Home / Africa / Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Is Out Of Power For First Time Since 1980s; Military Denies ‘Coup’

Zimbabwe’s Mugabe Is Out Of Power For First Time Since 1980s; Military Denies ‘Coup’

NPR | President Robert Mugabe and his family are “safe and sound,” the military of Zimbabwe says — but his decades in power have seemingly come to an end, after Mugabe, 93, was forcefully pushed aside. Both the ruling party and the military insist there was no coup.

“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,” the Zimbabwe Defense Forces said on Wednesday, adding, “As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

But it will be a new normal for Zimbabwe, which has been led by Mugabe since the 1980s.

The dramatic shift comes a week after Mugabe fired his longtime vice president (and military veteran) Emmerson Mnangagwa, accusing him of disloyalty. That seemed to be the last straw for the military, which sent armored vehicles and soldiers on street patrols in the capital. As we reported, “Soldiers reportedly took control of the headquarters of the national broadcaster, ZBC, with an army spokesman saying on air, ‘this is not a military takeover.’ ”

On Wednesday morning, the ruling ZANU PF party said via its Twitter feed that Mnangagwa has now returned to lead the party:

“Last night the first family was detained and are safe, both for the constitution and the sanity of the nation this was necessary. Neither Zimbabwe nor ZANU are owned by Mugabe and his wife. Today begins a fresh new era and comrade Mnangagwa will help us achieve a better Zimbabwe.”

Both the ouster and the presence of heavy military vehicles on the streets of Harare fueled talk of a coup in Zimbabwe — which in turn fueled denials by the military and ruling party.

“Contrary to international reports, the gallant Zimbabwean Army has not staged a COUP,” the ZANU PF party’s youth league said on Twitter, in a message retweeted by the main party. It added, “There is n COUP in Zimbabwe. Neither is there crisis. The army is simply effecting a National Democratic Project and it’s doing so with peaceful aplomb.”

A public schism had formed between Mugabe and Mnangagwa at least as early as the summer of 2016, when veterans of Zimbabwe’s war of liberation withdrew their support for Mugabe. In a letter explaining that move, the veterans cited widespread corruption and mismanagement in the government, stating, “This rot needs to be uprooted, and right now.”

The schism resulted in two camps forming — one loyal to Mnangagwa and another loyal to Mugabe’s wife, Grace, NPR’s Merrit Kennedy reported.

Many saw Mnangagwa’s removal “as a prelude to Mugabe promoting the politically ambitious but controversial first lady to one of two vice presidential posts,” NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton and Scott Neuman reported earlier Wednesday.

When Mugabe fired his deputy Mnangagwa, it triggered a stern warning from the military.

As NPR’s Eyder Peralta reports for our Newscast unit from Kenya, the military said that if a purge of revolutionary fighters continued, it would take action:

“Last night, the military did. Armored vehicles moved through the streets of the capital Harare and this morning state TV aired an address by Major General Sibusiso Moyo.

“He says Mugabe is safe, but the military wants to end the quote purging.

” ‘We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that,’ Moyo said.”

Mugabe’s five-year term in office was meant to run into 2018; new elections had been expected to be held next summer.

Mugabe became Zimbabwe’s prime minister in 1980 and assumed the president’s office in 1987, after the exit of Zimbabwe’s first president, Canaan Banana.

 

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46 comments

  1. Jerome Bebele Zamba

    GOOD JOB ZIMBABWE.
    BUT THERE IS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION THAT NEEDS TO BE ANSWERED…

    WHICH AFRICAN DICTATOR IS NEXT???

    • hahahahahahaha, good question bro

    • Its based on longevity of Pr service
      Ofcourse we all know who are the longest serving Presidents in africa
      Wuna no wurry next is on the way by Gods Grace???
      POPO YAH TAM DI KOM TOO
      BASTARD

  2. Same scenario in Africa over and over again!
    Africans Never learn.
    What an idiotic, pathetic move…
    The question is :Now What ?

    • Zimbabwe isn’t like your Beti republic where your tribal cliques runs and control every public office. The Army has risen to safe their nationalism being decimated by a typist turn wife. This is something to be proud of. Continue nurturing Junior to take over at etoudi. Btw we Ambazonians are out.

      • Oh! So you think this is just about Grace Mugabe? Wow, you Africans are really amazing. With All the experience you are supposed to have acquiered living in the west for decades, you still listning to BBC/CNN! Wow…Amazing.

        • Bikut,

          I know where you’re coming from. I have made a bit of research on youtube, all clues are leading to Grace Mugabe as the main cause.

          Mugabe knew the gamble he was making by wanting to humiliate and retire many Generals, who have all along been propping up the revolution.

          Mugabe was willing in 2008 to concede defeat to Morgan T but the army stepped in and refused. However, the army, war vet, have consistently made it clear to Mugabe that Grace is out of question. No matter the cost. But Mugabe thought he could do without the army.

          Mugabe has only got himself to blame. He’s even lucky that the army still respects him and is willing to secure him a peaceful retirement.

          Were this a WEST plot, I don’t think the army would still be willing to see Mugabe have a peaceful retirement…

        • Zammy,

          thanks for being a good Amba neighbor. We have our differences I know but I appreciate your lucid X-ray to lady Bik. Spot on.

        • ZZ
          Robert Mugabe should have leave power long time ago, we all agree on that! He should have prepared his “succession ” wiser than he did. However…
          Ne vous réjouissez jamais quand un Africain est utilisé contre un autre Africain pour des interets autre que ceux des Africains.
          Vous vous réjouissez aujourd’hui, mais demain quand vous aurez ouvert les yeux, vous en pleurerez.
          Le cas de la Cote d’Ivoire est un parfait exemple.
          Bcoup de ceux qui se réjouissaient de l’arrestation de Gbagbo ont compris aujourd’hui qui était derriere Ouattara.
          A choisir,ils n’auraient pas opté pour ce scenario , meme s’il fallait que Gbagbo aille.
          Apprenons a traiter nos affaires internes sans le paternalisme des autres là!
          Comprenne qui pourra!

        • Bikut,

          Je te comprends absolument, mais dans la cas d’espèce c’est Mugabe qui a lui même creusé sa propre tombe.

          C’est n’est qu’un secret de polichinelle, presque tt le monde au Zim savait déjà ke les militaires n’allaient pas laisser Grace M mettre la pays à terre dans le cas ou Mugabe venait subitement à fermer les yeux. Les militaires l’ont mm réitéré avant de passer à l’action.

          Grace M misait plus sur les jeunes du ZANU pour défier les milito. Ces mm jeunes ont mm déjà présenté leur excuses aux milito.

          Je doute bien mm si Mugabe voulait passer le relais à klk1 un jour. Il a sûrement mit sa femme devant pr encore jouir des prolongations et klkes séries de tirs au but en voulant les distraire avk sa femme.

          Kil se repose, ça ne rime mm à rien de passer son temps à dormir debout…

        • aGee,

          you want for set me up, no be so?…anyway, ma own tok di end time wey me ah dong tok’am finish. Place no dey again for ma heart for di carry ma own kontri pipol for inside…

        • Bikutsi I’m an ambazonia but by using citing CNN/BBC, I comment you.Because those two networks are the cause of all African demise.

        • @Atem

          BBC’s Randy Joe Sa’ah spent 3 months in Kondengui for reporting your crisis. How many have you spent you this paper tiger? Who cares if you are an Ambazonian or not? True Amba ambassadors are working hard behind the scene and not announcing their presence where it doesn’t matter.

  3. At last !

    • At last what? This is something none of us as African should ever be proud of or happy to talk about. The devil have always use every means necessary to bring down great African leaders. Read your history you this grumpy old man.

  4. Ambazonia Amba

    Cause and effect

  5. Hope the next Will be PAUL BIYA , i dont understand why this old men dont want to go and rest. Biya lives 9 months in Swiss but still dont want to go and rest in peace.

  6. Not quite appropriate but necessary, given the machiavellic maneuvers of the power-hungry typist-turned-first lady, Grace (Gucci) Mugabe. It is doubtful this scenario might repeat itself in Cameroon given that the tyrant Biya has created rival factions of the armed forces. Fingers crossed though.

  7. Yaounde be Alert!

  8. Indeed what will it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? Robert Mugabe fought Ian Smith and his UDI and British backers to get Rhodesia its independence. But he did not do it alone!!!!! To drop Joshua Nkomo on the way side with all the Matabeles, to use subterfuge and put Morgan Tsvangirai out of action and remain the only cock to strut and crow around on the ZANU-PF ticket for so long, assisted by a notorious wife creating scandals here and there was not good. Yes, Zimbabweans accepted and rejoiced at their freedom and rose on top of the chart.

    But then a good song lasts only so much. Why the unnecessary prolongation? See how a good job turned sour for everybody? Did independence have to come with inflation? Zimbabwe is saddled with an intractable inflation! Why?

  9. Why the reversion to the American dollar? Imagine buying a loaf of bread for $12,000,000, tendering a $100,000,000 bill and asking for change! That was the nature of the Zimbabwe dollar. Like Argentina before it, Zimbabwe needed special calculators to accommodate the extra zeros.

    For those who have not quite grasped what inflation is consider this. You enter a shop carrying your cash in a wheelbarrow. But upon going out of the shop, your purchases can barely fit under your armpit because there was little to show for the quantum of money spent.

    Entitlement spoils business. So also does ignorance wrapped in a package of arrogance. Zimbabwe can do much better…much much better.

    • John [email protected] The inflation aspect was well publisised and done on purpose ….meeting ex white farm owners in England ,cement that fact ,they never got over the loss ,probably same thing will happen if the break free of the CAF isnt well organised .With a minimmum amount of firm long term bargaining both can, or could of ,easily be avoided ,the produce is on Africas side of the bargaining table .

  10. Vaiocomputers

    Someone in Yaounde will not be having a quiet sleep even when he hears just the sound of the door.

  11. JEROME BEBELE ZAMBA

    CE QUE JE TROUVE TOUJOURS CAPTIVANT AVEC CE GENRE DE RENVERSEMENTS C’EST QU’ILS FRAPPENT DES DICTATEURS QUI SE CROIENT OMNIPOTENTS ET QUE LE PEUPLE CROIENT OMNIPOTENTS.
    MAIS QUAND ÇA ARRIVE ON EST TOUS SURPRIS ET ON DIT “OH SO IT WAS POSSIBLE”…
    TRUST EVERYONE IN THIS PLANET BUT ARMY MEN.
    QUAND LES HAUTS GRADÉS DÉCIDENT DE RENVERSER LES CHOSES RIEN NE LES EN EMPÊCHE.
    LE CAMEROUN N’EN EST PAS UNE EXCEPTION…I AM SURE BY NOW BIYA HAS CALLED ALL HIS ARMY GENERALS TO FLATTER OR INTIMIDATE THEM. IN ANY CASE WHAT HE SEES IN ZIMBABWE CANNOT LEAVE HIM AT PEACE.. BY NOW I AM SURE ALL HIGH RANKED ARMY OFFICERS HAVE RECEIVED THE PROMISE OF A SALARY RAISE.
    BUT KEEP MY WORDS, “YOU NEVER CAN TRUST HIGH RANKED ARMY OFFICERS, AND IF YOU THINK CAMEROON IS AN EXCEPTION THEN YOU WILL B SHOCKED.

    • Son jour viendra , Biya a trop detruit pour partir en paix. Il va creuser sa propre tombe. Les gens qui n arrivent meme plus ä marcher mais s accrochent au pouvoir.

      • Uhmm pays,

        it would be better to make Biya understand that we can still guarantee him an honourable exit should he come back to his senses. I believe if Biya can feel that it could dissuade him from wasting his remaining energy for 2018.

        He has to first of all set the pace for a long-lasting solution to the Anglo prob, make peace to the CMR pple, and then return to his Swiss country.

        If not, all indications in his own ranks are showing that party wolves are gently surrounding him, ready for a brutal challenge…

        • Jerome Bebele Zamba

          Uhmm Pays and Sir. Zam Zam the old man has no choice at this time. What he has power on is deciding whether he want to spend the rest of his days behind bars or in freedom (provided the people of Cameroon forgive him).
          I said earlier he thinks he can trust his army generals, Samuel Doe thought the same, so did Ben Ali, Hosni Moubarak, Blaise Compaoré, Konan Bédié or even Robert Mugabe…Where are they???
          He who trusts high ranked army officers is only deceiving himself.
          Jacques Fame Ndonko, Issa Tchiroma, Gregoire Owona, Laurent Esso, Mebe Ngo Edgard Alain, Motaze Louis Paul, Mafani Musongue, Atanga Nji and other thurifers of the regime will not have tears to cry.
          The strive will soon be over.

  12. Leaving Zimbabwe financially flat-bellied is not too much fun. The new leaders have a burden on their hands.

    Not that things are better in the Golden Triangle; recently freed Justice Paul Ayah Abine and his PAP (People Action Party) are suing the government at the ACHRF (African Commission of Human Rights and Freedoms) claiming 100 billion CFA Francs for his recent Calvary. By the time Barrister Felix Agbor Nkongho, Dr. Fontem Neba and the others follow suit, Christine Lagarde and all of her IMF and World Bank conglomerate will find themselves with an unenviable client to underwrite as before.

  13. this is what we call army not the ladies we have in Cameroon calling themselves armies Look at the fat fool who have never fired a pistol calling himself military spoke person. Probably pinguiss uncle.Shame to the gorillas of the south your days are numbered and F you mbappe a.k.a fils du pute

  14. This can never happen in Cameroon, because 90% of the generals holding strategic powers and positions are people from the south who are Biya’s people. Most importantly Cameroun military is made up of tribal arrangements.
    Secondly this type of take overs doesn’t happen in Francophone countries.The general in Gabon who took over Omar Bongo was killed by the French. Francophone countries have not yet attain any independence.So you francophone camerounians remain in your day dreaming that your country is independent.

    • Police are you serious? Senegal , Mali , Guineen, Madagascar, Burkina just to name those , are francophone countries or???? I dont think Kenya , Ukanda, Ethiopia, Soudan(2) and many others are different because they are anglo . Maliens Will tell you proudly that they are bambara, you stay there and call yourself anglophone.

  15. The wind of change is still blowing and I as a Cameroonian is thinking of which direction the wind is taking next. Please Mr. Wind, search in your database and delete everyone who started maltreating his fellow citizens in the 1980s. You better know them

  16. Army Generals should not waste their precious time and energy on Biya. Innocent lives will be lost for nothing since Biya has divided the army in opposing camps in order to rule unchallenged. Illness will soon take care of Biya. Rumours abound that Biya is seriously ill (diagnosed of cardiac problems and prostate cancer ) and his is suffering from Paranoid Schizophrenia and dementia.

    The ICC should rather expedite the investigation of Biya and his crime syndicate for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity. Biya should not die without telling Cameroonians and the world why he ordered the massacres of unarmed civilians in Southern Cameroons.

  17. Korup Forest

    Rhodesia was the food basket of Africa but then came this racist called Mugabe. Today Zimbabwe imports most of its food. He gave the land of the white farmers to blacks but forgot to explain them that food is not growing on its own, you need to work if you want something to grow on your land.

    • ZIMBABWE c’est le nomn. Essaye d’avoir un minimun de respect pour la mémoire des peuples Africains qui ont combattu pour ce pays, meme si c’est trop demendé à un cochon gratté qui se croit donneur de lecon a un forum purement Africain.
      Il a arraché des terres aux blancs? De quel droit te permets – tu cette diffamation? Existe t- il des blancs Africains?
      N’importe quoi!
      Avoir une noire sous ton toit ne te donne aucun droit de parole dans les affaires inter -Africaines.

      • Korup Forest

        Eh mon ami, donne moi le nom d’un pays Africain qui a progressé depuis son independence. Il y’en a pas! Donne le pouvoir a un noir et il en abuse. La corruption et l’amour pour l’argent court dans les veines des noirs. Face it! But you still need the “whites” whenever you are in big shit. Your best friend China will not come to help you, be sure. That’s just the reality.

        • Premierement je ne suis en aucun cas ton “ami “, loin de là.
          Deuxiemement je ne te donnerais pas ce privilège d’entrer ds une discussion quelconque avec un décendant de Leopold le criminel de tout le temps.
          Troisiemement tu auras le droit à la parole lorsqu’il s’agit des affaires inter- Africaines lorsque réparation sera faite par tes paires, ta race, pour les crimes éffectués par vous contre mon peuple.
          Avant ca, meme l’air que toi et ta race respire est une dete que vous devez aux Africains.
          Si t’as pas compris le message, demande a ta bonne que t’appeles “femme ” de t’expliquer, si t’as pas encore détruit ses nérones Africaines.
          Pauvre enfoiré qui vient se la faire ici. Manquer de respect aux noirs noirs ds leur propre forum..
          typique!

        • Korup Forest

          Sorry for you that the truth hurts so much.

  18. Nothing good ever comes from Yaounde

    Did they say criminal in his entourage? Like Beti criminals in the mumu of mvomeka their days are numbered. Biya can stay in power in la republic for as long as he chooses. Ambazonia s concerns is not that, he has to take off his colonial governor and DOs

  19. It is funny how people always parrot the trope about Zimbabwe once being the bread basket of Africa. Challenge them to produce statistics to back their claim and they stay silent

    • When Mugabe took over from Ian Smith, he called Zimbabwe a jewel of Africa and promised to maintain it the way it was. The first reason why Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of Africa is that it has one of the richest farmlands in Africa and grows a myriad of crops , like wheat, citrus, soya, beans, tea , tobacco, maize, cotton, roses, sugarcane and dairy farming. As recent as 1997, Zimbabwe was the fastest growing economy in Africa. Before the year 2000, maize yielded 1.5 million tons annually. Today, it barely scrapes 500,000 tons. In the year 2000, wheat yielded 309,000 tons, but today it’s down to 27,000. Tobacco was at 265,000 tons, but is only 66,000 today. HIV has affected 1/3 of the population affecting farm hands. Life expectancy is only 35 years, down from 56 in the early 70s.

  20. too much power corrupts power. faut savoir quitter les choses avant qu’elles ne vous quittent.