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The Situation in Zimbabwe Is Fluid as Mugabe and His Wife Are Ousted but After His Death, He Is a Hero

Updated on December 7, 2019
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MG is a senior air warrior who is an alumnus of the Staff College and a notable writer on military history.

Military vehicles on road in Zimbabwe
Military vehicles on road in Zimbabwe
Mugabe and Grace
Mugabe and Grace

Infatuation and Power

A romance between an older man and a younger woman is very common, but in most cases, it does not lead to a man's downfall. But sometimes a man can be ruined as Samson was ruined when he loved Delilah. In the case of Robert Mugabe, his infatuation for a woman 41 years younger to him has caused his downfall.His infatuation combined with an unbridled lust for power by his wife Grace spelled his downfall.Though he had been in power for 37 years, he could not avoid being caught up in this scandal. The sacking of his longtime ally Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa( at the behest of his wife grace) was the catalyst that engineered the coup. The army has acted but many opine that Mugabe sho has made a mess of the economy should have been removed decades earlier.

Grace came into the life of the president when she was part of his secretariat and they began an affair. He was married at that time but ina short time Grace from secretary became his mistress. After the death of his wife, Mugabe married Grace in a lavish ceremony in 1996. The problem arose when he began to take steps to clear the deck for he anointment as president to ultimately replace him. This was the reason he sacked the VP as he planned to appoint Grace in his place.

The Coup

The army moved fast and as reported by African News Desk when General Constantino Chiwenga reached the presidential palace and told Mugabe that he was under house arrest, the president collapsed and had to be resuscitated. He was shocked that such a thing could happen to him. His wife is reported to be terrified that she would be killed and requested that she be allowed to fly out to Malaysia, where she reportedly has a substantial investment.

Mugabe is digging in his heels and refusing to resign.

He has been warned that incase he did not resign, he would be impeached. Grace is under house arrest in Harare and earlier reports that she escaped to Namibia have been proved untrue. In all probability, she and some of the close associates of the president could be tried on corruption charges.

Situation fluid

The situation in Harare is fluid and now CNN has reported that President Robert Mugabe has agreed to stand down and his resignation has been drafted. Earlier when the Army General had gone to tell Mugabe he was under house arrest, Mugabe had offered him the presidentship in case he called off the coup and resigned from the army. This was probably a desperate gamble on the part of Mugabe but the general did not bite the bait.

Trouble ahead

In all probability, the close aide of Mugabe Mnangagwa will take over as president. But the army having tasted blood is unlikely to go back to the barracks and Mnangagwa will have to use all his skills to remain in power. The sad part is the economy is a mess and one wonders whether he will be able to revive it. That will be the crucial test for the new president.

The road ahead is rocky but the reign of Mugabe will go down in history as a wonder as he brought ruin on the people and hyperinflation ruled, with the Zimbabwe currency becoming worthless, yet he survived. That will remain a wonder.

Grace Mugabe
Grace Mugabe

Last Word

The wheel has turned full circle. Mugabe was made to resign and had to agree to retire with many privileges given to him as a sop. Now the strong man of Zimbabwe is no more. His death has led to a different appreciation of Mugabe. One wonders whether history will be kind to him for he had absolute power for decades but misguide zeal and lack of insight of the future resulted in him leading a once prosperous country to ruin. The people have to pay for the ills of the rulers.


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