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Lukashenka Meets Crocodile Who 'Ate' His Friend

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Lukashenka Meets Crocodile Who 'Ate' His Friend

On the relationship between the Belarusian dictator and Zimbabwe.

Lukashenka is on a visit to Zimbabwe, where he met with the ruler of the African country, Emmerson Mnangagwa, nicknamed Crocodile.

Despite the fact that this is the first visit of the Belarusian dictator to the African continent, a lot of things connect him with Zimbabwe. In particular, his friendship with Mnangagwa's predecessor, dictator Robert Mugabe, who ruled the African country for 30 years. In 2017, Mugabe was removed from power. The dictator was succeeded by his deputy Mnangagwa four days later.

Charter97.org explains what Lukashenka and Mugabe had in common, as well as what is known about the current ruler of the country, nicknamed Crocodile.

The Relationship Between Lukashenka And The First Zimbabwean Dictator

Robert Mugabe became prime minister of Zimbabwe in 1980 when the African country became independent from Great Britain. He then took over as president of the country.

Mugabe promised democracy and reconciliation, but the African country plunged into corruption. Zimbabwe became synonymous to economic disaster.

Mugabe's economic experiments led the country into record hyperinflation. The price increases amounted to thousands of per cent a month, and in November 2008, the inflation rate reached 79.6 billion per cent.

Another fact that brings together the Zimbabwean dictator with his Belarusian counterpart is the fight against dissent and electoral fraud. Western countries have not recognised electoral campaigns in Zimbabwe and the UN has called to investigate falsifications. Mugabe expelled his political rivals from the country. Zimbabwe's current leader, Mnangagwa, has also been in exile.

The African dictator is remembered as a fierce critic of the West, in particular Britain. Mugabe blamed the economic problems accompanying his rule on Western countries "trying to overthrow him".

Crocodile "Ate" Mugabe

The political crisis that ended with Mugabe's overthrow began in November 2017. The Zimbabwean dictator dismissed Emmerson Mnangagwa, one of the leaders of the guerrilla war for independence and a long-time associate of the dictator, as the country's vice president. Mugabe decided to give the post to his wife, Grace.

Army commander Constantino Chiwenga stated that the army would stop those who "want to destroy the achievements of the revolution".

On November 15, dictator Mugabe was overthrown by the military and placed under house arrest. The military took tanks to the streets, took control of the ZBC TV and radio station, which announced on air that there was no coup, but that the army was in control of the situation in the country.

The Zimbabwean dictator agreed to leave office with a $10 million "pay-off" and immunity from prosecution. In December 2017, Mugabe left his homeland and died in Singapore in 2019 at the age of 95.

At the time, Lukashenka expressed his condolences on the death of his friend.

"A man who made an invaluable contribution to the independence and strengthening of the Zimbabwean state, raising the profile and influence of your country on the African continent and at the international arena has passed away. The good memory of him will live forever in our hearts," the Belarusian dictator wrote.

Emmerson Mnangagwa took charge of the country. He was nicknamed "Crocodile" in his youth, when he was fighting against the authorities of Southern Rhodesia and terrorized the European population as part of the "Crocodile Gang". When he was young he participated in the genocide of the Ndebele people.

More than once Lukashenka has publicly opposed "the forcible change of power", fearing that one day he himself would be overthrown. Today the Belarusian dictator is meeting with the ruler, who came to power through a coup himself. Lukashenka has quickly forgotten about his friend who was "eaten" by Crocodile.