Of repression and decadence of democracy

I am currently reading Giles Foden opus The Last King Of Scotland. Below is a brief description of the book, culled from Wikipedia:

Published by Faber and Faber in 1998 to critical acclaim, the novel interweaves both historical fact and fiction. Its protagonist is a fictional character named Nicholas Garrigan, a young Scottish doctor who goes to work in Uganda out of a sense of idealism and adventure. He relates how he came to be the personal physician and confidant of Amin, the president of Uganda from his coup d’etat in 1971 until his deposition in 1979. The novel focuses on Garrigan’s relationship and fascination with the president, who soon grows into a brutal and ruthless dictator. Garrigan acts repeatedly against his better judgment, remaining in Amin’s employment until he is far past the point of easy escape physically or morally. He is gradually drawn into the corruption and paranoia of Amin’s rule, including the expulsion of the Asians, with disastrous results for those around him.

I choose to read the book in light of the parallelism with Zimbabwe’s case. Zimbabwe’s leader, Robert Mugabe, is in the news for the past weeks because of repression and decadence of democracy. He is also being charged with masterminding vote rigging the recent elections held last March 2008, to which no declared winner has been announced. The opposition headed by Tsavirangai, is crying for oppression from the established government, and has backed out of the contested race.

Africa is far from my continent, but the similarity of the problem is basically the same. The Philippines, which I am from, has its own story of repression. The Marcos dictatorship, and the continuous political killings (of journalists and other wise) are still headlines until now.

I have not yet done reading the book, but I will surely enjoy it for its raw and shot-in-the-heart literature. Even if it is fictional.

Damn, I wish I read this book before I saw the movie adaptation.


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