When Heidi Holland went to interview president Robert Mugabe just before Christmas 2007, she took her tape recorder with her.

Now Penguin Books brings you Zimbabwe’s master’s voice: an exclusive podcast taken from Holland’s recordings, to mark the publication of her extraordinary book, Dinner with Mugabe, the psychobiography of a man whose once-brilliant career has brought ruin to his country.

In this utterly compelling audio clip, Holland, whose intention in writing her book was to try and understand Mugabe’s mind – to grasp his motivations and grapple with his personality – asks questions that get her subject to confront himself. Listen to Robert Mugabe’s rambling responses – spoken as if from the psychiatrist’s couch – to such queries as:

What sort of a person are you?


Heidi Holland interviews Robert Mugabe [1.38mb]