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Old 11-16-2017, 09:01 PM
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Exclamation Re: Zimbabwe Charges 45 with Treason for Watching Egypt Coverage, Arrests Facebook Us

Not likely Mugabe will be missed...

Zimbabwe ‘Coup’ Unlikely to Bring the Real Change the Misruled Country Needs
November 15, 2017 | However Zimbabwe’s current crisis resolves itself, the short-term outcome is unlikely to be good for the people of the southern African country, impoverished under the almost four-decade-long misrule of President Robert Mugabe.
Neither First Lady Grace Mugabe, nor her main rival in the contest to succeed the autocratic 93-year-old president – the recently-ousted vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa – offer a prosperous future to a country once dubbed the breadbasket of Africa. Mnangagwa appeared to have the upper hand as of early Thursday, with unconfirmed reports claiming he has been appointed interim president, after Mugabe was placed under house arrest by a military angered by Mnangagwa’s sacking.

The army insisted it had not carried out a coup – despite having seized the presidential palace and the state broadcaster – but was instead targeting “criminals” around the president, whom it said was “safe” at home.. “This is not a military takeover of government,” it said in a statement. “What the Zimbabwe Defense Forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.”

But the head of the African Union, Guinea’s president Alpha Conde, described the episode as “clearly soldiers trying to take power by force” and calling for the immediate restoration of constitutional order. (The A.U. in 2013 suspended Egypt after the military toppled President Mohammed Morsi; Zimbabwean military chiefs’ denials of a coup may be a bid to avoid similar A.U. action.) If Mugabe has indeed been toppled, it looks like the consequence of a palace intrigue linked to his succession, rather than the result of popular resistance against an authoritarian regime.

A power struggle between Grace Mugabe and the vice-president Mnangagwa culminated in her demands for his dismissal, leading to his removal from the post earlier this month, accused by the government of “disloyalty.” His dismissal cleared the way for Grace Mugabe to be appointed vice-president, when the ruling ZANU-PF party holds a special congress in December. With the army’s intervention, however, that looks unlikely to happen. Grace Mugabe’s whereabouts are unknown, although she is rumored to have fled the country.

‘Sometimes, the cure may be worse than the disease’
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With Mugabe’s Era Ending in Zimbabwe, a Warning Echoes in Africa
NOV. 15, 2017 — When Zimbabwe’s generals moved against President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday, their action foreshadowed the potential end of more than just one political career. It echoed across a continent where the notion of the “big man” leader is defined equally by the lure of power in perpetuity and the risk that, one day, the edifice will crumble under the weight of its own decay.
Mr. Mugabe, 93, who took power upon independence from Britain in 1980, is the only leader Zimbabwe has known. He has suppressed perceived threats to his dominance, often brutally, and maneuvered with guile to outflank his rivals. Decades after the furling of Britain’s union flag, he waved his liberation credentials with such skill and frequency that he stood as an emblem, however flawed, of Africa’s yearning to be free of outside control. Viewing himself as Africa’s true statesman, Mr. Mugabe, even in his 90s, flew regularly to diplomatic gatherings on the continent, including mundane ones in which he was sometimes the only head of state present. Though he is despised in the West and by many Zimbabweans, many Africans view him as a living, historic figure, inspiring diplomats and officials to stand and applaud his speeches criticizing Western powers.

In the end, though, his deft touch deserted him as he weighed the question looming over the end of his regime: who would succeed him. By favoring his polarizing and politically inexperienced wife over his powerful vice president, whom he fired last week, Mr. Mugabe overestimated the loyalty of the military and security elite who took him into custody early Wednesday in what appeared to be a coup. Mr. Mugabe’s family became his blind spot. He miscalculated the fierce anger that their unrestrained behavior caused in his nation, now suffering through another period of deep economic crisis. Though active in politics for only a couple of years, his wife, Grace Mugabe, 52, made it increasingly clear that she wanted to succeed her husband. “If you want to give me the job,” she told her husband at a gathering this month, “give it to me freely.”

Mr. Mugabe’s sons, who are in their 20s, have added to the anger among Zimbabweans by regularly posting pictures of their lavish lifestyle and partying on social media sites. Last week, a video emerged showing Mr. Mugabe’s younger son, Bellarmine Chatunga, pouring Champagne over an expensive watch on his wrist. On his Instagram feed, he wrote, “$60 000 on the wrist when your daddy run the whole country ya know!!!” Whatever happens now, experts and analysts said, the days of Mr. Mugabe’s unrivaled hold on Zimbabwe seem at an end. That is a message that offered an unpalatable reminder to leaders who have clung to power for decades in Africa — from Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon to Eritrea and Uganda. Even the wiles of a politician of Mr. Mugabe’s stature do not guarantee success to those who seek to extend their tenure indefinitely.

In Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Mr. Mugabe’s precise fate remained uncertain on Wednesday, but many Zimbabweans referred to his house arrest as the end of his unchallenged rule and the start of a new chapter in their lives. “I’m happy now,” said Donald Mutasa, 37, who was born at the start of the Mugabe era. “I feel like we have just gained independence. I am hopeful we are walking into a new Zimbabwe.”


‘Mugabe remembered for brutal 37-year rule’
November 17, 2017 - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said embattled President Robert Mugabe will be remembered for “the brutal litany of his 37 years in office”.
Johnson was on Wednesday asked in the House of Commons by Labour Party MP Kate Hoey to make an urgent statement on the situation in Zimbabwe. Johnson’s statement to Parliament was followed by an address by British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday, where she described the situation in Zimbabwe as “still fluid”, while urging restraint on all sides in Zimbabwe. “The events of the last 24 hours are the latest escalation of months of brutal infighting within the ruling Zanu PF party, including the sacking of a vice-president, the purging of his followers and the apparent positioning of Grace Mugabe as a contender to replace 93-year-old husband,” Johnson said. “Honourable Members on all sides of the House have taken a deep interest in Zimbabwe for many years — and I pay tribute to the courage and persistence of the Honourable Member for Vauxhall, who has tirelessly exposed the crimes of the Mugabe regime, visiting the country herself during some of its worst moments.”

Johnson said the House could not tell how developments in Zimbabwe would play out in the days ahead and whether this marked the downfall of Mugabe or not. “In that spirit, all that Britain has ever wanted is for Zimbabweans to be able to decide their own future in free and fair elections. Mugabe’s consuming ambition was always to deny them that choice,” he said. “The House will remember the brutal litany of his 37 years in office: the elections he rigged and stole, the murder and torture of his opponents, the illegal seizure of land, leading to the worst hyperinflation in recorded history — measured in billions of percentage points — and forcing the abolition of the Zimbabwean dollar.”

The British Foreign Affairs secretary accused Mugabe’s followers of looting and plundering the richly endowed country. “Zimbabweans today are, per capita, poorer than they were at independence in 1980, leaving many dependent on the health care, education and food aid provided by the Department for International Development,” he said. Johnson said the British Embassy in Harare had been monitoring the situation carefully throughout the night (of the disturbances), supported by staff in the Foreign Office, adding that about 20 000 Britons live in Zimbabwe and so far, they were all safe. He said he would do everything to ensure Zimbabweans decide their own future.

Hoey then asked Johnson to explain to the House if it was not a coup to ensure that former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa takes over. “Although it is not a coup to ensure that the military want to run the country, it is a coup to ensure that former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa takes over. Does the Foreign Secretary agree that changing from one ruthless leader to another ruthless leader will not help to create the conditions that can lead to genuinely free and fair elections in the coming year, and will not solve a dire economic situation in which thousands of people are destitute and food is scarce?” Hoey queried. Johnson said it was too early to comment on the outcome of the events in Zimbabwe, or to be sure how things would unfold.
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