A video in which United States President Donald Trump says Iraq and Libya were better off under deposed “dictators” Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi has sparked debate that Zimbabwe was better under long-serving President Robert Mugabe than his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In the video posted on his twitter handle by Information Secretary Nick Mangwana, Trump told CNN that the world would be 100 percent better off with Iraq under Hussein and Libya under Qaddafi.
Hussein was killed in 2003 after the United States invaded Iraq under the guise of looking for weapons of mass destruction. He had been in power since July 1979.
Qaddafi was killed in 2011 during what is now termed the “Arab Spring” and had been in power since 1969.
Justifying his comments, Trump said: “I mean, look at Libya. Look at Iraq. Iraq used to be no terrorists. He (Hussein) would kill the terrorists immediately, which is like now it’s the Harvard of terrorism. If you look at Iraq from years ago, I’m not saying he was a nice guy, he was a horrible guy, but it was a lot better than it is right now. Right now, Iraq is a training ground for terrorists. Right now Libya, nobody even knows Libya, frankly there is no Iraq and there is no Libya. It’s all broken up. They have no control. Nobody knows what’s going on.”
Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper what about the human rights abuses by the two, Trump responded that abuses were still taking place.
“People are getting their heads chopped off, they’re being drowned. Right now, they are far worse than they were, ever, under Saddam Hussein or Qaddafi,” he said.
Mangwana tweeted this morning that Trump’s sentiments pointed to the essence of having stability over any other issues because without that stability, nothing works.
In response, some of his followers seemed to agree that stability was indeed more important but mocked him that this was demonstrated by the fact that Zimbabwe was better off under Mugabe than it is under Mnangagwa.
Most of the comments seemed to be pointing to the fact that people are more concerned about the cost of living than anything else.
While Mnangagwa has brought about greater political freedom, people are more concerned about bread and butter issues such as stable prices and availability of goods.
Prices of basic goods such as bread and medicines have rocketed since October while soft drinks and fuel are now hard to come by.
Mnangagwa and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube have promised that things will improve in the coming year which starts tomorrow.
Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga told congregants at a church convention in Bulawayo yesterday that things will improve in the coming months.
“Our nation is going through a difficult patch. Our children need jobs and better prospects. Government is doing its best to bring about a turnaround in the fortunes of our nation. We are confident that our economy is on the path to recovery. Things will start to look up in the coming months. Before long, our nation will prosper in spite of those who want to see us down,” he said.
The Trump video which sparked the debate is apparently more than three years old.
The interview with Trump was screened on CNN on 25 October 2015, more than a year before Trump became President.
He had, however already announced his candidacy for presidency and became President, after beating Hillary Clinton, 20 January 2017.