1 Books Published by Okri Books on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic
Okri Books (Sep 15, 2009)
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Unable to recall when exactly he died, Robert Mugabe is shocked to be in the presence of God for trial. Facing him are countless people who died during his regime. They tell their stories, after which God condemns him to hell. Mugabe suddenly wakes up, in Harare, realizing he just had a dreadful dream. Set in the African Afterlife, The Trial of Robert Mugabe tells the Zimbabwean story from the perspectives of two iconic Zimbabwean writers, Yvonne Vera and Dambudzo Marechera, present at the trial. At the core of the trial is Gukurahundi (1982-1987), a highly orchestrated genocide on Ndebele people by Mugabe’s North Korean trained Fifth Brigade. Yvonne Vera had reflected this mass killing in her novel, The Stone Virgins. At the trial, she relates some of what she knows about Gukurahundi to Mugabe’s hearing. Marechera also gets a unique opportunity to interpret his famous title, House of Hunger, to Mugabe’s understanding. But this is not just about Gukurahundi. It is also about Zimbabwe today (2000-2008). It is about how Mugabe’s militia used rape, murder and starvation as means of political repression. In the words of Ali Mazrui, those who are picked for trial are sometimes just symbols of wider phenomena. The Trial of Robert Mugabe is a symbol of the trial of African despots and a sad reminder of the truth in the words of the great poet, W.H. Auden: We would rather be ruined than change. We would rather die in our dread Than climb the cross of the Present And let our illusions die.