Coup starting in ​Zimbabwe​. Is this the end of Robert Mugabe?

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  • Last month, the rumblings started with this:

    Zimbabwe's First Lady Grace Mugabe has warned of a possible coup plot amid growing tensions in the fight to succeed her husband.

    She says allies of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa are threatening the lives of those who don't support him to replace President Robert Mugabe, 93.


    Mrs Mugabe herself and Mr Mnangagwa are the front-runners and their rivalry has split the governing Zanu-PF.

    Then, a few days ago this:

    Zimbabwe's army chief has warned those responsible for "purging" the country's ruling Zanu-PF party to stop, or the military will step in.

    The rare intervention comes just a week after President Robert Mugabe sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa.


    Mr Mugabe sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, amid a row over succession.

    And now this:

    Soldiers are reported to have taken over the headquarters of Zimbabwe's national broadcaster, ZBC, amid a growing political crisis.

    Explosions have also been reported in the capital, Harare, but the cause is unclear.


    Earlier, the country's ambassador in South Africa denied talk of a coup.

    Normally, recent stories that have come out of Zimbabwe have concerned Robert Mugabe's main rival, Morgan Tsvangira who is the leader of MDC, the main political rival to Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. The two signed a uneasy agreement in 2008 and Tsvangira became prime minster while Mugabe retained the real power, especially that of control of the military. It didn't last and the last rigged election saw Mugabe take full control again.


    Back to the present day and the elderly Mugabe wants his wife to take over from him. A a week ago he sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, signalling to everyone else that Zimbabwe is his family's personal fiefdom, but clearly the military see it differently.


    The generals are from Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and have been happy with the one-party rule of Zimbabwe by Zunu-PF since 1980, but they now think that Zimbabwe is a becoming a one person state instead. What took them so long?


    At the time of writing, the military have taken over Zimbabwe's main broadcaster, but no move has been made on Robert Mugabe yet.


    Is this the end of Robert Mugabe's hold on Zimbabwe? What is the country's future, another military dictatorship or democracy? As if Africa needs another military dictatorship. :rolleyes:

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  • Half of Zim has fled to SA as economic refugees (yes refugees, as pretending Zim has any hope of employment or viable industry, or indeed infrastructure, is a bridge way too far now. It's a mess and the bigshots are in the ring to fight it out among themselves.)


    Grace Mugabe ( wannabe President of Zim after Bob) has got her sons safely to South Africa beforehand, where they now party their lives away in upmarket Sandton, while South Africa's own burgeoning underprivileged stand by and watch.


    The suspected "coup" has been inevitable. But its not by the opposition. It is a fight among old guard veterans of the liberation movement. First the old leaders go head to head before the youth or the people are allowed to even think of their future and while they are doing this that future moves further away.


    Personally, I blame the European agreements and declarations and other internationally agreed disasters for what has happened in many post colonial countries. So eager were neo-liberal fascists to get rid of their colonial responsibilities that they handed them over to rank communist rebels who have proceeded to destroy the once stable and viable countries' economies and oppress the people who dissented.


    What is happening now is as much the fault of these international curses to humanity as is the situation in Palestine for similar reasons.


    Those of us who end up as victims of it? They don't give a hoot about us. And they don't really give a hoot about you either. Wake up to that before they do to you what they done, and are doing, to everyone else.

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  • I don't agree that the former colonial masters "handed" their colonies over, there were wars and the European counties pulled out.


    As regards to this Zimbabwe story, the absence of any mention of MDC is notable. As you say its a tussle between the old guard warriors.


    I suppose the military has tired of waiting for Mugabe to snuff it, as it looks like he'll gone on for ever, so looks like they're going to nudge him out.

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  • The European countries left their own people in the lurch there and now we are all the people they left behind. They will snub us and call us all the names under the sun and instead play host to anyone from anywhere else. Including jihadis who hate you. There is no sanity in today's political scenarios. They are all playing to the mighty expense account and the image they think will get them into power, or keep them there, come what may. The people have never been less significant than they are now.


    What happens will serve them right, but will it serve the people right? Unless the people have been turned into brainwashed do-goody sheep, of course. In which case, let them eat cake.

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  • At least you're not in Zimbabwe, LW, or other African countries. SA is the most advanced out of the lot.

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  • Give Zuma a bit more (not much more) time and we'll be the same if the electorate doesn't wake up.

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  • It would appear to be a coup has taken place. Mugabe under guard and Grace is said to be leaving Zim under arrangement by Mugabe. I suppose we are going to have to take her, or would Britain enjoy the company of this despot in waiting?

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  • I'll be glad if Mugabe has gone, he's totally wrecked the country from what I can see of it. The only problem of course is the hundreds or thousands likely to die if rival factions decide, as usually happens in Africa, that any democratic vote result doesn't suit them and decide to take power by force which usually means killing off all and any opposition deemed to support the other side.

  • Well, this appears to be a bloodless coup at the mo. Reminds me a bit of what happened in Egypt over Morsi.


    Grace will be hugely miffed as she is keen to instate herself as queen and has a large party youth following (for some inexplicable reason, but these people often do.) That could cause mucky stuff to hit the fan, but there are tanks in the streets and some Zimbabweans have already started saying they are relieved the biggest problem seems to have been removed and are tentatively hoping someone will do something (anything) to help Zim get back on track.


    What happened to Zimbabwe is utterly terrible. The last thing on earth South Africans want is for a similar thing to happen here. So we want Zuma to go as much as Zim wanted to see the back of Bob.

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  • President Zuma of SA has called for calm. Well, I'm not surprised. he must be having kittens in the nasty void potentially opening before him. If Zim has imploded under stress, how long does he have before someone says "What a good idea!"

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  • Give Zuma a bit more (not much more) time and we'll be the same if the electorate doesn't wake up.

    That was just mentioned on BBC News just now.

    Grace will be hugely miffed as she is keen to instate herself as queen and has a large party youth following (for some inexplicable reason, but these people often do.) That could cause mucky stuff to hit the fan, but there are tanks in the streets and some Zimbabweans have already started saying they are relieved the biggest problem seems to have been removed and are tentatively hoping someone will do something (anything) to help Zim get back on track.

    She was Mugabe's office typist, no wonder the generals don't want her as the boss!

    Well, this appears to be a bloodless coup at the mo. Reminds me a bit of what happened in Egypt over Morsi.

    As you correctly analysed, it's a tussle between the old war dogs, an internal Zanu-PF issue for now. But I see MDC is calling for a return to democracy. When was that country ever democratic?

    President Zuma of SA has called for calm. Well, I'm not surprised. he must be having kittens in the nasty void potentially opening before him. If Zim has imploded under stress, how long does he have before someone says "What a good idea!"

    We'll keep that for the South African thread, but I don't see anything happening anytime soon, but you're a "bit" closer to this than me!

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  • Grace Mugabe has apparently fled to Namibia. No doubt accompanied by huge wads of cash.


    This isn't a military coup, yet, but an opportunity to get rid of Bob as a failed dictator. The Zim nationals in SA are cautiously optimistic that this may offer a ray of light in Zim's fortunes. Have to wait and see.

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  • At recent rallies, Mugabe has fallen asleep, bless him. Even dictators get old, if they live long enough, and they need to retire with their slippers, mug of cocoa and AK47s at some point. Looks like that point is now, for Mugabe.


    Yes, noticed the story that the wife has fled, no doubt with plundered money.


    We'll see how this goes, but I don't see any reason for optimism yet in Zim, as you said this is just a changing of the guard, the old guard. Zanu-PF still rules and has done since 1980. I doubt if they'll relinquish any power to MDC.

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  • These things take time and a bloodless coup or removal of a problem dictator is far better than chaos, which is why the military often steps in.

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  • How long before this is Boris's fault? , cue hysterical Labour MP'S , leftwing commentators, jezza asking we let them all in ................

  • You won't need to let them all in as most of them are in South Africa! Zims are actually very nice people, hard working, honest and can speak English. They are very interested in what's happening at home and many would like to be able to go back as their families are there.

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  • How long before this is Boris's fault?

    Don't give him any ideas!:P He'll end up getting on a plane soon, going over there and making his "jokes" and giving them his pearls of wisdom.

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  • Mugabe is back but under control of the military. It is unknown whether Grace fled to Namibia or whether she is still in Zim. They say she is in Zim. She did get her children out a while ago, though, so she must have felt suspicious.


    Activists say this isn't enough and want Bob gone. It's made other international voices all pompous because they fear this sort of thing. Many know they are deeply disliked and for the people to do anything to fix government catastrophes, even though it is the people who vote them in and out and whose taxes the government misuses, no one likes the prospect of the people taking any decisions to support or remove bad leaders and their hangers on. They only barely tolerate democratic elections as it is.


    So, now it's a waiting game. Zimbabweans know that Bob's era has ended, but are uncertain as to what comes next.


    (Zuma of South Africa is no doubt feeling nervous as he is getting to be as disliked as Mugabe for similar reasons.)

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  • Amazing things are happening in Zim today.


    The ousted deputy is going to lead a transitional government and the opposition leader is returning for negotiations.


    South Africa's cabinet has approved the situation and the Zim youth group that criticized the army has beaten a hasty retreat and is apologising for insulting the military.


    Whatever happens, I think Zimbabweans all over the world will be feeling like something miraculous has occurred. I just hope they can pull through and rescue the country. If they can, then they might do what a lot of others have failed to do about dictators who have disgraced their cause and position.

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  • I'll post some official stories in a minute, but I would be cautious before thinking something miraculous has happened, unless the MDC who actually won the Zim election two elections back are allowed to take power. I don't think Zanu-PF will allow it.


    Some official stories, first announcing the coup the other day and events since, along with a interesting article about the Britain's relationship with Mugabe:


    BBC News story first announcing the coup:


    The military has taken control in Zimbabwe but said President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, was safe.

    After seizing state TV, an army spokesman announced it was targeting people close to Mr Mugabe.


    South Africa's President Jacob Zuma later said he had spoken to Mr Mugabe who had indicated that he "was confined to his home but said that he was fine".


    The zim military denied a coup to begin with:


    Zimbabwe's military says its actions do not amount to a takeover. It still refers to Robert Mugabe as the commander-in-chief of the country's defence forces. But practically speaking, Mr Mugabe is not in charge if his forces can step in to usurp his authority.

    This is not a coup d'état in name, but it appears to be in action.


    Very interesting story about Britain's relations with Zimbabwe and Mugabe over the years:


    How UK-Zimbabwe relations went sour

    From today:

    Zimbabweans are waiting to see what steps the military will take next after seizing control of the country.

    President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest. A Roman Catholic priest known to him for years is trying to mediate a deal on his future with the military.


    South African ministers have been in the capital Harare meeting the army and political parties.

    Click the above link to get all latest news on Zimbabwe crisis.

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  • I don't mean a miracle like the opposition winning, but I do mean that baby steps first and Bob has been reined in.


    They (and the world) need a similar thing to remove Rocket Man in North Korea. The army needs to do a Zimbabwe on this murderous creature before anything like democracy can even be considered.

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  • But it was you who said it first LW, before the journalists.... that this was just one old revolutionary war dog taking over from another.


    I see nothing to cheer about yet. If this general decides he's going to stay in power, he could be far worse than Mugabe.

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  • No one could be worse than Mugabe. if you know the history of Zim, you will know of the killings of indigenous peoples and farmers and of the economic catastrophe that is that country. The reason why this has happened is because if it had not, Grace would have possibly been worse than Mugabe. The old guard will eventually go, but if anything can be done to stave off total collapse then it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.


    These are not countries like anything in the western world. These are countries with dictators who think of their term of office as being a lifetime one and so they build an elite guard round themselves and they do things an absolute monarch might do if he went off the rails.


    We used to cut off our king's heads, remember, when they did this.

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  • Lets see what this General does. If he cedes power, great, but even if Mugabe's deputy is restored and installed as new president, is that really a change?


    Mugabe said in 2014, I think, that in the 2008 election, MDC won the election by over 70%. Unless Zanu-PF are willing to give up their stranglehold of power in zim, nothing will change.


    Are Zanu-PF and MDC merely different political parties, or is there a ethnic dimension to their rivalry here? If its ethnic, the ruling tribe will not give up power to another.

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  • ...from that article:


    "What we like about the [army] generals is that they are saying the press must be free and report without fear or favour," he said.


    Lets see if that happens. I am a optimist, but also a realist. Don't forget who's been doing all the killing over these decades, it wasn't Mugabe personally, but those of his security forces.

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  • When there is a flicker of hope in Africa, people watch it and hope it grows into a light at the end of the tunnel. We have to do this in South Africa as well because Zuma is taking us down with him. So, for all those Zimbabweans who deserve better than they got, I am hoping change might be flickering somewhere way up there at the end of the tunnel.

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  • Mugabe is refusing to step down. That will create problems and they may force him. At least, that's what everyone is hoping for.

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  • Don't know if this is true, but here it is:

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  • Can't find any official confirmation of that LW, just the stories that talks are ongoing which are here:


    Zimbabwe's long-time President Robert Mugabe has been holding direct talks with the army over his future.


    Pictures emerged of the 93-year-old meeting the army chief and two envoys from South Africa at his official residence in Harare.

    Today's updates:


    Zimbabwe's long-time President Robert Mugabe is reportedly refusing to step down immediately, amid growing calls for his resignation.

    The 93-year-old was put under house arrest during a military takeover on Wednesday, after a power struggle over who would succeed him.

    Someone who has been the absolute ruler for almost four decades, doesn't just walk away. Either someone will threaten him in the end, or put a bullet in him, although this latest story suggests that the zim army doesn't wish to harm him and he isn't "quite" under house arrest:


    Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has made his first public appearance since the country's army took over on Wednesday.

    He attended a graduation ceremony in the capital, Harare.

    The South Africans have been heavily involved in this process, so lets see what comes out of that.

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