The Emperor’s Nice Clothes

Dictator Robert Mugabe replaced Zimbawe’s colonial rulers supposedly in the name of justice. So why did he adopt their attire?

Be that as it may, Mr. Mugabe’s attitude to the settler regime was not one of total rejection. There were many things about it that he admired. And in truth it was a remarkable regime, one with a very small elite who produced and ran a functioning, though not of course a just, state. It was not only the efficiency but the style that Mr. Mugabe admired, and since outward show is easier to imitate than inner substance, Mr. Mugabe adopted that style as his own, and the dress of what he thought was the British gentleman. The uniformed men around him still wear the uniforms of the British hierarchy.

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