Zimbabweans: Queen Elizabeth was a symbol of British colonial rule

2022-09-17 08:35:12
Zimbabweans: Queen Elizabeth was a symbol of British colonial rule

A memorial service in Zimbabwe for Queen Elizabeth drew a handful of mourners but some on the streets of the capital Harare said she was a symbol of British colonial rule that should not be celebrated.

Some congregants expressed fond memories of the British monarch, who visited Zimbabwe in 1947 with her parents and again as queen in 1991 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, when she was hosted by former president Robert Mugabe.

At the time of Elizabeth's first visit to Zimbabwe, the country was a British-ruled colony with some autonomy, known as Southern Rhodesia and with a white minority government.

However, most Zimbabweans said that history was inextricably entwined with Elizabeth's 70-year reign. "I do not think it is necessary to celebrate her life. In times past she led the colonial era," said Rownward Manzungu, 47, standing near the church.

"It is painful that they took our land while we were left to suffer. We will never forget."

Langton Muza, 36, said he did not see any need for a memorial service for Elizabeth in Zimbabwe, which became formally independent in 1980.

Zimbabwe left the Commonwealth network of mostly former territories of the British Empire in 2003 after Robert Mugabe, who had ruled the country from independence, came under criticism over disputed elections and land seizures from white farmers.

The queen's death a week ago has stirred mixed feelings among some Africans about the legacy of colonialism on a continent where Britain once ruled more than half the territory.

Last week, South Africa's EFF leader Julius Malema said, " everyone who cares we do not mourn the death of a coloniser and a murderer who came and killed our people, and who proudly wore stolen goods on her forehead.We have nothing to do with the queen."

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