I met and interviewed Mr Robert Mugabe in 1981. He was already the Prime Minister of the then newly independent Zimbabwe against my hopes and expectation. The man I had hoped would be the Prime Minister was Mr Joshua Nkomo whom I had interviewed earlier in a guerrilla camp somewhere on the outskirts of Zambia.
I liked Mr Nkomo instantly. He was voluble and engaging as we sparred and fenced for almost two hours. I guess the affectionate feeling was mutual because he told me at the end of the interview that it was one of the livelier ones he had ever had. I was not alone in thinking Nkomo would be Prime Minister. Many people round the world thought so. Mugabe was the taciturn one while Nkomo was the extrovert.
More importantly, Mugabe was in prison while Nkomo was visible. But politics is about numbers and Mugabe is from the larger Mashonaland while Nkomo was from the…
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