Whither Zimbabwe, after 37 Years of Robert Mugabe
7 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2018 Last revised: 9 May 2018
Date Written: January 1, 2018
A non-coup coup; a coup by any other name is still a coup. What is interesting about the recent coup in Zimbabwe, is that while the world found occupation in whether what had happened was a coup or not, Zimbabweans themselves were in utter disbelief that President Robert Mugabe was finally on his way out and sooner than expected. Most of them had become resigned to him leaving the presidency upon his death. Focused on the goal to see President Mugabe out of office, no one seemed to care anymore about how this would happen; the end justified the means. Now that his departure seemed possible and imminent, they wanted him to leave soon, or, in the words of some of the people interviewed by the media during the march, they wanted him to leave “like yesterday”. While Zimbabweans may have had grievances against the Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF) and other security institutions in the country for their role in President Mugabe’s violent and brutal rule, this was outweighed by the fact that they did not want the man they reviled so much staying in power until they could engage in the next round of the futile exercise of voting him out. Against this pragmatism, the coup became “cool”, according to one of the placards carried by demonstrators. As non-violent as the coup was, it provided humorous moments as when men and women in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF), the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, came out to disown President Mugabe and his wife. The same people had treated the couple like a cult for decades, kneeling and groveling to the shock and amusement of ordinary Zimbabweans. When exactly did it occur to them that President Mugabe and his wife were not good for the country? Had they not presented President Mugabe as the ZANU PF candidate in the election in 2018? One can only wonder how Mr and Mrs Mugabe felt watching this level of betrayal from those who had, as recently as days before the coup, praised them to the skies.
Keywords: Election, Africa, democracy, Human rights, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Robert Mugabe, development, Citizenship, Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF), Political reform, Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF), African democracy, Zimbabwe
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