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Mugabe's dictatorship in Zimbabwe has survived only because of the vicious suppression of all internal dissent. At the same time, the dictator fought in external wars, regardless of the domestic costs. This revealing book tracks the rise of Mugabe and decodes his psychology in the context of Zimbabwe's military history. His leadership of a guerrilla army against white rule explains how Mugabe continued to rule Zimbabwe as though he were still running an insurgency. Mugabe used military power – the armed forces, militias, police and the dreaded Central Intelligence Organization – to enforce his will against a series of perceived enemies. Along with inflicting massacres in Matabeleland in the early 1980s, Mugabe's forces also fought a covert war against apartheid South Africa. A large army was sent to intervene in the civil war in Mozambique. After 1998 Zimbabwean troops engaged in the massive conflict in the Congo, dubbed Africa's First World War.
Domestically, Mugabe crushed all his alleged opponents from the Ndebele to white farmers, and then the media, judiciary, civic groups, churches, unions and homosexuals. The book recounts South African attempts to keep the current government of national unity alive, despite the growing oppression. It also considers how Zimbabwe can be saved from its own self-destruction.
Mugabe's War Machine is the first full account of one man's military ambitions. It contains shocking stories of massacre and murder at home and powerful accounts of neighbouring wars and international intelligence intrigues.
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