FORMER president of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe did not fulfil the desire of his people for a life of dignity, human rights and social justice.His autocratic style of management led to gross violations of human rights and financial mismanagement, which eventually resulted in faction fighting, economic failure, an increase in unemployment, increased poverty and a collapse of the currency. Zimbabweans’ hopes for a better life did not materialise, leading to his ousting.This begs the question: why do great helmsmen end up betraying their people by becoming tyrannical rulers?I have noticed that even community and religious leaders suffer from this monocratic approach. Leadership needs to be evaluated continually. Like ordinary workers, leaders need to be lifelong learners. Organisations need to build succession planning and accountability into their constitutions and contracts.MOHAMED SAEEDPietermaritzburg• Letter shortened.