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Published: December 23, 2012
“All Mugabe wants from the British is respect.”
ZIMBABWE’s President Robert Mugabe has a deep love for the British people, and all he has wanted from them is respect says the late author and legendary journalist Heidi Holland.
In what could be a revealing interview, the Holland who was the last white journalist to hold an exclusive interview with Robert Mugabe, suggests that Mugabe’s relationship with the British government was only sustained by what she calls ‘respect’.
She even appears to suggest that Mugabe held the British royal family like his own family.
“…its a fascinating insight that all this goodness was possible from this same man because he felt reassured and he felt respected and if you look at Mugabe today what he is howling up for all the time for years now is for British respect; that’s what he wants.
“And its such an irony because underneath this publicly expressed hatred of the British, is a deep love for the British. When I talked to him at state house he nearly cried when I mentioned the British royal family; he really got tears in his eyes and he talked about the Queen and how she had stayed with him at various times at state house and her sister had come, and her mother had come and her children had come.
“And he talked about them as a family that he was friendly with,” she says.
Heidi Holland’s interview clip is from the documentary film by Kevin Harris, titled: “Zimbabwe – Past the post … on a dark horse”.
Holland is author of the book, “My dinner with Mugabe” and in this interview segment talks about President Robert Mugabe’s relationship with Lord & Lady Soames, the Royal Family and his conflicted, torn & bitter yet ironically also sweet struggle with the British. Holland was a white Zimbabwean who grew up in the country went to Ellis Robins school in Mabelreign, Harare and then worked for Illustrated Life Rhodesia, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, International Herald Tribune, The New York Times and The Guardian. She was also the author of Dinner with Mugabe, an account of her meetings with Robert Mugabe stretching from Rhodesian times up to 2007 when she met him for the last time. Since that meeting with Mugabe in 2007, the president has not entertained any other white journalist at Zimbabwe’s state house to date.