Zimbabwe's president declares support for Donald Trump and his 'America First' policy
Mugabe is the first African leader to publicly declare his support for Donald Trump's controversial America first policy.
Mugabe who was celebrating his 93rd birthday declared his support for Mr Trump and his America first policy, in an interview aired ahead of his birthday on Tuesday
“When it comes to Donald Trump, on the one hand talking of American nationalism, well America for America, America for Americans—on that we agree. Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans,” Mr. Mugabe said in the excerpts carried by the state run Herald newspaper.
Speaking about nationalism, it is easy to see why the two leaders may be reading from the same script.
In 1992, twelve years after coming to power, Mr. Mugabe introduced a controversial land reform laws, whereby the state could forcefully seized huge tracks of white settler’s farms to resettle peasants without paying any compensation.
"We are going to take the land and we are not going to pay a cent," the nonagenarian was quoted saying.
Mugabe went ahead and said Trump should be given a chance to prove himself.
"Give him time," Zimbabwe's leader said.
Mugabe has always had a frosty relationship with US presidents, accusing them of sabotaging his country by slapping numerous economic sanctions.
The US imposed travel bans and an assets freeze on Mr Mugabe and his allies in 2001 over allegations of human rights abuses and election rigging.
And just like Vladimir Putin, Mugabe disclosed that he was glad Donald Trump had won the election since he feared Hilary Clinton would have renewed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
"I was surprised by his election, but I did not like Madam Clinton to win either," he said Mugabe addedhe hoped that Trump may consider lifting the sanctions.
“You see, I knew she [Clinton] could slap sanctions on us as a legacy. Indeed Obama did that just before he left. Why did he have to do it? Why didn’t he leave it to the incoming incumbent to make his own decision? We are just now under sanctions imposed not by Donald Trump but by Obama. What arrogance is that? Mr Trump may even re-look [at] the sanctions on Zimbabwe.” Mugabe said.
Despite poor health, President Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 year now, reiterated that he will not step down from power anytime soon.
"The majority of the people feel that there is no replacement, successor who to them is acceptable, as acceptable as I am," he told state media.
Last week, his wife Grace Mugabe, who has been touted as a possible successor told a ZANU-PF rally in the capital Harare that her husband was so popular that, even if he died, his corpse could run for re-election.
“You will see people voting for Mugabe as a corpse. I am seriously telling you—just to show people how people love their president,” she was quoted saying by BBC.
Millions of Zimbabweans have however left the country in the past decade due of political and economic turmoil. International Organisation for Migration (IOM) office in Harare roughly estimate about 500 000 to four million Zimbabweans are abroad.
Hopefully Trump took note of Mugabe’s support and in the next round of phone calls to African leaders, Robert Mugabe name will feature prominently.
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