Zimbabwe: Mugabe Flips Script, Absolves Army From Coup Claims

Al jazeera screenshot.
20 November 2017

President Robert Mugabe has distanced the country's military from alleged claims of a coup as the siege on him and allies took a dramatic twist Sunday evening.

With all signs pointing to his forced resignation on Sunday, the wily Zimbabwean leader seemed to have flipped the script against his plotters, telling a shocked nation in a televised address that he was still around.

But as he did that, he was in with another surprise, that of telling the world that the military intervention which saw his house arrest from last Wednesday did not represent a challenge to his authority.

"The operation I have alluded to did not amount to a threat to our well cherished constitutional order nor is it a challenge to my authority as head of state and government not even as commander in chief of the Zimbabwe defence forces," said the veteran leader.

"The command element remained respectful and comported with the dictates and mores of constitutionalism true a few incidents may have occurred here and there but these are being corrected.

"I am happy that throughout the short period the pillars of state remained functional. Even happier for me and arising from today's meeting is a strong sense of congeniality and sense of comradeship."

His speech followed dramatic developments in the country's post-liberation history in which he was physically put under siege as military commanders demanded his immediate resignation.

The Generals accused the country's founding leader of protecting corrupt loyalists and presiding over failing leadership that has placed the country on the brink of civil unrest.

What followed were protracted negotiations behind the scenes with strong signs that Mugabe was either going to tender his resignation under pressure or risk being thrown out by force.

In the ensuing gridlock, cabinet minister and nephew to the world's oldest head of state, Patrick Zhuwao told the media the military intervention was a coup which was being disguised as an attempt to satisfy the people's desires to see the 93-year-old leader leave his job.

But events of Sunday evening shocked many when the Zanu PF leader told the entire world he would preside over the Zanu PF elective congress slated for December 12 giving him prolonged life at the helm of both party and the country.

The regional political bloc, SADC has called for a Tuesday summit to discuss alleged constitutional subversions by the military.

It remains uncertain if it will proceed given the swift turn of events in Harare.

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: New Zimbabwe

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.