Harare – A video of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe talking "non-racialism" has emerged on social media, with some Twitter users saying it's "fascinating" how the veteran leader used to "talk" like Nelson Mandela whom he now castigates.
Mugabe made headlines recently when he attacked Mandela's legacy, saying that the South African icon cherished his personal freedom over the economic freedom of his people, which was the reason why today in South Africa "everything is in the whites' hands".
The 93-year-old president said this while speaking in Shona at a ruling party rally in the central town of Gweru.
"What was the most important thing for (Mandela) was his release from prison and nothing else. He cherished that freedom more than anything else and forgot why he was put in jail," Mugabe was quoted as saying, in comments translated by NewZimbabwe.com.
But in a video believed to have been shot in 1961 and was circulating on social media, Mugabe appeared to agree with Mandela's concept of non-racialism.
Watch the video below
In the clip, Mugabe then 37, seemed be answering a question during an interview. He said: "We are totally opposed to the concept of multi-racialism because it assumes in the first instance that people have got to be arranged in compartments based on colour... you have Europeans in one compartment, Asians and coloureds in two other compartments and Africans in another compartment."
"And immediately you talk of multi-racialism, you are accepting as a starting point that the races are different and this difference must be recognised. We are non-racialist in our approach and that everybody must be accorded his full political rights – whether he white or black, educated or uneducated, rich or poor. And this is why we are at the moment struggling to earn for our people one-man-one-vote."
The 93-year-old leader took a swipe at Mandela particularly for his stance on land and redistribution in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela Foundation
Mugabe, who has been in power since Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain in 1980, came under heavy international criticism following his controversial land reform programme that resulted in the eviction of at least 4 000 white commercial farmers in 2000.
Mandela himself was known all over the world as an icon, who symbolised the struggle against racism. He managed to bring people from different religions and ethnic backgrounds together.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation this week hit back at Mugabe, saying that he should base his comments on facts when interrogating the South African icon's legacy.
According to Eye Witness News, the foundation said that Mugabe's critique of South Africa's negotiated settlement was "hollow".
"The foundation encourages President Mugabe and anyone who wants to interrogate Madiba's legacy and question his contribution to the birth of the new South Africa to do so, but to accurately examine relevant evidence and facts," the foundation was quoted as saying by eNCA.
"The foundation remains an institution anyone can visit to interact and engage on the life and times of Nelson Mandela."
Robert Mugabe's 1961 interview. He was 37 years, had 3 university degrees, and had just formed the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU). pic.twitter.com/2LUzTO4DAT— Facts About Africa (@OnlyAfricaFacts) September 8, 2017