The military of Zimbabwe seized control of Harare, the capital city on November 14th, 2017 and forced the ousting of the current President. The military has put the sitting president since 1987, Robert Mugabe, under house arrest and coerced his resignation. In response, the people of Zimbabwe, especially in Harare, have either been indifferent or even supportive of the move, hoping that the coup would mean an end to the widespread corruption that has plagued Mugabe’s administration.
“To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government” said Major General S.B. Moyo of the Zimbabwe National Army.
The military of Zimbabwe claims the coup was to facilitate a peaceful and successful transition of power and that a return to normalcy is expected, evidence suggests that the coup was politically motivated and will not be a radical change from the corruption of Mugabe’s administration.
In the months preceding the coup, Mugabe’s originally endorsed successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa was fired as Vice President and the office of VP was left vacated indefinitely. It is purported that Mnangagwa was removed by Mugabe from the position of successor in favor of his wife, Grace Marufu. Despite the removal, Mnangagwa continued as a politician, drawing sectors of support from his former comrades in the military and the ZANU-PF from the war for the independence of Zimbabwe. Since then, Mnangagwa has been hotly contesting the position of successor with Marufu.
In the aftermath of the coup, Mugabe has partaken in several negotiations with the military and fellow members of the ZANU-PF (the majority party that both Mugabe and Mnangagwa are a part of). The result was that the ZANU-PF party removed Mugabe as party leader and, jointly with the military, demanded Mugabe’s resignation as president.
Moving forwards, the ascendency of Mnangagwa as president has been secured as a result of the removal of Mugabe, the principal and most powerful backer of Mnangagwa’s main rival for the succession, Marufu. The ZANU-PF has and will continue to dominate the politics and government of Zimbabwe. The new president, Mnangagwa, was the right hand man of Mugabe preceding his removal from the office of Vice President and will almost certainly continue policies similar to those of Mugabe. Consequently, government sponsored corruption is likely to continue and the only change is likely to be the transition from Mugabe to Mnangagwa.
Credit to Quartz (qz.com)