Letter from Africa: Mugabe ‘unloved’ on his birthday

A famous quote by Machiavelli advises politicians: “It is better to be feared than loved – if you cannot have both.”

However, the Italian Renaissance author and statesman then warns that if a ruler chooses fear, it is best not to be extreme – as unnecessary cruelty will never win life-long loyalty.

During Mr Mugabe’s rule in Zimbabwe, he enjoyed great prestige and high honour.

He personified the state he led for almost four decades as he tightened his grip.

But two months after his resignation following a military intervention, he cuts a lonely figure.

Gee, I’m just heart broken.

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