The Zimbabwean military has seized control of the country.
A few days ago the head of the army gave a speech calling for national unity. He denounced person unnamed who represented a threat to the country.
President Robert Gabriel Mugabe is an ailing 93 year old. Mr President has not been in the best of sorts for several years. He has regularly been seen ”resting his eyes” at international conferences. More than a few have speculated that the old boy is gaga.
There is succession fever. Speculation is rife as to whether he shall be succeeded by the vice-president or by the First Lady Grace Mugabe. The vice-president was dismissed some weeks ago and he too flight to South Africa.
Gucci Grace is unpopular due to her extravagant spending. It sticks in the craw that a soi-disant socialist should spend millions on haute couture while her people starve. Mugabe’s former secretary became his mistress. She bore him a child while the president was still married to his first wife. As a Christian this is regarded as immoral conduct.
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces are out on the streets. They have established control over key installations. They are providing security for the president. Is that not their job anyway? Why surround his house with tanks?
The military is the only thing that actually works in Zimbabwe besides the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). The CIO were presumably in on the plot. If they had got wind of this conspiracy and not approved it they surely would have informed the president. The military and the CIO are the only people who get paid in time in this basket case country.
Why now? Mugabe dismissed his vice-president. The vice-president’s cronies in the army must want him for the top spot. He is an alter kampfer from the Bush War. There is another factor. Do the coupsters know something about R G Mugabe’s health that we do not? I don’t know but I think we should be told if Mugabe is on death’s door. Despite protestations om the even of his 90th birthday that he is ”as fit as a fiddle” it must be that the president is not long for this world. He has been abroad for medical treatment a few times this year. Perhaps the top brass want to ensure that there man makes it to the state house. They wish to secure his succession before Mugabe is called to his reward.
President Mugabe has turned a fine country into a terrible mess. By corruption, pillaging, suppressing free expression, unfair trial, police brutality, stuffed ballot boxes and murder he has wrecked the country. It is good that the stiff necked racism of Smith has been consigned to the lavatory. But Mugabe’s cackocracy has been even worse.
It is lugubrious to reflect that there is little hope on the horizon. The only two contenders for the highest office in the land are Gucci Grace and the vice-president. This is a power struggle in ZANU-PF. Mugabe was grooming G 40 t take over. This means the generation that was too young to fight against the Smith regime. There will be no real election. There is no prospect of a good leader taking over. The two candidates both came up through the ZANU-PF system. Both are complicit in crimes against humanity.
Is this not a military takeover? Why did the army deny an accusation that had not been put? Guilty conscience it seems. If it looks like an elephant, it walks like and elephant and it talks like an elephant it is probably …
The army will probably keep Mugabe on as a puppet. The camarilla around him can wheel him out for photo opportunities sometimes. He has probably lost his mind. The president can be persuaded to sign whatever they put in front of him. They have control over him. Significantly, his wife has not been seen for some time. She is probably in luxurious detention.
This is like Indonesia 1967 but so far without the killing.
I wonder if it like the Kornilov coup. It is a coup against a non-coup. A general has used a bogus claim if a coupe to make a grab for power himself. That said it seems that the generals do not want the top spot for themselves. Mugabe will be the titular president even if the vice -president is now restored and becomes l’eminence grise.
The geriatric Mugabe will be a figurehead for military government. He has a semblance of legitimacy in the minds of many. Those who detest him are dead or have fled. Whether senile or not the president is not in control of the country. He may well not be in control of his faculties. The army could impanel a medical commission to judge the president unable to discharge his duties on medical grounds. He could thereby be deposed. I suspect they will not do that. It is more useful to have him as a marionette.