There has been a coup in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe, the long-standing dictator, was forced from power by the military. It appears he will hand over power to his vice president, a man he recently fired, to solidify the exchange of power. The 93-year-old Mugabe has grown increasingly violent during his tenure, but it looks like that came to an end with very little violence.
Mugabe was captured by the military Tuesday. His wife, who many call Gucci Grace (becasue of her lavish shopping sprees), may have fled to Namibia.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa (above), 75, may already have returned from exhile. After he was fired in October, Gucci Grace had been the rumored successor of Mugabe. That transition was more than the military was willing to allow, and last night, they rebelled.
“The easiest way to present a veneer of legality is that Mugabe reappoints Mnangagwa as vice president, briefly – Mugabe then retires,” Derek Matyszak, an analyst at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, told the Daily Mail.
The laws of Zimbabwe would allow 90 days for a new election.
Other nations are calling for a swift resolution to the power struggle. Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, called for calm. “We cannot tell how developments in Zimbabwe will play out in the days ahead and we do not know whether this marks the downfall of Mugabe or not,” Mr Johnson told the parliament.
“We will do all we can, with our international partners, to ensure this provides a genuine opportunity for all Zimbabweans to decide their future.”
Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, released this statement:
“We wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander in chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade RG Mugabe, and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed.”
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.”
“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy. To the civil servants, as you are aware, there is a plan by the same people to influence the current purging that is taking place in the political sphere to the civil service. We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.”
“To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to assure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed.”
“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”