Who is our latest despot exactly? Some basic research reveals in the course of his 84 years,he has been; the child of a single parent, a scholar, a teacher, an activist, a political prisoner, a terrorist (or a freedom fighter) let’s compromise and call him a warrior at all events, a widower, a peacemaker (at times) and finally, a successful politician and president of his country. His story is in very large part, the story of his country; he has been its one and only elected president. Modern Zimbabwe, or Southern Rhodesia as it used to be called, was stapled together as a nation from two largely unrelated halves, or ethnic groups, (Ndebele and Shona) by Britain way back at the end of the 19th century. It has endured wars, revolts and uprisings an a period of white dominated minority rule (and an insurgency) under the government of Ian Smith. Mugabe has lived all of this – and it has helped make him, good and bad. It is certainly a tragedy that Mugabe seems to have become a despot but the stories you see now won’t make sense unless you look backwards too and search for the context which gives he and his actions, meaning. And let’s face it, show me a Democrat who hasn’t fiddled an election. Starving a country is a much more serious charge – link to Channel 4 News.
Matt Buck’s animated drawings