Army Seizes Power in Zimbabwe


Clare McNamara , Contributor

Late Tuesday night, November 14th, the Zimbabwe Army took over the country and put president Mugabe under house arrest. Tensions were high in the days preceding the coup between the government and the army of Zimbabwe. Both Robert and Grace Mugabe are said to be safe and just confined to the homes. The capital city of Harare was under tense circumstances this week, but as the events settle, people are setting with the fact that they may have a new leader in their future.

As of Friday, the 17th, Mugabe gave his first public appearance for a Zimbabwe tradition. Mugabe attended the graduation ceremony at Zimbabwe’s Open University to sing the national anthem.

There were preexisting problems that lead to the army’s takeover of the country.

After the events of the week, President Mugabe has been asked to resign. Mugabe is 93 years old and has been president of Zimbabwe since 1980. Mugabe has been a strong leader for the country; between leading the Zimbabwe African National Union movement and helping Zimbabwe to become a democratic nation his contributions have been vital to the growth of the country. In the 2000’s, the economy took a turn for the worse. President Mugabe encouraged the takeover of white-farmland that hurt the economy with inflation.

Zimbabwe’s economy has been getting worse over the years since 2008, when they had a recession, and Zimbabweans blame Mugabe for this fall.

Many Zimbabweans have fled to bordering countries, especially South Africa. The people of Zimbabwe, the military in particular, are losing hope in their aging president, hence the coup. Plans for his replacement are up in the air, but two possible contenders are Mugabe’s wife, Grace Mugabe, and the former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

V.P Mnangagwa was recently fired by Mugabe, another reason behind the upstage and overall discontent of Africans. With Mugabe under house arrest, Mnangagwa is believed to be replacing the president, but no formal election has occurred.

The people of Zimbabwe are asking for a change. They complain of Mugabe’s lavish lifestyle, and the coup is in response to the falling economy and a push for a new president after over thirty years in office. It looks as though Zimbabwe will have a new president in the upcoming months, and with it, many are hoping that better times will come to the people of Zimbabwe.