Yet another African county finds itself embroiled in upheaval as Zimbabwe’s 93-year old President, Robert Mugabe, was seemingly deposed last week in what appeared to be a coup after Mugabe fired his Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa. This move, which angered his military leadership, was the proverbial last straw and Mugabe’s generals placed him under house arrest but fervently denied it was a military coup.
President Mugabe has seen his support dissolve as Zimbabwe continues to be deeply mired in one of the worst economic crises in its history. Inflation has risen to astronomical levels, now termed ‘hyperinflation’ as its central bank began printing money to stave off collapse…never a good idea…and the currency reached Z$35 quadrillion to one U.S. Dollar. Again, that’s quadrillion.
Never one to accept any responsibility for his actions, despite being the head of this nation for nearly 40 years, President Mugabe has blamed these figures on what he considers to be a widespread Western conspiracy. He believed this conspiracy was headed by the United Kingdom after he enacted his ‘Land Reform Program’ which allowed those squatting on white-owned farms to legally seize them, by any means necessary.
Despite these so-called reforms and the benefits to local black farmers, the country remains stuck in an economic blackhole and his own party believes it’s time for a change. The last few weeks has seen urging by both the Zanu-PF and his military for him to resign not to mention the throngs of Zimbabweans protesting his continued grip on power.
In his bizarre address to the people on state-sponsored television, President Mugabe exonerated the military’s action and declared the military response constitutional, stating it “did not amount to a threat to our well-cherished constitutional order, nor was it a challenge to my authority as head of state and government, not even as commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwean defense forces.”
He refused to relinquish power and went on to say he would see the ZANU-PF through until December’s congress despite reports that it will ratify ousted Vice President Mnangagwa as the new leader of the party. However, Mnangagwa isn’t much of a change, if any, considering his checkered past and deep involvement in everything that has transpired, especially the multiple atrocities committed on opposition supporters under Mugabe’s 37-year administration. Like the Who said, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
The last thing this world needs is another breeding ground for anti-Western ideologies but the ingredients are certainly all around them in full force. With much of the population unemployed and desperate for a change, any change, to dig them out of poverty and starvation, all they desire is something to cling to. Ripe conditions for a leader to step in to brainwash another society against Western culture. History does tend to repeat itself. The question remains, will Zimbabwe get fooled again?
Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia.