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Zimbabwe Military Seizes Control, Confines President Mugabe to Home

Zimbabwe Military Seizes Control, Confines President Mugabe to Home

The coup that’s not a coup?

A non-coup coup has apparently happened in the southern African country of Zimbabwe overnight. I noticed last night on Twitter that the military started to take control in the capital city of Harare, but denied it was a coup because they planned to target criminals around President Robert Mugabe.

This is HUGE. Mugabe has served as president/dictator since 1980 when the country achieved independence from Britain. The military claims it’s not a coup, but have placed Mugabe under house arrest

The Coup

Controversy has been brewing lately since Mugabe’s 53-year-old wife Grace has been trying to become the one to succeed her husband. It led to Mugabe dropping popular Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who fled to South Africa after his dismissal.

Two days ago, the military said it had prepared itself “to step in to end the turmoil in the ruling Zanu-PF party.” General Constatine Chiwenga recently went to China, Zimbabwe’s closest ally, to meet with military leaders. China did not confirm if they talked with Chiwenga about a military takeover.

On Monday, Chiwenga announced that leave for the defense forces had been canceled:

The situation in our country has moved to another level … To members of the Zimbabwe defence forces, all leave is cancelled and you are all to return to your barracks with immediate effect …

Let it be clear we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore, any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.

The Guardian reported that Mnangagwa has returned to Zimbabwe. Grace is reportedly abroad, but that has not been confirmed.

From The New York Times:

After apparently seizing the state broadcaster, ZBC, two uniformed officers said in a short predawn announcement that “the situation in our country has moved to another level.” While denying that the military had seized power, they said that Mr. Mugabe and his family “are safe and sound, and their security is guaranteed.”

“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” said the main speaker, who was identified as Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo, the army’s chief of staff.

General Moyo — who was not widely known to the public but who was considered close to the commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, Gen. Constantine Chiwenga — warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”

The military has “blocked roads in central Harare around government buildings and the presidential residence.” Reports have stated that the military has detained Ignatius Chombo, the finance minister.

What’s Next?

Jason Burke at The Guardian said an opposition leader stated that “there was ‘a lot going on’, with the army reaching out to them to discuss the formation of a transitional government after Mugabe steps down.” Apparently these discussion have been occurring for months:

The official said Mugabe would resign this week and be replaced by Mnangagwa, with opposition leaders taking posts as vice-president and prime minister. There was no independent confirmation of his claim.

Zimbabwe’s fragmented opposition has not publicly condemned the military move. Nelson Chamisa, the deputy head of the opposition MDC party, called for “peace, constitutionalism, democratisation, the rule of law and the sanctity of human life”.

Tendai Biti, an opposition leader, called for a “roadmap back to legitimacy”.

“What is key is that a traditional authority is set up which is inclusive with the opposition and the ruling party … We need a dialogue too with [regional organisations], the African Union and the United Nations. We can’t solve this problem on our own,” Biti said.

Another Guardian correspondent said those in Zimbabwe are excited for a change:

“I don’t think [it] will get violent because they are doing this for the people, if they start shedding blood, [they] can’t do that any more. That is why they told people to stay away from [the] centre of town unless they have business, so troublemakers cannot stir things up,” he said.

The American embassy has encouraged all employees to stay indoors.

A conference for the ZANU-PF is scheduled next month. Those loyal to Mugabe have pushed for Grace Mugabe to be officially named vice president at the conference. The coup could very well have happened now in order to prevent that and bring back Mnangagwa. As Burke points out, the military feels threatened by Grace:

But there are others who have been sidelined. Senior soldiers fear they will suffer if Grace and her associates take over. They also believe she will be corrupt, vindictive and incompetent, and know that the first lady’s violent outbursts and extravagance – as well as that of her entourage and sons – have already made her very unpopular.

The soldiers are also concerned about a further massive deterioration of the economy. Inflation and the collapse of the Zimbabwean currency has already impoverished many rank and file soldiers, and hit the incomes of officers too. The wages of the millions of government employees – troops, police, civil servants and others – often go unpaid for months on end. This means the seizure of power today will be greeted by many with relief, if not enthusiasm.

Dictator Mugabe

Mugabe, 93, is the world’s oldest leader, but he has been nothing but a disaster for Zimbabwe. Back in 2009, The New York Times editorial board wrote an op-ed that said the dictator should stand trial for crimes against humanity:

Physicians for Human Rights sent a delegation to Zimbabwe last month. The team found that the Mugabe regime destroyed the country’s healthcare system and pursued policies that ruined what had been a vibrant agriculture, depriving all but a tiny elite of proper nutrition, water, and a sustainable livelihood. One result has been a cholera epidemic and the spread of other diseases.

The rights group is calling for the UN to pass a resolution instructing the International Criminal Court in the Hague to investigate Mugabe and his cronies. The group argues that Mugabe’s depredations meet the requirements for an ICC prosecution for crimes against humanity.

The life expectancy in Zimbabwe fell from 62 in 1990 to 36 in 2006.

Despite all of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) named Mugabe a good-will ambassador for health in October. Yeah, that didn’t last long:

Under Mr. Mugabe’s authoritarian rule, critics say, the country’s health care system, like many of its public services, has suffered badly, with hospitals frequently lacking essential supplies and nurses and doctors regularly left without pay.

Mr. Mugabe and Zimbabwe have also been slapped with international sanctions over human rights abuses.

UK activist Kelvin Kudenya wrote this past July that Mugabe should be jailed for his crimes:

He is responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths in Zimbabwe – both during the Gukurahundi and 2000s era.

This is obviously not including those who were maimed for life, abducted, tortured, sexually abused, had their homes razed…the list goes on.


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Connivin Caniff | November 15, 2017 at 10:02 am

By whom, the Fashion Police?

There is “huge” and there is “HUGE”….. I am holding back as the words “war veterans” are used as in support of the “correction”. As such the same revolutionary “anti-colonial” and white-purging mindset will probably stay firmly in place. The march to social justice may well continue but just not as corrupt as before. For Zim to truly emerge from this nightmare would require too much admission of failure by too many. There has been more suffering than under colonial or white racist times and that can not be admitted. I truly hope Zim can finally be saved but doubt it.

4th armored div | November 15, 2017 at 11:04 am

if the colon k supporters want to make a difference, why don’t they go to Africa and help out their color conscious mates ?

this is not a snarky comment, i feel for the poor people of a continent that such material riches and so little human ones.

start of rant
if the congressional black caucus had any sense of duty to their past families they would also do something about getting the (D)’s off their blame white privilege. whose fault is the ills of Africa ? THE COMMUNISTS/SOCIALISTS and now China, which is always looking for a way to get more resources, is the ‘savior’ of Africa. Why didn’t Obama do anything but line his own pockets. and what about the clinton crime family.
end of rant.

SB your comments are welcome, you always have good deep thoughts.

I’m hopeful this will spell an improvement. It would be hard to make things worse.

Though not impossible…

I seriously doubt there will be improvement. It’ll probably be a “it’s our turn” deal from whatever group is behind the Military. Mugabe and his group have had their turn.

Two omissions:

1. You wrote that Zimbabwe “achieved independence from Britain” in 1980. In fact Rhodesia was fully independent since 1965, with the UK having no say whatsoever in its government; it’s just that, unlike every other country that unilaterally threw off colonial rule, the UK and other countries refused to recognize it, and pretended that it was merely a colony in temporary rebellion, and would soon return to UK rule, even though in fact the UK had no intention of ever ruling it again.

Even when Rhodesia became Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, with a democratic constitution under the rule of Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the UK and the world refused to recognize it, because the settlement had excluded the two terrorist groups ZANU and ZAPU. The UK and the world, led primarily by Malcolm Fraser and Jimmy Carter, insisted on seeing white people bleed, and would not recognize any government that wasn’t run by the terrorists. Muzorewa, in his one terribly foolish move, negotiated a second deal with them, effectively baiting-and-switching the whites who had willingly handed over power to him. He would later come to regret this bitterly.

And that leads to your second major omission:

2. Long before 1980 Mugabe had descended into outright terrorism, and had no more right to participate in a democratic process than Charles Manson or Anders Breivik.

After taking power in a coalition with his fellow terrorist Joshua Nkomo, the two fell out and he used North Korean soldiers to massacre tens of thousands of Nkomo’s supporters.

    alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | November 15, 2017 at 11:48 am

    You nailed it. Also, Mugabe had staying power because his support came from the Chinese while Nkomo was backed by Soviet Union. USSR collapse did not affect Mugabe. With 5 Brigade/North Korea also shows the continued link of China and Norks from back then to now.

    Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | November 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Fraser’s motivation in all this was that when he was done with being PM of Oz he wanted to become SecGen of the UN. In order to do this ingratiated himself with the black African nations by becoming the world’s number one enemy of South Africa and Rhodesia, and he didn’t give a **** how many white people had to die so he could be “king of the world”.

    His plans might very well have worked, if only he had waited to call the 1983 election until July or August (or even until it was due in October) rather than going early in March. He went early because (1) he was sick and wanted to quit as soon as possible, (2) he was encouraged by unexpectedly winning the Flinders by-election at the end of ’82, and (3) the longer he waited the more chance that Hawke would take over the opposition. So he called an early election, hoping to win it and immediately hand over power to John Howard, and then take a break to recover his health before the next SecGen election.

    Everything went wrong. While he was at Yarralumla persuading the G-G to dissolve Parliament, Hawke pulled off his coup in the Labor Party. He went in expecting to face Hayden and came out with his election announcement only to find he would be facing Hawke, who was at that time even more of a Messiah figure than 0bama at his zenith. Then the Ash Wednesday fires cut a week out of the campaign, so that the Libs’ usual last-minute recovery started a few days too late. Then almost immediately after the election, (1) the drought, which had lasted several years, broke, and (2) a Soviet spy was caught high up in the Labor Party. Had Fraser still been PM, that would have been the time to call the election, and he might well have won even against the Hawke juggernaut. Especially since he was in much better health than he’d been earlier. But it was too late.

    And Peter Reith, whose unexpected by-election victory had given Fraser the false hope that he could win an election, never even got sworn in; he lost his seat without ever having sat in it, and didn’t come back until the next election.

    Here endeth a bit of very obscure history that you probably won’t find in any published source. You’ll find the individual facts, but not the framing. But had Reith lost the by-election, or had Fraser been in good health in early ’83, things might have ended up very differently.

“They also believe she will be corrupt, vindictive and incompetent”

And that’s not what’s been happening ever since her husband took power?

A life span of 36 years…

My God, how awful is that

Yes, BLM supporters need to move to Zimbabwe…

PS: We count US independence from when it was declared in 1776, not from when the UK recognized it in 1783. And we do so even though throughout the interim the UK governed significant parts of the USA (such as NYC), and was actively trying to recover the rest. Nevertheless, since that effort eventually failed, we count the country as having been independent during that period. How much more so should this apply to Rhodesia, where throughout the period in question the UK (1) governed none of it, and (2) made no effort to recover it, and indeed openly declared that it had no intention of ever doing so. Surely that renunciation constitutes a recognition of independence, no matter how strongly successive UK governments (including that of the Corrugated Iron Lady) denied it.

“After taking power in a coalition with his fellow terrorist Joshua Nkomo, the two fell out and he used North Korean soldiers to massacre tens of thousands of Nkomo’s supporters.”

Were the Cubans busy elsewhere?

    The Cubans were in Angola helping the MPLA.

      Milhouse in reply to Neo. | November 15, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      And next door to Zimbabwe, in Mozambique.

        alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | November 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

        Rhodesia contemplated invading Mozambique to crush staging points for ZIPRA and ZANLA forces and to break landlocked situation for importation of goods. The destruction of the arsenal in Salisbury and the downing of the two civilian airliners by SAMs by Nkomo ZIPRA forces severely dented Rhodesia. Jimmy Carter has a fondness for the “bad guys” internationally.

Ahhhh…..once again the glories of socialism are on full display for all to see and enjoy…..from a safe distance, that is!

From prosperous Breadbasket of Africa to Basket Case poster child for all that is wrong with both socialism and the ‘now we’re power, it’s OUR turn to run things” mindset.

Tragic is a woefully inadequate word….

4th armored div | November 15, 2017 at 1:42 pm

10 Most Educated Countries in Africa
Zimbabwe sits at the very top of our list with a 90.70% literacy rate.
is there anything more to say about Africa ?

    Altering an Al Capone saying… “You can go further with a gun and a diploma than with just a diploma”. Many of those named countries know the value of education but some listed are places not for the faint of heart.

In the photo, is that lunatic congresswoman Frederica Wilson to the right of Mugabe?

Never forget who Hugo Chavez’s #1 fan was:

Obama’s atrocious statement on Chavez’s death:

The depth of the horror of obama being our president is still not fully understood by most people.

Wonder if the new government will continue the policy of murderous genocide against whites??

I’ll be shocked if they do not.