Ruling party wades in, confirms Mugabe’s ouster but is the party the country?
By Nsikan Ikpe
Underscoring the fact that the political crisis in Zimbabwe had indeed reached a breaking point, fresh facts are presently emerging in the public domain as to how the purge of Mugabe was carried out.
With the ruling ZANU-PF confirming that it was aware of the move by the military to effect the change of guards and the detention and ouster of former President Robert Mugabe, it has now become very clear that this was not an overnight plot in any way.
Interestingly also is the fact that the party has also confirmed that Mugabe’s replacement would be the same Deputy President, Emerson Mnangnawa that the Mugabe clan had fired only a few days ago.
According to the party: “Zimbabwe has not had a coup. There has been a decision to intervene because our constitution had been undermined, in the interim Comrade E Mnagngawa will be president of ZANU PF as per the constitution of our revolutionary organisation.
“Last night the first family was detained and are safe, both for the constitution and the sanity of the nation this was necessary. Neither Zimbabwe nor ZANU are owned by Mugabe and his wife. Today begins a fresh new era and comrade Mnangagwa will help us achieve a better Zimbabwe.
“There was no coup, only a bloodless transition which saw corrupt and crooked persons being arrested and an elderly man who had been taken advantage of by his wife being detained. The few bangs that were heard were from crooks who were resisting arrest, but they are now detained.
“ZANU PF has a way of solving our own problems, the situation is stable and Zimbabwe is open for business. There was no coup, but a bloodless peaceful transition- the centre is strong and there is peace with honest leadership.”
Analysts say that it is then expected that in the next few days, the purge would likely go on to include remnants of Mugabe’s loyalists, including the leadership of the Youth Wing, which had on Tuesday, roundly denounced the prime actor in the ouster programme, Army Chief, General Constantino Chiwenga.
Meanwhile, China has denied any complicity in the ouster of the long-term dictator, affirming that a visit last week to the country by Chiwenga was only a routine exercise. This is even as a broadcast by General S.B Moyo to the Zimbabwe people has confirmed that the ousted President was safely ensconced in the charge of the military which had been provoked to intervene on account of policies of the purged regime that had been ‘causing pain and suffering to the people of Zimbabwe.’
Regional power, South Africa’s reaction to news of the change is yet being awaited, alongside that of the political opposition within Zimbabwe itself, the regional body, SADC and the broader African Union, AU, particularly when the same Mugabe was its immediate past chairman.
Particularly instructive would be how everyone concerned would be interpreting the AU statute that expressly forbids the non-democratic transfer of power all over the continent. The closest parallel that may be called up here may be the situation in Cote d’Ivoire a few years ago when President Gbagbo was ousted. But even that case is slightly different because just like was to recur in The Gambia also, an election had already been conducted but the results were being disputed by the incumbent dictators.
So is Mugabe fully out?
This really seems to be the situation now, not the least with South Africa clearly letting it out that the crisis with its neighbour was no big deal.
According to a statement from The Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africans planning to visit Zimbabwe can continue with their plans.
Clayson Monyela‚ spokesman of the department‚ said the South African government was in touch with the Zimbabwean government and that though travellers should take basic security precautions, there was really nothing untoward.
The other possible source of resistance would have been Mugabe’s wife, Grace, but the ‘coupists’ had taken the necessary precaution of also taking her into custody.
A final source of possible resistance could have been the war veterans but, not only have they become too old to constitute more than a passing threat in the military sense, Mugabe had himself destroyed his own relationship with that once very influential network.
As for China, ‘they have been seemingly properly briefed in the course of the Army Chief’s routine visit there last week’ and the West had since grown tired of the despot who however is yet on record as paradoxically being the best educated President (now former President) in the world!
Army Chief, Constantino Chiwenga