Harare

Mugabe and Me

At an arts festival in Zimbabwe, the show must go on—even when the main event has been banned by the police.

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For Western journalists visiting Zimbabwe in the middle of the last decade, a background chat with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Dell was an opportunity not to be missed. A veteran Foreign Service Officer with a refreshingly informal, outspoken style, Dell could be counted on to deliver candid assessments of Robert Mugabe’s latest skullduggery, and of the hapless efforts by Zimbabwe’s opposition to get rid of him.

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You probably haven't heard of James McGee. He's our Ambassador in Harare, Zimbabwe. He's also a black man, which frustrates the sick worldview of Robert Mugabe. Here's an excerpt from a news story earlier this week that made me smile: The diplomats involved in the incident at a roadblock on the edge of the capital, Harare, had just completed a tour of hospitals and an alleged torture camp when police demanded they prove they had official permission to visit the sites. At one point, a police officer threatened to beat one of Mr. McGee’s senior aides.

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