So, What led to the Military Coup in Zimbabwe and Ouster of Robert Mugabe? On Wednesday, November 15, a group of servicemen took control of the building of the Zimbabwe State Broadcasting Corporation in Harare, the capital of the country. Armed soldiers also occupied the center of the city and brought armored vehicles to the streets. President of the country, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, and his family are arrested. According to local media, the permanent head of state, who ruled the country since 1980, is preparing to resign. EurAsian Times explains what is happening Zimbabwe.
Who is Robert Mugabe?
Robert Mugabe is the former head of the Black Liberation Movement, chairman of the ruling party Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), since 1980 – the actual head, and since 1987 – the permanent president of the country.
Having come to power, Robert Mugabe launched a campaign to seize the land of white farmers in favor of the veterans of the liberation struggle – the so-called “Black redistribution.” This led to the exodus of a significant majority of the white population, severe sanctions from the world community and ultimately – the country’s slipping into an economic catastrophe. Today, Zimbabwe is one of the poorest countries in the world with unchecked inflation, a completely depreciated currency with one of the world’s lowest GDP per capita.
Military Coup in Zimbabwe and Protests against Robert Mugabe?
The protests of the authorities took place against the background of the crisis in the mid-2000’s. Robert Mugabe coped with them, partially suppressing the unrest with brute force, partially – defeating the opposition by involving them in power. So, in 2008, the political competitor of Robert Mugabe – Morgan Tsvangirai was appointed the prime minister of the country. Mugabe himself has repeatedly stated that he rules by the will of God and intends to stay at the helm until he is 100 years old. The current constitution allows him to choose a successor if he decides to leave before the end of his term.
Where did the current Military Coup in Zimbabwe Start?
In early November 2017, President Robert Mugabe dismissed the vice-president, former intelligence, and secret police chief Emmerson Mnangagwa. State media reported that he planned to seize power from the head of state by creating a secret group against the ruling party. On the vacant position of vice-president, according to the Associated Press, Mugabe wanted to appoint his own spouse – Grace Mugabe.
Emmerson Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe were considered unofficial heads of the opposing factions who claimed power in the event of the president’s death. Until recently, Mnangagwa was called the most likely successor to Robert Mugabe, since he managed to consolidate the power bloc around him. However, after a sudden suspension, he went into a tough opposition and accused the president seizing the power.
Military Coup in Zimbabwe and What Next?
On Monday, October 13, Chivenga announced the Army’s readiness to intervene and stop the persecution of Mnangagwa supporters. In response, the ruling party ZANU-PF accused the head of the Armed Forces of treason.
On Tuesday, Reuters and France-Presse reported with reference to eyewitnesses about two tanks approaching Harare. On Wednesday night, a group of Zimbabwe servicemen took control of the building of the State Broadcasting Corporation. Minister of Finance Ignacius Chombo – one of Robert Mugabe’s main allies – was arrested. The military blocked roads to government buildings, parliament, and courts, and also placed armored vehicles in the city center.
At the same time, the servicemen themselves assured that there was no question of any coup, and stated that the president was safe, and their goal was “to call criminals to justice around him.”
What is the fate of Rober Mugabe after Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
According to News24, Robert Mugabe and his family are under the house arrest. In the near future, the 93-year-old leader is preparing to resign. The main opposition party “Movement for Democratic Change” called for a peaceful return to constitutional democracy in the country. The leader of the influential movement of veterans of the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe, Christopher Muttsvangwa supported the insurgents and expressed the opinion that the current events are the end of the almost 40-year rule of the “dictator” Mugabe.
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