Zimbabwe Coup

by Taylor Brown

 

The military takeover of the Zimbabwean government might just be the oddest coup the modern world has ever seen. It began on November 14th when Maj. Gen. S.B. Moyo, military spokesman, announced from the national broadcast system that President Mugabe and other ‘corrupt’ officials had been taken into custody. The general insisted that the occurrence was not a military takeover. Usually, participants in a military takeover don’t go to such considerable lengths to claim that the opposite was true. The country’s other political leaders were also adamant when insisting that there wasn’t a coup.
To add to the confusion, a day later Mugabe was at home negotiating a transition of power with army leader Commander General Constantino Chiwenga, two South African envoys, and Catholic priest Fidelis Mukonori. The leader, who is best known for his efforts to overthrow the white minority rule in South Rhodesia, made his first public appearance two days later at a student graduation ceremony for Zimbabwe Open University. Events and appearances post the political crisis were clearly orchestrated by the military commanders to give a sense that business was as usual.
The reaction of public is what’s most mind-boggling about this whole ordeal. Thousands of anti-Mugabe met the news of his downfall with singing and dancing in the streets of Harare on Saturday. Soldiers posed for quick selfies with hopeful citizens at the march. Unlike other coup’s their were no curfews and no conduct crackdowns. So far, the public’s reaction has been seemingly hopeful that this new administration will be less corrupt than the Mugabe lead government.
Four days later the country tuned into what was supposed to the impeachment of the man who had held office since 1987. Mugabe gave a long address and his seal of approval to legitimize the actions the military had taken against him. CNN reports that thirty minutes later the most unconventional resignation occurred when the Speaker house read out a letter that stated “”I have resigned to allow smooth transfer of power. Kindly give public notice of my decision as soon as possible.”

 

Picture Credit: “President Of Zimbabwe Mugabe Addresses General Assembly At United Nations.” UPI Photo Collection, 2009. General OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CT4099906141/GPS?u=fl_orangectyhigh&sid=GPS&xid=32dcae81. Accessed 12 Dec. 2017.