Maybe, maybe

Several loud explosions echoed across central Harare in the early hours of Wednesday after troops deployed on the streets of the capital and reportedly seized the state broadcaster.

The developments in the Zimbabwe capital fuelled speculation that a coup was under way against president Robert Mugabe, after the head of the armed forces threatened to “step in” over the sacking of an influential vice president.

Although if it is then this is the generals getting their retaliation in first.

36 comments on “Maybe, maybe

  1. Some internal politics on display here. I wonder whether the ex-VP knew what was about to hit him when his speech was going down so well at the Bulawayo youth rally. Bit like Shakespeare’s Brutus, just before Mark Anthony takes the stage.

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    Happy birthday to the Vice President and 2nd Secretary of ZANU PF Cde E D Mnangagwa. May you continue to loyally serve the President.
    3:25 AM – Sep 15, 2017
    (This tweet being accompanied by a rather fetching photo.)

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    VP E.D Mnangagwa met with raptous applause before he even says a word. The crowd is loving him here!#ByoYouthInterface
    10:58 AM – Nov 4, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    Cde Chipanga requests mwenewazvo Dr Amai Grace Mugabe to address her children #ByoYouthInterface
    11:29 AM – Nov 4, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    Her Excellency Her Excellency Her Excellency!!!!!!!!!#ByoYouthInterface
    11:31 AM – Nov 4, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    “Mnangagwa is dividing the party. Manyongori emunhu”- Her Excellency Grace Mugabe #ByoYouthInterface
    11:44 AM – Nov 4, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    His Excellency on stage now. Crowd is expectant #ByoYouthInterface
    12:06 PM – Nov 4, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    A few have reneged and have lost the path. They are insulting us in the name of Mnangagwa: President#ByoYouthInterface
    12:11 PM – Nov 4, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    I can’t accept the VPs failure to condemn those who are challenging my authority in his name: President #ByoYouthInterface
    12:37 PM – Nov 4, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    We thank Cde Robert Mugabe for acceding to our request that Emerson Mnangagwa be fired with immediate effect.
    2:54 PM – Nov 6, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    We have announced our wish for Her Excellency Grace Mugabe to be V.P of Zimbabwe. We dream of the day we are led by a female President.
    9:27 AM – Nov 6, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    We will not relent in our fight against patriarchy until a female, preferably Dr Grace Mugabe, assumes a position in the Presidium ASAP!
    12:36 PM – Nov 7, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    Our National Executive has been walked through the stinking crimes which were allegedly committed by Chipolopolo Mnangagwa. We have resolved that charges of corruption, treason & attempted murder be pressed against him. We will lobby the relevant authorities in this regard.
    2:28 AM – Nov 9, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    We have perfected the science of setting Zimbabwe’s political agenda. ZANU PF Youth League is the only youth organ whose word and plan always comes to pass. Underestimate us at your own peril.
    8:02 AM – Nov 11, 2017

    ZANU PF YOUTH LEAGUE @YLZANUPF1
    By forcibly & unconstitutionally inserting himself in ZANU PF internal processes, General Chiwenga has triggered panic and anxiety all over Zimbabwe. Anyone who wishes to influence our internal processes must quit the Army and join active politics tochovhana head on.
    5:45 PM – Nov 14, 2017

    ZANU PF @zanu_pf
    Thanks for your concerns, there is NO coup happening in Zimbabwe. Please continue with your lives and face up to your own problems.
    2:54 PM – Nov 14, 2017

  2. We can but hope. I doubt it though. Their Soviet advisors, or their North Korean successors, will have warned them against military coups and taught the ruling party how to prevent them.

    On top of which, in Africa having the Army throw out a murderous ruler does not always improve things. See Idi Amin for instance.

  3. A good friend of mine told me on Friday that there was about to be a coup in Zimbabwe (and was indeed advising former colleagues on just that eventuality that day). If he knew, several thousand miles north, albeit based on employing people in the security industry who were in Zim (and who had sent him pictures of tanks on the road outside Harare), Bob’s secret police must have been asleep on the job, or were in on it. Since they have now switched sides I think we know which.

  4. Lets hope its the noose for Mugabe. He deserves much worse but one more socialist a dangle lifts the spirits.

  5. Emerson Mnangagwa is simply another murderous communist kleptocrat, but one who is better at internal Zanu-PF politics than Mrs Grace Mugabe.

  6. “I’m normally against the death penalty…”

    Wimp!

    “…but I’d make an exception for Mugabe and his odious wife.”

    So you aren’t against the death penalty, after all!

  7. The military has seized control in Zimbabwe

    Amazed!

    The move came after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in favour of his wife, Grace.

    Even more amazed!

    “We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes… that are causing social and economic suffering in the country,” he said.

    The old “its not the King, its his advisors” line.

    Anyway, its just a change of driver as the bus goes over the cliff edge.

  8. “…but I’d make an exception for Mugabe and his odious wife.”

    Probable timeline: arrest, pressure from the UN, BBC and the Guardian for a trial at the Hague to protect their “human rights”, five year trial while he lives in a penthouse suite, then assuming he hasn’t died of old age a three month sentence, suspended.

  9. @Interested

    The key here is the succession issue – at R. Mugabe’s age there’s very little point being loyal to him, it’s all about whether you think his wife should take over or some other faction.

    The army had announced its intention to intervene to stop the purge of what it saw as liberation war heroes (in favour of a luxury-loving former typist, whom they despised, though they didn’t explicitly say this) so what was happening was not secret. We can safely say that the Mugabes knew it was coming – the army warning was on live TV (until they were cut off – they didn’t control the media at the time).

    The interesting thing to me is that Mugabe himself made no response. Didn’t declaim the army threat or sack the commanders. Didn’t do what the army wanted and unpurge their preferred war heroes. Didn’t even stick himself on TV just to remind people who is in charge. The head of ZANU-PF’s youth wing, a Grace loyalist, went on the airwaves saying how the army was divided, and if there was a coup people would fight the army (à la Turkey’s failed military coup) but there was not a peep from the top man himself. So I think even a few days ago Mugabe must have realised he’d been outmanoeuvred and the game was coming to a close. I wonder what he was doing – phoning round minor officers to see if any supported him? (When the army broadcast their warning the shots made it clear there were lots of officers backing the head of the armed forces.) Negotiating with the army to see if he could get away without major concessions? Planning to make a bolt for it? Whatever he was doing clearly hasn’t done him much good.

  10. His successor, the “Crocodile”, is a bloody executioner, so more of the same just worse until there is nothing left to loot.

  11. I am not surprised to see that I may be wrong. It does look like the old psychopath is on the way out. Not that it will be much of an improvement.

    However I also expect that if Bob is out, the West will offer a lot of aid. I also expect that the new government will accept it and carry out a few token reforms in return.

    The interesting question is that last I heard Ethiopia’s former mass murderer-in-chief is in Zimbabwe. Do you think that the West would insist that Mengistu Haile Mariam is handed over for trial? I guess that the sort of people who run the FCO are more sympathetic to Mengistu’s politics than they are to Trump’s, so maybe not.

  12. Incidentally it looks like feminist hysteria has claimed another:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5084305/Labour-s-leader-Scotland-QUITS-amid-conduct-claims.html

    BREAKING NEWS: Labour’s interim leader in Scotland QUITS amid explosive claims about behaviour towards former partner

    Alex Rowley has stood down as interim leader of the Labour Party in Scotland
    The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP is facing allegations he bullied a former partner
    Mr Rowley has angrily denied the claims and vowed to fight to clear his name

    If it is now unacceptable to send rude texts to an ex – and a year later is a bit of a problem – lots of us are going to be in trouble.

  13. Can’t say I am too worried to see someone who has lived by the sword die by the sword (and I’m talking about the twat from Labour not Mugabe). I’m not claiming it as an original thought, but the more the people who introduced this bollocks suffer from it the better. Only when the children of human rights lawyers, charity bosses, judges, government ministers, guardian columnists and leading celebrities suffer the effects of what they have either wrought or celebrated will we begin to see any change.

  14. My guess is that Grace will be tried and/or disappear. Uncle Bob, “de farder of de nation”, will be kept around under mild sedation.

  15. If it is now unacceptable to send rude texts to an ex – and a year later is a bit of a problem – lots of us are going to be in trouble.

    My cynical and completely unworthy thought is that women will not be bound by this.

  16. I’m normally against the death penalty but I’d make an exception for Mugabe and his odious wife.

    Indeed, but I’d give them a choice of how they want to go: Mussolini or Ceaușescu.

  17. Tim N,

    the Obamas living in Africa?

    Turn it into a Pay Per View reality show and you are onto a winner.

  18. The episode where she finds his real birth certificate under a stack of gay porn will likely be an award winner for the Network.

  19. Jeremy could show solidarity with Zimbabwe and offer to second renowned housing and racial harmony specialist Emma Dent Coad to improve the government of the country in its time of turmoil?

  20. Great comment on the radio apparently quoting someone high up in ZANU-PF:

    “Power is not sexually transmitted”.

  21. Tim Newman – “Actually, can we propose Michelle Obama takes over? I think it would suit her in so many ways.”

    Trump needs to send the 82nd Airborne into to Harare and install Michelle as the “Special Representative” or whatever the EU is calling their colonial Satraps these days

    She might do so well. I don’t think Africans take well to women who disrespect their husbands in public. On the other hand her school lunch programmes would have huge success. Not a lot of obesity in Zimbabwe!

    Mr Ecks – “The episode where she finds his real birth certificate under a stack of gay porn will likely be an award winner for the Network.”

    I don’t often say this but Michelle makes the gay porn look like the attractive option.

    Bloke in North Dorset – “Great comment on the radio apparently quoting someone high up in ZANU-PF: “Power is not sexually transmitted”.”

    But it is most cases. In most Communist countries now, in fact, it is. That is, China, North Korea and Cuba.

    The problem is handing power to a woman who has not earned it. Why should other men care what Bob’s dick likes?

  22. The problem is handing power to a woman who has not earned it. Why should other men care what Bob’s dick likes?

    I’ll be stunned at 93 if Comrade Bob can get it up any more, what with all the cancer treatment and everything else. It cannot be denied though that “Mother Doctor” Grace Mugabe is a genuine cunt.

    Perhaps she should be released in full Gucci regalia in downtown Bulawayo and let the local people show her the appropriate respect that should be accorded one of her station.

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