We are still exchanging blows with the British government. They are using gay gangsters against me.”

Robert Mugabe’s rampant homophobia on show again, while describing Peter Tatchell

Adolf Hitler

“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.”

A quote attributed to Mugabe in 2010

Robert Mugabe quotes on South African leaders

Nelson Mandela

“I asked one ANC Minister how come the whites have been left with so much power, and he said it was because of your friend Mandela. That was an ANC Minister who was saying that. Mandela went 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.”

Robert Mugabe in 2013

Cyril Ramaphosa

“There are some blacks who have acquired these media conglomerates. It appears they have joined these whites in attacking Zimbabwe. Well, they are black white men and they are really putting on the master’s cap. Ramaphosa is a white man in a black man’s skin.”

Quote from 1999, recounted by Ramaphosa’s biographer Anthony Butler

 

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