At 93 years old, it could be suggested that Robert Mugabe was intending to be President for life. This assumption only supported as he was selected as the sole candidate for the ruling party for the 2018 election. But that all seems to have changed. As Zimbabwe was seemingly the subject of military takeover earlier this week. After 30 years as President of Zimbabwe, Mugabe was placed under house arrest. All of this by his own generals, whilst the military patrolled the streets of the capital, Harare.
The most peaceful option for Zimbabwe?
Despite his candidacy for the 2018 election, Mugabe has been facing a rising tide of discontent amongst his own party as well as the country’s opposition. This is somewhat due to actions regarding his wife, Grace Mugabe. The First Lady of Zimbabwe is Mugabe’s second wife, and unlike her predecessor has generally been met with hostility by her people. Largely blamed on the apparent interference in politics beyond her position as well as the lavish lifestyle she leads. Despite this, it has been alleged for several years that she is a possible successor to President Mugabe. Mugabe has stayed essentially oblivious to the issues surrounding his wife as he has orchestrated her rise through political ranks as an ‘independent’ politician.
The disdain for Grace is worrying, especially if she were to assume the Presidential office. A result of this move could be widespread civil unrest and possibly even civil war. However, the prospect of the Grace as President has become more distant with the military takeover of the country. Which, for the moment, appears peaceful. The takeover occurred in the wake of the sacking of Robert Mugabe’s Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who many saw as a potential successor. Largely due to his long term association with the government and the various roles he had held.
The removal of Mnangagwa was seen as making way for Grace, and it seems the military could not abide by the changes anymore.
However, things seem to be on the positive side for young Zimbabwean’s as Robert Mugabe has now resigned.