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Zimbabwe: The Underpinnings of Robert Mugabe’s Resignation (Videos)

The fall of Robert Mugabe, a key figure on the African political scene for nearly four decades, was sudden, fast and bloodless.

A little more than a week after the army warned the government that it could intervene, a new president has already taken the reins.

However, there are still many things we do not know about the fall of the former Zimbabwean president.

The “coup d’état” would have taken place to protect the head of the army

The army intervened after the dismissal of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a decision that was seen as a way to yield the estate to Grace Mugabe.

But there would be another element at stake.

The first sign of trouble occurred a few days earlier, when army chief General Constantine Chiwenga issued a warning to Robert Mugabe about “the conflict” within the ruling party, the Zanu PF.

Zimbabwe: The underpinnings of Robert Mugabe's resignation (videos)

General Chiwenga was traveling to China for military meetings when, local media reported that he will be arrested on his return. But the general would have learned the plot and would have been welcomed at the airport by his soldiers to ensure his protection.

Then the army placed Mugabe under house arrest. The military is widely praised for their intervention but they have also been successful in protecting their own interests.

Where is Robert Mugabe?

Mugabe is visibly absent on the public scene since Sunday. The 93-year-old former president was placed under house arrest on 14 November.

On November 17, under the military guard, he presided at a graduation ceremony. Two days later, he spoke to the nation live. But he has not been seen since that day.

What happened during his speech?

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Several Zimbabweans expected the former president to announce his resignation in his speech. Instead, Robert Mugabe made a boring speech in which he said very little about the calls for his resignation. He also announced in his speech that he would chair the party conference a few weeks later, although ZANU-PF had already turned his back on him. His speech was unusual in a moment of crisis.

After his speech, questions began to arise: had he read the wrong speech? It was also reported that he did not want to resign live.

Why did he suddenly resign?

After claiming that he would continue to govern the country, contrary to the expectations of many people, the president has disappeared. The army said it had prepared a “road map” for the future with Mugabe, without giving more details.

Then, on Tuesday, the parliament met to launch the impeachment procedure. And in the midst of the talks, the Speaker of the Assembly put an end to the proceedings, stating that he had received a letter of resignation from Mugabe.

But Mugabe made no appearance, and he has not said anything since. Would it be the agreement he had made with the army?

What happens to the former president?

As president, Robert Mugabe will enjoy immunity from prosecution. He is very old and spent a lot of time abroad to receive medical care.

Even opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he should be allowed to “rest during his last days on earth”.

He could go abroad rather than stay in a country that has turned against him. Singapore would be the ideal place as it is in this country that Mugabe has been receiving medical care for more than 10 years. South Africa is another option for him.

What about his wife, Grace?

Grace Mugabe has not been seen since the military took power. It has been reported that she fled the country.

Mugabe was accused by his party of letting his wife manipulate him. When the Zanu-PF party voted Sunday to expel Grace, a party member said she would be prosecuted with several other people.

When will the elections be held?

Zimbabwe is expected to hold elections by September 2018. According to the constitution, parliamentary and presidential elections are held at the same time.

The exact date is not known, but Emmerson Mnangagwa will be acting before the elections. However, early elections could take place.

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Written by How Africa

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