Robert Mugabe sacked as leader of Zimbabwe’s Ruling Party following military intervention
December 6, 2017
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has been sacked as leader of the country’s ruling Zanu-PF party, and has been ordered to resign from presidential office or face impeachment.
The party’s decision comes just days after the military engaged in what has been perceived as a coup d’état against Mugabe’s regime, with the army deploying troops and armored military vehicles in the capital of Harare and placing Mugabe and his family under house arrest.
However, the military has denied that its intervention is actually a coup. “To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government,” army spokesman Maj. Gen. S. B. Moyo said in a televised address to the nation.
During the takeover, the army arrested a multitude of government officials, encountering some armed resistance, with the sounds of gunfire and artillery reportedly being heard near the residences of said officials.
In his aforementioned statement, Major General Moyo also said that the “operation” was aimed at targeting “criminals” who are responsible for “causing social and economic suffering in the country.”
The military’s seizure of power has been attributed to Mugabe’s sacking of his Vice President and long-time ally Emmerson Mnangagwa, which angered many military commanders who saw the move as a preparation for Mugabe to appoint his wife, Grace, as his successor.
This was made evident by General Constantino Chiwenga, head of Zimbabwe’s armed forces, who warned against the “purging, which is clearly targeting members of the party with a liberation background” in a statement he made on November 13th, a day prior to the military’s intervention.
Many praised the military’s actions against Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist since independence from the UK in 1980 and is often blamed for the economic crisis that currently plagues the country.
Despite massive amounts of hope and excitement incited by the military’s action and the ruling party’s decision, there is still some uncertainty regarding the future of Mugabe’s rule and of Zimbabwe in general.
Such uncertainty can and will only be resolved with time.