Is the so-called “overthrow” of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe beginning to feel like the lamest coup in the history of the African continent?
One can’t help but feel that this whole episode has taken a turn for the weird, especially considering that Africa – including Zimbabwe – is no stranger to bloodshed, violence and revolt.
Not that we would ever advocate violence, but from a supposed military takeover to the complete damp squib this coup has become, one has to wonder whether they don’t make African revolutions like they used to.
What started on Wednesday morning – the military sweeping in and placing Mugabe and company under house arrest – has gone off script completely.
It’s not clear what the current status in Zimbabwe is, but regime change has definitely not happened.
Worryingly – as far as coups go – Zimbabwe’s war veterans’ association yesterday called for President Robert Mugabe to step down immediately and urged people to protest against the veteran leader.
There’s also talk of Mugabe facing impeachment if he refuses to quit.
It begs the question: what kind of coup needs to be propped up by a protest march, or impeachment? This must be a first in the history of military coups.
Most confusing was Mugabe’s appearance at a university graduation ceremony in Harare yesterday, where he appeared in academic gown and cap and declared the ceremony open.
What was that? A short break in the overthrow talks?
This seems like a better deal than Muammar Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein got. Of course, the confusion could have been caused by the Zimbabwean Defence Force, which – when staging the coup – vehemently denied it was a coup at all.
It was supposedly just a bid to remove the criminals who surrounded Mugabe.
Of course, that does not explain why Mugabe himself was placed under house arrest.
The mind boggles. And we thought coups were straightforward affairs.