The personality of Robert Mugabe

I have remarked before that Robert Mugabe was one of the best orators I have ever heard. I am not alone in having been impressed. Below is an assessment of Mugabe’s oratory and personality, by Zimbabwean journalist Jan Raath, published in The Times (London), 12 November 2017, under the headline, “Forty years ago, I too was beguiled by Robert Mugabe, the young guerrilla leader”.

I will treasure the events of yesterday afternoon for the rest of my life. I had driven to the Harare international conference centre to hear a rather dry debate on the impeachment of Robert Mugabe, the man I have been covering for this newspaper since 1975.
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Recent Reading 20

The latest in a sequence of lists of recently-read books, listed in reverse chronological order.

  • Stuart A. Reid [2023]: The Lumumba Plot: The Secret History of the CIA and a Cold War Assassination. Knopf. Much of this I knew, from Larry Devlin’s book. What was new to me were the machinations of Belgian governments in their former colony, before and after Zaire’s Independence.
  • Michael Smith [2016]: Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews. Biteback Publishing. An inspiring story about a British spy and immigration official in pre-War Berlin, who was willing and able to facilitate the safe passage of many German Jews, both to Britain and to British Palestine. He often did so by bending the rules he was supposed to enforce, for example, accepting promises of future payment (IOUs) rather than the actual financial transfers he was required to verify existed before issuing visas for British Palestine.
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