New Zealand's Prime Minister when Robert Mugabe seized power in Zimbabwe in 1980 was another tough guy named Robert Muldoon, and he'll be chortling in his grave as the 93-year-old African dictator finally steps aside.
Muldoon caused a diplomatic furore at the 1981 Commonwealth leaders' meeting in Melbourne the following year where Mugabe was treated by most with kid gloves but by our Prime Minister with boxing gloves.
It was my first overseas trip with Muldoon and it was an eye opener with him reminding us that Mugabe had been shooting people in the bush not too long before.
When the comments were reported, they were taken exception to by the then Secretary General of the Commonwealth Sonny Ramphal who was always lauded by the black African countries.
Muldoon was having none of it, telling Ramphal through us to "stick to keeping the minutes."
Our PM was playing to his constituency back home on the eve of the 1981 election, and the Springbok tour here a few months earlier, when he threatened the black African states that if they criticised him for hosting the rugby he'd unload a dossier of human rights abuses they'd been inflicting on their people.
To say Mugabe was brutal on his people is a gross understatement.
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Critics of his ever increasing repressive regime were dismissed as traitors and sell-outs, which during the civil war there, would mean certain death.
He sanctioned the self styled war veterans, who were backed by his henchmen, to use murder and violence as an electoral strategy and to claim white-owned farms as their own.
The year John Key's National led Government came to power here, Mugabe lost an election there to the courageous Morgan Tsvangirai, who on several occasions had been almost beaten to death for his opposition to the dictator.
He got 48 percent of the vote compared to Mugabe's 43 percent, but didn't push it to a second round because he knew his supporters would suffer the consequences.
Before the vote Mugabe said if you lose an election and are rejected by the people it's time to leave politics.
After it he declared only God could remove him from office
I had the good fortune of interviewing Tsvangirai when he was Prime Minister under Mugabe between 2009 and 2013 which was a job he freely admitted was a title with no power.
One can now only hope this country, once the jewel of southern Africa, but which in the year of Tsvangirai's "win" at the polls had an inflation rate of 231 million percent, can once again find its lustre but that at the moment is in the lap of the gods.