longest-serving leaders, has said that he will only give up power “when God says ‘Come.’”
divine one, may be about to bring Mugabe’s 37-year stint in power to an
end. And one man looks set to profit from the dramatic turn of events in
Zimbabwe: Mugabe’s former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, early Wednesday and has reportedly
detained prominent members of the ruling ZANU-PF party, though it
insisted that the 93-year-old president and his family were “safe and
remains unclear, there are unconfirmed reports that Mnangagwa may be
behind the military takeover, which the army is insisting is not a coup.
the city is largely calm but that he is concerned by what could turn out
to be an “unconstitutional transition of power.”
guarantee that this type of transition will result in democratic
consolidation on the other side of it. I think that there is a very
real possibility that this could be just a consolidation of more of the
same with a different face,” Coltart, 26, tells Newsweek.
75-year-old is a veteran of the country’s independence war—which ended
in 1980 with Mugabe coming to power—and has since then held a range of
top political and military positions. Mnangagwa’s stature as a war
veteran and his history in the military means he has developed a strong
support base among the country’s armed forces.
deputy in 2014 following the purge of Joice Mujuru, who Mugabe and his
wife Grace accused of plotting to kill the president.
successor, but in recent years, an intense rivalry has developed between
the former vice-president and the first lady. ZANU-PF has split into
factions—one, known as the Lacoste faction, backing Mnangagwa; the
other, G40, supporting Grace Mugabe—and the first lady has called
Mnangagwa out for allegedly undermining the president.
was booed at a party rally in Bulawayo, allegedly by Mnangagwa
supporters. The booing prompted a furious response from the president,
who threatened to ax Mnangagwa. By November 6, Mnangagwa had been
dismissed for “disloyalty, disrespect and deceitfulness.”
deposed vice-president made a plea for reconciliation within the ruling
party and called for a “new and prosperous Zimbabwe” that does not
“isolate itself from the rest of the world, because of one stubborn
individual who believes he is entitled to rule this country until
1980s and is accused of playing a key role in the so-called Gukurahundi
massacres, a brutal campaign against the Ndebele people in western
Zimbabwe that saw more than 20,000 civilians killed by armed forces
loyal to Mugabe. Mnangagwa has denied involvement in the massacres.
campaign. The first round of the election produced a shock, with
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai taking more of the votes than Mugabe
but not an outright majority. A campaign of intimidation preceded the
second round of voting—which saw more than 100 people killed and
Tsvangirai pull out—in which Mugabe emerged victorious.
the military action, it may not bode well for any attempt to establish
democracy in Zimbabwe.
capture of state by the Lacoste faction with the backing of the
military—would not bring any meaningful transition in Zimbabwe,” he says.