Here's Mugabes CNN Video - A Fish Out Of Water
Harare, Zimbabwe, 27 September 2009
Robert Mugabe was noticeably uncomfortable during his interview with CNN last Thursday.
The Zimbabwean dictator is used to sycophantic State media interviewers, that is one thing.
But what obviously added to Mugabe's discomfort is the fact that he was taking out of his element, like a crocodile that proves less than powerless out of water.
Normally, Mugabe likes to hold interviews in environments that he controls. At State House, for instance, where he met with Heidi Holland for her book, Dinner With Mugabe. There, sitting in his own office, with his own guards and staff standing about by the door, he tried to intimidate her by staring at her silently, intently, directly in the eye for what seemed like an inordinate amount of time to Holland.
Overseas, he prefers to call the journalists to his flat or suite and there hold court. Again, he will be on his turf and the journalist will be the outsider intruding into this private space.
But the CNN interview was different.
It is probably the first time Mugabe has travelled to a studio of a news organisation in ten years or more.
And here he is, face to face with a journalist to whom no subject is taboo, one who is not worried about causing him embarrassment at all.
Just him and the interviewer. No soldier or policeman standing guard behind him as they do when he is in Zimbabwe. No evidence, in fact, of anybody else in that studio apart from the cameramen.
Several people have commented on how uncomfortable he was, with one even saying he looked nervous.
Judge for yourself.