- Created: Tuesday, 12 December 2017 10:43
- Written by Barny Phillips
Robert Mugabe has finally been deposed as Zimbabwe’s President. After 37 years, it was unsurprising that it took a military coup to unseat the 93-year-old. Mugabe’s leadership in the national liberation struggle movement ZANU-PF against minority white rule in the 1960s and 1970s placed him in an unassailable position in his early years as President, but he took an undemocratic and corrupt turn. The new government failed to reform land ownership among the black masses who had been robbed of their birthright by British colonialism. Nonetheless Mugabe was never forgiven by the imperialist powers for his part in the destruction of white minority rule. His ousting does not mean progress for Zimbabwe. The US, Britain and the EU, eyeing future investments, all welcomed the development. They see this as an opportunity to liberalise Zimbabwe’s economy and plunder its resources – it has close to 40 different minerals and one of the largest known coal-bed methane gas deposits in Africa. Barnaby Philips reports.
On 15 November 2017, the Zimbabwean military placed Mugabe under house arrest, saying that they were ‘targeting criminals around him who are causing social and economic suffering’. Yet the military was acting on behalf of former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who, as one of his closest aides, is implicated in the corruption associated with Mugabe, who has been granted immunity and will be allowed to keep his private assets. Mnangagwa, 75, has been installed as the new President. Tellingly, The Guardian (24 November) described him as ‘more business friendly and pragmatic than many other senior officials within ZANU-PF’.