Monday, April 11, 2011

"How did things descend to this nightmare level?"

"During the years of the revolution, I met Mugabe several times and am still ashamed of how generally favorably I wrote him up. But he was impressive then, both as soldier and politician and survivor of long-term political imprisonment, and when I noticed the cold and ruthless side of his personality I suppose I tended to write it down as a function of his arduous formation. Also, in those days the reactionary white settlers would console themselves with a culture of ugly rumors (such as Mugabe's supposed syphilis and mental degeneration), which I was determined not to gratify. . .Writing on all this some years ago, Peter Godwin opted for the view that Mugabe wasn't explicable by any change in circumstances or personality. He had had the heart and soul of a tyrant all along, and simply waited until he could give the tendency an unfettered expression."


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