Blessing-Miles Tendi corrects a number of simplifications in an earlier piece by Martin Meredith in the Guardian. These include Meredith's criticism of Robert Mugabe for his commitment to the use of force against Ian Smith's regime, and Britain's share of the responsibility for problems of land reform in Zimbabwe. On this basis, Tendi suggests that a good/evil contrast between Mandela and Mugabe is not to the point. But so far as it applies to Mugabe, the conclusion is not supported by his argument for it.
Even leaving Nelson Mandela entirely out of this, why isn't Mugabe's record during the last decade enough to support a judgement that he has made himself the vehicle of a cruel political evil? Unless one simply wants to renounce the category of evil altogether, bringing a whole country to ruin and imposing harsh suffering on millions of its inhabitants in order to retain power and privilege for you and your cronies seems to merit that description.