A tyrant and a bungler but Robert Mugabe falls short of Africa’s worst


Among older Africans Robert Mugabe is still held in considerable, though dwindling respect.

Twenty years ago he was seen as the symbol of Africa’s liberation from colonialism, the man who fought a guerrilla war against white minority rule and won.

That respect lingered throughout his rule, making it hard for Britain or the European Union to persuade Zimbabwe’s neighbours or the African Union to support sanctions against him.

His overthrow has divided the continent. Some younger African leaders salute the end of a regime that has bankrupted Zimbabwe, but not a few autocrats see a dangerous precedent, and are underlining the African Union’s condemnation of any coup.

President Museveni of Uganda and President Kagame of Rwanda are worried that dissatisfaction on the home front could…


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