Robert Mugabe: The Oldest Dictator Falls

Zimbabwean Flag Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Zimbabwean Flag Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is now under house arrest. The political analysts believe the time has come to count his days. The speculations from various sources suggest Mugabe may abdicate by the end of the next week. The Zimbabwean military in its weird bid to oust Mugabe refused to admit the move as a coup. The military sources said in the early hours of the takeover that they intend to remove the ‘criminals’ surrounding President Robert Mugabe. The Zimbabwean army, a strong ally to recently suspended Mugabe deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, warned a military takeover after Mugabe clearly indicated his intention for future leadership of the country.

Grace Mugabe: The Gucci

In the recent bid to ensure his wife Grace Mugabe as the successor to his nearly four-decades-long tenure, President Mugabe suspended Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mr. Mnangagwa has been working as the deputy of Robert Mugabe since 2014 after Grace Mugabe orchestrated the ousting of the then vice president of Zimbabwe, a former Mugabe ally Joice Mujuru. Mrs. Mugabe’s strong desire to get to the highest leadership of the country came to light after she contributed to the suspension of Mujuru from the ruling Zanu-PF party. Grace said Mujuru was “corrupt, extortionist, incompetent, a gossiper, a liar, and ungrateful.”

After she persuaded Mugabe to suspend the former vice president Joice Mujuru, Grace described the newly appointed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as “loyal and disciplined.” But this loyal and disciplined Mnangagwa lost his charm to Grace Mugabe when she sensed him as a threat to her political ascension to the highest leadership of Zimbabwe. Her hatred against this shrewd politician exploded when his supporters accused her of poisoning President Mugabe. Mr. Mugabe later said the accusation against the first lady was false and malicious. Meanwhile, the first lady had publicly been calling on Mugabe to remove Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mr. Mnangagwa was finally removed. The first lady had no obstacles left by now to seize the leadership of a country almost economically bankrupt. Grace Mugabe, who is also popularly known as Gucci for her lavish spending, was now projected as the next President of Zimbabwe. But her massive rise from a mere typewriter to the country’s highest leadership just because she is the wife of the world’s oldest dictator didn’t make everyone in Zimbabwe elated; especially the military.

Emmerson Mnangagwa: The Crocodile

Emmerson Mnangagwa was ‘selected’ as the vice president of Zimbabwe in 2014 because Grace Mugabe thought he was loyal to Mugabe. She expected an obedient and domestic vice president out of Mnangagwa who would pave her the way to leadership of the country after her husband wins her an election running as a ‘corpse’.  But the ‘ngwena’ or the ‘crocodile’, a name Mnangagwa earned because of his political cunningness and his skills to get back to the political landscape after getting lost into oblivion, was too smart for Grace to tame him.

Mnangagwa was not a naive leader to let go of the unique opportunity he had. Being the closest ally the Zimbabwean defense forces, Emmerson Mnangagwa was already projected as the next dictator, if not a president, of Zimbabwe that angered Grace. She couldn’t let go of her lavish ambition to lead Zimbabwe after her husband’s death. So, following the footprints of Joice Mujuru’s ouster, Grace orchestrated a new upheaval in the early November by persuading Mugabe to suspend Mnangagwa.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, however, was not a Joice Mujuru. Unlike Joice, he didn’t let Grace rattle his well-ornamented plans to ascend to Zimbabwean leadership (you may read dictatorship).  He asked for the old guards’ help. Being an ally, the Zimbabwean army stepped in support of the ‘ngwena’. The crocodile spearheaded the rattle of the Gucci’s activity plans to seize the leadership in the coming December. The Zimbabwean army has almost made sure Emmerson Mnangagwa’s return as the President of Zimbabwe.

Gen Chiwenga: The Old Guard

General Constantino Chiwenga is one of the key players in the ongoing Zimbabwean game of thrones. After the President fired his ally Emmerson Mnangagwa, a shrewd politician the army chief apparently has a deep conviction for his ‘liberation background,’ Gen Chiwenga said, “The current purging, which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background, must stop forthwith.” Gen Chiwenga also added, “We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in.”

Constantino Chiwenga did really ‘step in.’ Although his army has been trying to label the move as an endeavor to target the ‘criminals around him (President Mugabe) who are committing crimes… causing social and economic suffering’ in Zimbabwe, a long-cherished change in Zimbabwean leadership is speculated to be underway soon.

The Zimbabwean old guards’ so-called ‘conviction for the independence movement leadership’ is finally bringing an end to world’s longest serving dictator Robert Mugabe. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the return of democracy in Zimbabwe. The shrewd (former) protector of Mugabe regime, the potential next President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa is feared as even more ruthless than Mugabe. Now, the world has to wait to witness if Zimbabwe is finally going to have a democratic President Mnangagwa or a Mnangagwa who might turn out to be the next Dictator of Zimbabwe.


About Masum Billah 37 Articles
Masum Billah is a Staff Writer for The GeoStrategists. A Graduate from the Department of International Relations at the University of Dhaka, Masum Billah is a human rights activist. He writes columns on human rights, foreign policy, and terrorism.
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