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How Zimbabwe is still haunted by Robert Mugabe

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In our series of letters from Africa, Zimbabwean journalist-turned-barrister Brian Hungwe writes that long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe, who died in 2019, seems to be causing trouble from beyond the grave.

Robert Mugabe’s relatives say he died a bitter man nearly two years after he was forced to hand over power to current President Emmerson Mnangagwa – and his bitterness, even in death, is creating feuds.

In an African traditional context, the dead can speak, often through a vengeful spirit that is believed to respond violently against erstwhile tormentors. Therefore, the spirit needs to be appeased to avoid the risk of being destroyed by it.

If Mugabe’s temperament in real life could be measured against the intensity of his supposed potential vengeful spirit, it would be like the molten lava that has recently been spewing from Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, consuming everything in its path.

Mr Mugabe was a Catholic, partly raised by missionaries who had immense influence in his upbringing. But he never abandoned all of the traditional beliefs. BBC

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