Moscow, London, Sept. 6, 2019
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday sent a message of condolence to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the death of the country’s former leader Robert Mugabe.
“Many important events in the modern history of Zimbabwe were associated with the name of Robert Mugabe,” according to the message published on the Kremlin website.
Putin said that Mugabe made a great personal contribution to the struggle for the independence of Zimbabwe and to the construction of institutions.
He added that Mugabe would be remembered in Russia as a consistent supporter of the development of friendly relations between the two countries, who did a lot to strengthen mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation.
“It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former President, Cde Robert Mugabe,” Mnangagwa tweeted earlier on Friday.
Mugabe, 95, ruled the Southern African country for nearly four decades until he was ousted in 2017.
Meanwhile, a British foreign office spokesperson says Zimbabwean people “suffered for too long” under the “autocratic rule” of late former leader Robert Mugabe.
“There are mixed emotions in Zimbabwe today at the death of Robert Mugabe,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“We express our condolences to those who mourn Robert Mugabe’s death,” the statement said.
“However, Zimbabweans suffered for too long as a result of Mugabe’s autocratic rule,” it added.
“We hope that in this new era, Zimbabwe can continue to be set on a more democratic and prosperous path.”
Mugabe died at the age of 95 in Singapore, officials said on Friday.
Zimbabwe’s current president, Mnangagwa, who announced the death on Twitter, praised Mugabe for his role in the liberation of his country from white-minority rule.
“His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Mnangagwa tweeted.