So far it’s bloodless. ZANU-PF party head Robert Mugabe led the country since 1980 after gaining independence from Britain, first as prime minister, mostly as president.
An end of an era in the African state approaches. On November 14, Zimbabwe’s military took control of the country’s state-run ZBC television, Mugabe placed under house arrest.
On Sunday, he was dismissed as party leader. Emmerson Mnangagwa, Mugabe’s sacked vice president, replaced him, an announcement saying:
“President Robert Mugabe be and hereby is recalled as first secretary and president of the ZANU-PF party. He is therefore asked to resign forthwith.”
“In the event that the resignation would not have been tendered by midday 20th of November, 2017, the ZANU-PF chief whip was ordered to issue proceedings for the removal of the president in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20.”
The announcement followed an emergency meeting of party officials, a statement saying “(h)e has been expelled (along with two of his ministers and deputy president). Mnangagwa is our new leader” – 2018 elections to choose a permanent Mugabe successor.
Mugabe’s wife Grace, his choice to replace him one day, was also expelled. Mugabe little time left to step down or be removed by impeachment or something more sinister.
He’s aged-93, reportedly in poor health. Fast-moving events on Sunday came after thousands rallied in Harare, the nation’s capital, calling for him to step down, an orchestrated demonstration against him.
On Sunday, he met with Zimbabwe military chief Constantino Chiwenga, their second meeting since placed under house arrest last Wednesday. Reportedly, he demands immunity as a condition for leaving office voluntarily.
Days earlier, ruling party officials announced a “bloodless transition” of power was underway.
Mugabe has little choice but to comply. Mnangagwa has military backing, its forces temporarily running the country until transition of power is completed.