In 1980, Robert Mugabe visited Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. The trip had a profound effect on him and, in the words of one of his aides, he returned to Harare "a different man". What Mugabe admired most was Kim Il Sung’s absolute power and the apparent adoration of North Korean people for the "eternal president".Mugabe has often spoken of his admiration for North Korea’s Juche ideology, which stresses national self-reliance and Korean ethnic purity. He has compelled government ministers to read collections of Kim’s speeches. In addition, as noted by historian Benjamin R Young, Mugabe’s birthday celebrations are strikingly similar to Kim’s. They are characterised by marching, giant paintings of the president and dancing children.Zimbabwe is in a crisis. Decades of economic mismanagement and systematic corruption by a self-aggrandising political elite, combined with economic sanctions, have resulted in financial collapse. Inspired by pastor Evan Mawarire and the "ThisFlag" h...

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