Zambia’s new president, Guy Scott insisted that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe wants to quit. Talking to the Guardian soon after Margaret Thatcher’s funeral in 2013, he said of Mugabe: “I think if you asked him he’d say it was enough. That’s what he said to us a few months ago.
I said the way forward in African democracy is the way we do it in Zambia. He said, ‘I absolutely agree, I wish it would happen to me.’” Scott went on to describe Mugabe’s persona. “He’s a funny chap. He seems to doze off and then he suddenly laughs at a joke while in the middle of dozing. And very articulate, without a note, without a scrap of anything. “He’s an anglophone. He loves to give lectures on the English language, English weighing systems, English this or that. He was a teacher and so he taught himself all that.”
“I’m sure any good African nationalist admires Mugabe,” Scott added. “Racism in Zimbabwe is a serious issue. I was sent to school down there and it was like being in the Hitler Youth: the theories about black inferiority and this kind of stuff. “It was a whites-only school; they tried to introduce an Indian and he was hounded out at the instigation of the parents of the boys. I think Mugabe is a product of having to contend with that.”
But Scott had far less time for South Africa, the continent’s biggest economy. “The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development,” he said. “I hate South Africans. That’s not a fair thing to say because I like a lot of South Africans but they really think they’re the bees’ knees and actually they’ve been the cause of so much trouble in this part of the world. “I have a suspicion the blacks model themselves on the whites now that they’re in power. ‘Don’t you know who we are, man?’” Scott scoffed at the inclusion of South Africa in the Brics grouping of emerging economies.
“They think in Brics that the ‘s’ actually stands for South Africa whereas it stands for Africa. Nobody would want to go in for a partnership with Brazil, China, India and South Africa for Christ’s sake. “I dislike South Africa for the same reason that Latin Americans dislike the United States, I think. It’s just too big and too unsubtle.” Warming to his theme, Scott let rip at South African President Jacob Zuma, comparing him with the last apartheid leader, FW de Klerk.
“He’s very like De Klerk. He tells us, ‘You just leave Zimbabwe to me.’ Excuse me, who the hell liberated you anyway, was it not us? I mean, I quite like him, he seems a rather genial character but I pity him his advisers.”