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Coup in Zimbabwe

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Zach Moroney

More stories from Zach Moroney

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Around a month ago, the Zimbabwean government put it’s the only leader since its independence, Robert Mugabe, under house arrest.  Later on, the military took control of the country’s state broadcasting enterprise, ZBC.  The military stated that it is not a coup, and the president and his family are safe and sound.  The military stated that it had moved “to pacify a degenerating political, social, and economic situation.”  They also made assurances that when their mission is complete everything will return to normal.

Before this military action took place, Commander Constantino Chiwenga visited China, a close ally of Zimbabwe’s.  After returning from China, Chiwenga ordered the military to put Mugabe under house arrest. Since then China who has been a major business partner and investor in Zimbabwe remains “distant but friendly.”  It is believed that Chiwenga sought Beijing’s approval of the recent coup in Zimbabwe.  

 

Map by: NordNordWest 

Zimbabwe’s people have mixed feelings about the recent coup.  Some people believe now that Mugabe’s “tyranny” is over, the military will allow the people of Zimbabwe to choose a new path for their country. Zimbabwe is a landlocked country which shares minor commerce with the United States.  After their independence in 1980, Zimbabwe faced severe droughts and struggled to provide food for the country’s people. One of the reasons the people support the recent coup is due to the country’s poverty.

 

According to a podcast which included a talk with an ambassador of Zimbabwe, Mugabe is considered by some to be the “George Washington of Zimbabwe.” Mugabe was described as a very articulate and determined man who worked his way up to be the office of Prime Minister after the fight for independence in 1980. However what brought Mugabe to infamy was corruption. Funds Mugabe promised for those who fought in the war was misappropriated. The economy started to sink into a depression which led to high inflation. The country’s money lost most of its value, and it was all due to corruption, mismanagement, climate, and inflation.  Described as the “tipping point” which made the coup a reality was the dismissal of the Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa.  At this point, the military took control to make a change. What the long-term fallout from the coup will be, and whether democracy flourishes are as of yet unanswered questions. China’s part–if indeed there is more than has been reported–is still to be revealed. Zimbabwe, with its regional and global influences, bears watching.

 

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Sources
“Mixed Feelings about Zimbabwean ‘Coup’.” News24, 15 Nov. 2017, www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/mixed-feelings-about-zimbabwean-coup-20171115.
Mackintosh, Eliza. “Zimbabwe’s Military Takeover Was the World’s Strangest Coup.” CNN, Cable News Network, 21 Nov. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/11/20/africa/zimbabwe-military-takeover-strangest-coup/index.html.
Ramzy, Austin. “Zimbabwe’s Apparent Coup: What We Know.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/world/africa/zimbabwe-mugabe-coup.html.
Zimbabwe | United States Trade Representative, ustr.gov/countries-regions/africa/southern-africa/zimbabwe.
“Mugabe Is the George Washington of Zimbabwe.” Crooked Media, crooked.com/podcast/mugabe-george-washington-zimbabwe/.

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