Putin registers complain on Western media bid to savage Robert Mugabe legacy

President Robert Mugabe meets Russian President Vladimir Putin (File picture)

RUSSIA’S government-owned newspaper, Sputnik, has complained over what it called a “one-sided reporting” by Western media outlets such as New York Times on Robert Mugabe’s legacy.

The Sputnik says Western media have been unleashing negative and one-sided reporting of Mugabe’s legacy while ignoring how sanctions and the West’s sabotage contributed to the decline of the Zimbabwean economy under Mugabe as they tried without success to remove him from power by all means fair and foul.

An opinion piece by the Russian newspaper said Mugabe’s “crime” in the eyes of the West was that he “crossed a red line” and “sent out a worrying signal to other settler colonial states” when he moved to take back the land from the country’s European minority with the Fast-Track Land Reform Program in 2001.

The article further says the US in particular imposed “draconian sanctions” on Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, which “both burdened the country’s economy and plummeted the value of its currency.”

Zimbabwe has maintained close alliances with Russia and China, who helped veto several decisions that would have seen the United Nations punishing the country under Mugabe. Russia and China have continued with their “all-weather” support to Zimbabwe under President Mnangagwa.

At the SADC summit in Tanzania in August this year, all the 16 members of the Southern African Development Community resolved to come together on 25 October to oppose the “illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the United States of America, the European Union and their Western Allies.”

The Sputnik took particular issue with the New York Times which all over the weekend published articles “demeaning” former President Mugabe, who died on Friday.

“Until 2017, he was the only leader his country had known since independence in 1980. He presided over its long decline,” read the NYT’s Friday piece on Mugabe. — Zimbabwe Voice