Zimbabwe: Emmerson Mnangagwa - the Man Behind Zimbabwe's 'Coup'

Former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).

Emmerson Mnangagwa may - or may not - turn out to be Zimbabwe's saving grace. But that would be a rather peripheral benefit of the military coup (or non-coup) that happened early on Wednesday morning, almost certainly masterminded by Mnangagwa.

The military takeover of power in Zimbabwe may, if handled according to the generals' script, prove to be that rare thing, a benevolent coup. If the generals merely get rid of the 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, and, more importantly, his toxic wife Grace (and do so without bloodshed), and then restore rule to the civilians as they have promised, that would be a good thing.

They would then be restoring democracy and constitutionality - not to the country at large but to the ruling party, Zanu-PF. For the last few years, Mugabe, aided and abetted by Grace, has been frustrating the legitimate succession process in Zanu-PF. Two years ago at about this time, Grace Mugabe launched a vicious attack on then vice president Joice Mujuru when she revealed an ambition to succeed Robert Mugabe. Mujuru was hounded out of office and out of the Zanu-PF, creating her own party, which has duly settled into relative obscurity.


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