Robert Mugabe was Africa's longest-serving ruler. He came to power in the eighties of the last century and followed a one-point agenda of remaining in power, irrespective of the fact that Zimbabwe developed or not.His rule has destroyed the economy and reduced a prosperous nation to poverty. The surprise is that despite this, he survived for almost four decades. Earlier on, his agenda of targetting the white settlers, who were the backbone of the Zimbabwe economy paid off as he channelled the resentment of the black community against them.

Everything, however, has a lifespan and the latest act of Mugabe when he dismissed his longtime advisor and friend of decades, Vice-president Emerson Mnangagwa appears to be the immediate reason for this coup.

The army has denied it's a coup but with tanks moving about the city of Harare and the president under House Arrest, it's not anything but a coup. Another reason for the military takeover is the plan by Mugabe to install his wife Grace as president. She is 41 years younger to Mugabe and the president had given clear indications that she would replace him. This is reported by the Express UK

The crisis

Zimbabwe is in a crisis. The army has taken almost 40 years to assert itself and now that like the proverbial genie is unlikely to go back into the bottle. The African nations are concerned and the South African president has deputed his defence minister to try and defuse the crisis. Britain is following the events in Harare with great interest as Mugabe had targetted the British settlers and made most of them to flee the country, as he seized their farms.

The British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson has opined that Britain wants democracy in Harare and not a replacement of one dictator by another as reported by the BBC.

Mugabe is 93 and his health is failing. He is confined to the presidential palace along with his wife and is digging in his heels. He is insisting on completing his term as president but his wife Grace is the one the who is the target.

The coup was probably to forestall her becoming president.


Zimbabwe was earlier known as Rhodesia after the great explorer and colonizer Cecil Rhodes and was a British colony till 1980. For some time a white minority government led by Ian Smith ruled the country but a local insurrection led to its overthrow and brought in Mugabe. This man ruled for 37 years by pandering to resentment against the white settlers but allowed the country to go to seed.

The currency collapsed and the once prosperous nation was reduced to penury. The army has now taken over and it will be interesting to see if the troops will go back to the barracks. The surprising thing is that they acted after decades, despite Mugabe ruining the economy.