Zimbabwe military coup overthrows Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest in the wake of a military coup that seized his government Wednesday. Coup organizers said that the coup was a response to Mugabe's attempt to install his wife, Grace, as his successor.
By Steve Colyer | Nov 17, 2017
Zimbabwe's "President-for-life" Robert Mugabe is missing in action following a Wednesday morning military coup that took control of the capital city of Harare. Soldiers and armored vehicles surrounded government offices and placed Mugabe and his wife under house arrest.

No public pronouncement from Mugabe has come forth, but South African President Jacob Zuma said in a statement that he spoke to the Zimbabwean president Wednesday and that he was safe and sound. Zuma called on Zimbabwe's military and government to refrain from overthrowing their country's established political system and "to resolve the political impasse amicably."

But the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change declared that a new government is long overdue. It stated that it's members hope the military coup would usher in the "establishment of a stable, democratic and progressive nation state."

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, in which time he confiscated the lands of thousands of white farmers and suppressed civil liberties and political opposition. He also oversaw a steep deterioration of Zimbabwe's economy, with banks running out of foreign currencies, shortages of imported goods, and chronically high inflation that now averages 50% a month, according to economists.

Dissent against Mugabe boiled over on Monday, when Chief General Constantino Chiwenga, commander of the Zimbabwe Defense Forces, said that he was prepared to "step in" to end a purge of supporters of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the recently sacked vice-president. Mnangagwa has been expected to succeed the aging Mugabe, but Mugabe ousted him to ensure that his wife, Grace Mugabe, would take his place.

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