Zimbabwe - When Is a Coup Not a Coup?


J. BROOKS SPECTOR contemplates the extraordinary developments in Zimbabwe and remembers how a putative revolt, half a world away and half a century ago, gives rise to questions that will need to be answered.

At the time of this writing, the great Zimbabwean non-coup-coup and the ultimate fates of both Robert and Grace Mugabe still remain remarkably unsettled - even though the pair have been bounced out of the Zanu-PF ruling party, and he has been given until noon on Monday to leave the presidency - or else. But the question is: or else, what?

So, will the old fox somehow hold on to some shreds and tatters of authority into his final days on Earth, or will he and his wife finally be forced into permanent house arrest - or exile in another African state or yet further afield? His anxiously-awaited Sunday evening speech seemed to indicate that Mugabe thought he had one last roll of the dice before he conclusively became history.

Presumably it will need to be somewhere close to a Gucci franchise and it must have sufficient internet access to be able to connect with money they have stored away for that inevitable rainy day. But...

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