Flags flew at half mast in Harare on Saturday, but a day after former president Robert Mugabe’s death many Zimbabweans preferred to work as usual than publicly mourn the independence hero turned despot. President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a period of national mourning on Friday following Mugabe’s death in Singapore at the age of 95, two years after he was ousted after nearly four decades in power. As many chose to criticise their former president or just carry on with their daily business, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Mugabe, writing on Twitter that he had “devastated a country with enormous potential”. Mugabe “slaughtered political opponents in the 1980s, used security forces to abuse the opposition and civil society, enriched his family and inner circle through massive corruption,” Pompeo added. ‘Catastrophic mismanagement’ During his 37-year rule, Mugabe’s increasingly tyrannical leadership and economic mismanagement prompted millions to leave the country. His regime was also widely accused of human rights violations and of rigging elections. Mugabe “catastrophically mismanaged the economy, turning the region’s breadbasket into one where much of the population requires international food assistance,” said Pompeo. First heralded as a liberator who rid the former British colony Rhodesia of white minority rule, Mugabe used repression and fear to govern until he was finally pushed out by his previously loyal generals in November 2017. “We are not mourning, why should we mourn when we are suffering like this,” said Ozias Mupeti, 55, standing on a dusty curb in downtown Harare. “Look at me selling pieces of ginger on the streets, at my age. I should have been an employer by now,” he said. Icecream seller Tendai Marange who has three children to feed, said she would mourn Mugabe, but later. “When the body arrives we will stop. For now we have to work because life is tough these days,” she said. “We don’t feel sorry for the old man,” added a car rental employee who was afraid to give his name. “In Germany when (Adolf) Hitler died I think they celebrated. In Iraq when Saddam Hussein died they celebrated,” he said. Only a handful of supporters came out onto the streets of Harare, sporting Mugabe-emblazoned T-shirts, as shops remained open and people went about their daily business. “Mugabe provided education and scholarships to most Zimbabweans,” said one supporter who gave his name as Comrade Bhobhi. “Of course he failed somewhere but on the education side he did great.” Another supporter, Patson Muparadzi, said he was raising money to travel to Zvimba — Mugabe’s rural home village — where close relatives have gathered for a vigil. The government is expected to announce when Mugabe’s body will be returned to Zimbabwe and details of the funeral in coming days.