I would have taken Ian Smith's head: Mugabe

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has said if he was a dictator he would have “taken the head” of Ian Smith, the late former Rhodesian leader.

Trying to recapture the old revolutionary fervour of those times, Mugabe spent nearly an hour recounting the history of British colonialism and the unfairness of its rule, leaving only a few minutes to the country’s economic crisis.

Addressing a press conference on a State visit to South Africa on Wednesday at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, he denied accusations of rights abuses and crushing civil liberties of Zimbabweans peddled in the SA Press ahead of his visit, the first since 1994.

“And I say to you journalists, thank you for bringing so much attention, those who you write those papers for we read, and bring so much attention to us and to president Mugabe and for the publicity you have given me as you focused.

“Those of you who focused on me as a real dictator, yes, a dictator would have cut the throat of Ian Smith the first day we got back,” the 91-year-old Zimbabwean leader said.

“But I said no, let us turn our swords into ploughshares and forget about yesterday. We will work together, we worked together with Ian Smith.”

The late Smith owned a 200-hectare farm in southern Zimbabwe.

It was among some 4 000 occupied since 2000 by squatters led by veterans of Zimbabwe’s independence war who fought Smith’s troops after the white settlers here declared unilateral independence from Britain in 1965.

The war ended when the black majority won Rhodesia’s independence in 1980.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since then.

Mugabe said he did not exact any revenge on Smith.

“We even allowed him, not only to have his own farm but his father’s farm but alas, the Lord almighty called him and I think he came here (in SA), the doctors couldn’t help him and he died a natural death,” Mugabe said.

“We would have, we had vowed that those who were guilty of apartheid and guilty of bombing our people, killing our people, throwing bodies into disused mines, will not get away with it, the moment we get home, we would deal with them the moment we have power, we will cut their heads, we didn’t do that.

“It’s the anger of the struggle when now freedom comes, ah, you saw what Madiba (Nelson Mandela) did isn’t it, and he was the one who led you into accepting that those who were enemies, let’s accept them as friends,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe told the South African media not to write bad things about President Jacob Zuma.

“Let’s be supportive about our president,” Mugabe said.

“He has been tarnished, tarnished a lot, what for?

“He is your leader please, write well about him, you can tarnish me, I don’t care, but you must have the national spirit.”

Comments (38)

Arikuti chiiko mdara uyu, can't make any sense of what this is all about. All people want is an environment where there are job opportunities, conducive business environment for both locals and foreign investors, freedom of speech, respect for human rights, a sound health and education support system, no idolisation of the president. SA is by far a more democratic state than zim, Zuma is always criticed publicly and in parliament when he blunders so mugabe should stop telling South Africans to stop criticising zuma or write bad things about him, zuma has never taken anyone to court for writing bad things about him, SA is not Zim, this guy is desperately out of touch with reality he has lost the plot, his country's economy is in shambles and goes to SA to talk nonsense like that? Mugabe please save yourself some embarrassment and just stay home and pretend as if you are trying to do something about the situation in the country at least, it would be better. You have no clue how to get zim out of the mess that you put us into. A dictator doesn't only kill his opponents, he does everything else that you do.

redemption - 10 April 2015

Please let Ian Smith rest in peace. He was a very good leader, just like the late leader of Singapore. Smith handed over Rhodesia to Mugabe in 1980. All institutions were working and the physical infrastructures in good shape. Good towns, well managed towns, with good roads, good sewege systems, safe running water etc. Sekuru Bob with all his degrees, has destroyed everything. How can a capital city depend on borehole water, Mr Mugabe? Stop telling us about history of ZANU. Our relatives went to Mozambique to fight before you. Tell us instead how you are going to rescue the country from continued decline. But at 92 you can't do anything sekuru. Surrender to new blood

George Mbire - 10 April 2015

Mugabe is a congenital coward and liar. . . . .


"you can tarnish me, I don't care"! It all sums it up who mugabe is as the curtains draws to a close.

X-MAN IV - 10 April 2015

The points raised by Mugabe were very relevant for marketing Zim. Daily news focuses on petty and irrelevant issues. We were watching the presentation live on TV. Please stop misleading Zimbabweans like Herald

Mentalist - 10 April 2015

@George Mbire I have to say you know little about Ian Smith. If you had your brother soaked in acid, your father suspended by the legs and tortured with a spiked knobkerrie or yourself ordered to do 500 press ups at gun point in your own country by a beast from 8000 kilometres away, you wouldn't be saying that. And if you had your sister, aunt or child shot and killed or bombed for simply being black in an African country you would bury your head in shame.

Godzi - 10 April 2015

@Godzi, Please musandirwadzise, soaking of brothers in acid or whatever inhumane activities you claimed were done by Ian Smith, have this stopped now, or its even getting worse. What pained me is that this is being done by the very same people who claimed to have liberated us from the bondage of the colonial regime. Hudzvanyiriri, Hutsinye neHusveta simba hwemutema kumutema hwa Ian Smith hwaivanani. Get me right, handisikudemba kuti dai Smith akaramba achitonga kwete.

Isu zvedu - 10 April 2015

When will Mugabe stop fighting the liberation war? Bad things were done on both sides, we all know that. But for Zanu to claim that they are the only ones allowed to run Zim, is absolute nonsense. The real reason why they are still there, is because they know if they lose their grip on power, they will get prosecuted for all the crime they have committed. And Mugabe will be one of them. Could he possibly allow an independent team to investigate his finances and publish it for the country to see? Has he subsequently paid those massive ZESA bills??

Tiger Shona - 10 April 2015

Where is Dzamara?Bring him back please,you coward.

mavhu zenda - 11 April 2015

President Robert Mugabe's comment"I do not want to see a white face" was disgusting and and uncalled for, not in 2015! Good news ! South Africa's Trevor Noah has landed a gig on John Stewart's Daily Show. Mugabe's comments are comical ! Pre independence Zimbabwe years,countless innocent lives perished ........ Ian Smith's Rhodesia Front Morewa's ANC ,Sithole's ZANU Nkomo's ZAPU and Mugabe's ZANU all headed to a museum near you. Supposedly, Mugabe made the "not wanting to see a white persons face" comment after visiting a museum in Soweto. Really!! He got spooked or he is a spook!! Since he is the chef of AU, his next museum visit takes place in Rwanda . I recommend he visit the Hutu and Tutsi museum and emerges " Not wanting to see a black face"

Skaramanga Specter 007 - 11 April 2015

Mugabe was never at the war front so she should shut his f***ng mouth!! He is an opportunist who systematically silenced all and sundry until he became a dictator. He is a piece of shit that is why he does not care. Mhata yako Mugabe!!!!

Garikayi - 11 April 2015

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Hooray, Pamberi naMugabe you are spot on. you preach democracy more than America

shuto - 11 April 2015

Editor, someday you shall be called to account for transressions from such people like Garikayi of yours.

jonney come latelly - 11 April 2015

It has not gone unnoticed that one of Mugabe's favorite worshippers (praise-singers) the British ambassadors to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing (the sphincter valve kisser) says nothing about the stream of blatant lies and rabid racist remarks that Zanu PF chefs and sycophants continuously utter. The much anticipated forthcoming publication of Britain's treachery and betrayal of Zimbabwe will be quite revealing. Catriona Laing and her shamed predecessor Deborah Bronnert are already featured. Another notorious British bootlicker and liar “Lord” Robin Renwick has been well documented.

Tinotenda Chinamasa - 11 April 2015

One thing about idiots they talk too much i mean too much rubbish . 20 000 people were left dead and still not enough he feels he should have killed Smith as well . This is satan at his best you see now zimbabweans just voting people you do not fully know into the highest office you see you voted for satan in 1980 now you can not take him out trying to do so means you disappear like itai . Smith was a great leader when he sent Mugabe to jail he even made he study for degrees he always boast about and fed him with good food . Mugabe can not even feed prisoners with proper food only to give them shiit which has angered prisoners Gumbura and company and if Smith did that Mugabe could have died in prison but i wonder why Smith did not do that as that would have served this nation from evil.

Diibulaanyika - 11 April 2015

I can't really get what this oldie, Mugabe is trying to say here.Is he saying he could only be called a dictator if he had decapitated Smith?Is that the only standard measure used to qualify one as a dictator?For the record how many innocent people of his own skin has Mugabe killed since 1980?He has slaughtered thousands, maimed thousands and displaced millions.Is that not worse enough to make him a dictator?Right now millions have run away from the only country they called home to become squatters in xenophobic countries and still Mugabe has the bravado to say people should not label him a dictator?Interestingly he even has no shame to say Smith had a single farm of only 200 Ha.I thought he would say Smith had a farm in every province of Zimbabwe.How many farms does Mugabe personally have?15 farms!One lesson Mugabe must learn from Smith is that his coloniser was not greedy like Mugabe himself and his cronies are.It hurts me a lot to make this comparison between the colonised and the coloniser but I am forced to do so because Mugabe wants to portray himself as a holier than thou which he is not.He has failed not only himself but the whole of Africa.He has made a mockery of pan Africanism.This man is a dictator in the same league as Idi Amini, Mobutu and Gadaffi but every dictator says he is not like so and so.Every dictator thinks he is not a dictator just as every serial killer or rapist says he is not and is only being misunderstood.Dictator, dictator, dictator!

Cde Dokora - 11 April 2015

I spent 3 months in the early 90's visiting my cousin, a teacher in queque.At that time the situation in Zim was bad , but seems to have worsened year by year .I am sad that the people of Zim are still being suppressed by a man who killed his so-called friend to steal power and hope they will soon be free of him andothers like him.keep shining

tom steedman - 11 April 2015

I cannot explain how I felt when President Mugabe said he did not want to see a white face near him.We have got a problem here ladies and gentlemen.Hitler must have said the same ,''I don''t want to see a Jewish face.''You know what happened to the innocent Jews and you all know what happened to the whites in Zimbabwe during the land reform or is it the land deform exercise while the world watched.Mugabe's statement should be condemned by all progressive voices.His statement was undiplomatic and him being in a foreign country, S.A.which upholds its all inclusive constitution. It was better had the S.A. gvt had not invited him.The Ugly statement said by Mugabe is what psychopaths like Julius Malema want to hear and emulate,what a shame.Mugabe is poisoning the whole of Africa and if not condemned his hate language can cause terrible racial wars anywhere in the world.

Cde Dokora - 11 April 2015

I was sickened to the bone by these illiterate South Africans who were lining the streets of Soweto to see Mugabe and they were showering praises on Mugabe and saying how they wished they had him to change things for them in S.A.They even said how 'lucky' Zimbabwe was to have him as their leader.I must say South Africans must not tell us which leader is good or bad for us because we understand our sick situation better than they do.We are living in a failed state and hearing some bony and poverty looking looking skunk of a woman and a tsotsi looking young man in a vest emulating Mugabe is simply insulting to the majority of Zimbabweans who are bearing the brunt of Mugabe's misrule.If S.A. emulates our situation they should wait until Julius Malema becomes the president of their country,that country would be a poop/kak smearing capital of the world.

Cde Dokora - 11 April 2015

The best thing about SA is they have amadoda mpela who will never support amasimba like malema and can easily deal with him physically . The Sowetans came out to witness satan who was roaming their streets even in zim if today satan whill be at Machipisa people will come out to have a look at him . Not good ones will be watched by masses remember , The crowds were jeering Mugabe which can be mistaken for cheering .Mandela the most respected politician in the world once said SA is rainbow nation and it was interesting to see the racist Mugabe trying to go against that when he said he never wanted a white man totally forgetting that he was in a rain bow nation where all races are equal and was violating the constitution of that country which protects all who leave in it . The best thing for this ailing guy is to stay put at Gushungo farm he is an idiot . .

Diibulaanyika - 11 April 2015

What Mugabe said about whites while in S.A. was a pity and regrettable specially coming from someone who is the face of SADC and AU.How would Mugabe or anyone else have felt if a white President or Prime Minister from some country had said point blank that he didn't want to see a black face in front of him, or a Ndebele saying he /she does not want to see a Zezuru/Shona face ? Mugabe and his cronies would have flown into an uncontrollable rage .Mugabe 's behaviour while in S.A. was unstatesman like especially considering that he is Africa's if not the world 's most superannuated leader who should leave behind a legacy of no-racialism and a spirit if reconciliation among Africa's numerous ethnic and racial groups.Big up Nelson Mandela and the recently late Singaporean leader.

Cde Dokora - 11 April 2015

Mugabe is known as a racist and true true tribalist . This country has experienced the worst tribalism since 1980 when Mugabe took over . He does not like other tribes in this country although he has not said it verbally but openly did so by making sure only his mother tribe would work every way even in some places their language does not exist ,He made sure that he would not speak any local language only that of his mother the thing he has done for 35years . He became a fully blown racist when he suspected that whites were behind the formation of the mdc .He has created one the most divided nations in africa through tribalism and that is very very dangerous especially when he is no more .

Diibulaanyika - 12 April 2015

If Mugabe loves black people, why does he go to Singapore on holiday now and again every year? Why does he send his kids to foreign universities out of Africa? Smith loved black university students because he gave them government grants at the University of Rhodesia. In a free Zimbabwe, university students vari kudya munya ne derere everyday. Mugabe's kids are eating beef, chicken etc daily at overseas universities. Mugabe haunyari here??? Pindura.

checha checha - 12 April 2015

very sad indeed coming from the chairman of AU. Imagine if this world was all black. God so much loved diversity. its a pity mugabe doesn't acknowledge that

pride - 12 April 2015


simba - 13 April 2015

At that time Mugabe was still sane, he was a good leader to me, but now father the time is up.If it was not for Grace he could have retired.Grace is young she does not to associated with a pensioner. Zimbabwe man that is the problem with us we marry young chicks and we think we are younger, dont be fooled you old ................

mariyeti mpala - 13 April 2015

Mugabe was also given the opportunity to have education by those whites whom he pretends to hate. in actual fact he hates the woman of ndebele tribe who took his father away from his mother. It is normal. I loved mama Sally.

mariyeti mpala - 13 April 2015

sori hako samba bt the truth s kutaura chirungu hakusi kufunda English is just a language like shona Ndebele gikuyu ect

chirisamhuru - 13 April 2015

sori hako samba bt the truth s kutaura chirungu hakusi kufunda English is just a language like shona Ndebele gikuyu ect

chirisamhuru - 13 April 2015

sori hako samba bt the truth s kutaura chirungu hakusi kufunda English is just a language like shona Ndebele gikuyu ect

chirisamhuru - 13 April 2015

Empty vessels making the most noise who said Zimbabwe is Mine?

Guest - 13 April 2015

Mugabe could not have killed Smith cz Smith protected Mugabe when Mugabe was saving time at Gonakudzingwa prison ,Hwahwa and other places.Smith even afforded Mugabe the opportunity to study for those numerous degrees we all know and which he constantly boasts of today, Economics, Law and others.In actual fact Smith was preparing Mugabe for leadership in an independent Zimbabwe.This is a fact cz if Smith wanted he could have slaughtered the whole of ZANU/ZAPU leadership which had been jailed but Smith was not a ruthless killer like Mugabe is.Vese ava ana Munangagwa could have been no more and they should ask themselves why Smith spared them in such a bitter war situation, but Mugabe and his henchmen killed thousands in a free Zimbabwe,food for thought.

Cde Dokora - 13 April 2015

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