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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

African Tragedy

What is happening now in Zimbabwe has attracted the sympathy of your otherwise cold stone hearted correspondent. To see the once revered revolutionary Mugabe, now in his violent dotage, cling to power seemingly at any cost to his people. And then there is the consistent bravery of his opposition. It has all been quite predictable, of course. And so it will continue, until the end of his sentient life, which will probably come after he has exhausted the patience – and fear – of nearly everyone there.

Mugabe would have got nowhere without so powerful a drive to power. And yet what makes some men possess the good, tactical sense to step aside, however much they wield power from the sidelines? Mugabe is no Deng Xiaoping, Vladimir Putin or Nelson Mandela. He is ruthless, shrewd though by now probably crazy. His tyranny has become something worse than a spectacle – it is a burden. How long it will take his proud country to recover is anyone’s guess. 

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