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May 24, 2004

Is Mugabe Growing Senile?

I'm not asking that question in a completely rhetorical manner? Mugabe, who started his political career as the embodiment of the international community's hope for a new model of African leader--a man who would help lead his nation away from its racist roots and to a prosperous reconciliation where blacks were an equal and respected part of the political systems. He was the moderate who was polite and kind and willing to listen.

Frankly, I never liked him. He's an unrepentant socialist, and, from the beginning, it was clear that he would end up practicing the nasty forms of racism typical to the region--both tribalism and targeted anti-white discrimination that would cost the nation dearly.

But, for so long, his worst behavior was always tempered by his PR acumen. Over the last few years, his PR skills have been nowhere near enough to compensate for his increasingly heavy hand. I had credited that to his true colors simply seeping out for all to see; not that he was so much getting worse, but that his transgressions had become so common that they were harder to hide.

What he said about Desmond Tutu, though, makes me wonder if Mugabe is slipping a few cogs here and there.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, clearly chafing at criticism over his regime's human rights and democratic abuses, has hit out at South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In an interview broadcast on Monday, Mugabe dismissed the Nobel peace laureate, saying: "He is an angry, evil and embittered little bishop".

Between insulting one of South Africa's most respected figures and his insistence that his country won't need food aid, I began to wonder just what world Mugabe is living in, because it bears little resemblance to the real world.

He continues to hint, as the article notes, that he will retire after his current term in office. Is he now working hard to do the most possible damage before he leaves the public eye? Is he working to make sure that he leaves behind a legacy of racial hatred, starving families, and a ruined economy?

The man who was once Zimbabwe's hope became her tormentor. Now he seems focused on tearing away the last shreds of Zimbabwe's future.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at May 24, 2004 12:01 PM

I don't know if he's senile. He's certainly growing more desperate. Some contend being tortured by the Rhodesians drove him mad.

Sadly, Mugabe follows an all too common path in Africa of 'man in whom much hope is invested betrays ideals.'

Sekou Toure, Mobutu (back when he was just Joseph-Desire). Nkrumah.

Posted by: Brian at May 27, 2004 02:58 PM

Zombyboy's article seems to hit the nail on the head ... surely the real crime is that the world, largely ignornant, apathetic, or misled by distorted media comment, stands idly by as one man is allowed to condemn into oblivion an entire nation ...

Posted by: Mike at June 8, 2004 01:57 PM
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