November 17th, 2017

What’s going on in Zimbabwe?

Nobody seems too sure. But as best I can piece together (from articles such as this and this, for example), here’s the story.

Mugabe’s previous supporters have turned on him, and that’s what turned the tide. Those in charge of the coup don’t want it to be perceived as an actual coup. They prefer to follow parliamentary procedure and impeach him, which looks as though it could happen.

Mugabe is 93 years old and has been in power either as Prime Minister or President for nearly 40 years—40 years that have mostly been very destructive of civil rights, human rights, and the economy. Perhaps his opponents saw light at the end of the tunnel—how long can the guy live?—but the propect of Mugabe’s wife taking over after his death may have sharpened their motivation to get rid of them both. I hadn’t yet read this article when I wrote that previous sentence, but here’s the lede, which certainly is in agreement:

Grace Mugabe, the 52-year-old wife of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, is a national hate figure in the embattled African state, so much so that many believe the military coup launched yesterday against his regime was less about deposing the president and more about getting rid of her.

No one seems to know where she is right now.

My guess is that Mugabe will be removed in the next couple of weeks, and that Grace will go with him. But my guess is also that their replacements will not be a whole lot better, although I wish for Zimbabwe’s sake that I’m wrong about that part.

16 Responses to “What’s going on in Zimbabwe?”

  1. expat Says:

    Maybe that’s why the UN wanted to give Mugabe a job. I’m with you in hoping things get better there, but I’ll wait for some evidence.

  2. parker Says:

    Zimbabwe is headed towards a total melt down. The path from the bread basket of Africa to printing trillion dollar bils will not end well.

  3. CapnRusty Says:

    America, if Hillary had won.

  4. AesopFan Says:

    Another argument for Constitutional term limits or retirement ages.

  5. John F. MacMichael Says:

    “But my guess is also that their replacements will not be a whole lot better, although I wish for Zimbabwe’s sake that I’m wrong about that part.”

    Sadly, I think you are right. The fact that the man who is widely expected to replace Mugabe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, is nicknamed “The Crocodile” does not fill me with hope for a new dawn of freedom in Zimbabwe.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Mugabe rose to the top of a despotic social system; in the animal kingdom, two examples of despotic social systems are the African Gorilla and the African wild dog…

    “Dominance hierarchy arises when members of a social group interact, often aggressively, to create a ranking system. In social living groups, members are likely to compete for access to limited resources and mating opportunities. Rather than fighting each time they meet, relative relationships are formed between members of the same sex. Based on repetitive interactions a social order is created that is subject to change each time a dominant animal is challenged by a subordinate one.”

    Mugabe, the “dominant animal is being challenged by his subordinates because they sense he is too old and weak to resist and put them down.

    The result is indeed likely to be; “new boss, same as the old boss”… lyric from “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the English rock band The Who.

  7. vanderleun Says:

    ” I wish for Zimbabwe’s sake that I’m wrong about that part.”

    You’re not. If anything they will be worse. T

  8. Chester Draws Says:

    They may be worse, but they are unlikely to have the lock on power that he had. Mugabe was let alone to establish his power by people who naively saw him as a Mandela figure. By the time they came to their senses it was too late.

    Also, as vicious as the successors might be, they are unlikely to be quite so wedded to his silly Marxist economic views. They will know that unless they can get the economy running in some semblance of order that their time will be short.

  9. parker Says:

    It, Zimbabwe, will burn down, Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. Nothing new here, nothing new under the sun. The only question is how the people of Zimbabwe rise out of the ashes.

    This will not end well.

  10. n.n Says:

    Black vs black as it was before the left opened abortion fields targeting native white and dissenting black Africans.

  11. Flight-ER-Doc Says:

    Albania would be a good exemplar. Romania too. Even Italy at the end of WWII…..

  12. Nancy Reyes Says:

    you overlooked one item: China. The army probably got an okay from China before they decided to move. China has lots of interest in reviving agriculture in Africa, and of course would like Zimbabwe’s lovely mineral wealth.
    Their long term interest is a stable country. corruption and tyranny is ok but not civil war.
    and yes: Grace’s plan to take over the country when her husband died is behind the move by the military.

  13. Joan Says:

    Speaking from some inside contacts, the country is ecstatic to be retiring Bob and to be rid of Grace. The fact that the coup was bloodless ( Mugabe’s personal guards did not want to take a bullet for him) speaks of the weariness that his rule has engendered. No doubt the Chinese were consulted, and South Africa was tipped off. Hopefully ththeugsbe

  14. Joan Says:

    …the Mugabes will choose exile. The country has had 37 years of political intrigue. A lot of the fight had gone out of the these aging revolutionaries.

  15. Ray Says:

    You used to go to Rhodesia to see the ruins of Zimbabwe but now you go to Zimbabwe to see the ruins of Rhodesia. I saw some news reports from Harare and didn’t see a single white person in the crowds. Looks like Mugabe did an excellent job of getting rid of the evil white colonial exploiters.

  16. J.J. Says:

    Nancy R., you done broke the code. The Chinese do indeed have their eyes on Zimbabwe’s mineral wealth as well as its agricultural potential. The country has large reserves of metallurgical-grade chromite as well as commercial deposits of coal, asbestos, copper, nickel, gold, platinum and iron ore. Unfortunately, the know how and capital to extract them are lacking. The Chinese plan to provide that. For more on the China connection see here:

    From Deutsche Welle: “Over the past year, the country’s creaking economy has left it teetering on the edge of collapse. Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired as Zimbabwe’s vice-president by Mugabe last week, had been planning to breath new life into the economy by bringing back thousands of white farmers kicked off their land nearly two decades ago and improving relations with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), who came close to expelling Zimbabwe from the fund in 2006.”

    I doubt the former white Rhodesian farmers would be interested in returning unless there was a non-Communist government and they could get uncontested title to their farms. China might be willing to bring in agricultural managers to breathe new life into the farms, but they would have to have assurances of non-interference by the government. I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    Parker: “This will not end well.” It has already not ended well. The country is experiencing 50% inflation, 25%of the people are malnourished, and the country is primarily dependent on USAID and other humanitarian organizations for food and other humanitarian goods. The only way it might be worse would be mass starvation. Another example of a once prosperous country ruined by Communism. When will we humans learn?

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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