World in View: Zimbabwe’s coup

February 2, 2018

From the January-February 2018 issue of News & Letters

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe was deposed by military coup, led by General Constantino Chiwenga, Nov. 24. Former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa replaced him. (For more background see: “Zimbabwe Succession,” July-Aug. 2016 N&L.)

The coup was supported by China, which is the second biggest investor in Zimbabwe, as well as its major military supplier. Chiwenga and Mnangagwa traveled to Beijing beforehand.

The new regime has also reached out to the West, as well as African capitalists, for investment, promising lower taxes. They have expressed a desire to reenter the British Commonwealth.

One goal of the coup was to end a growing protest movement. While many celebrated Mugabe’s fall, one street vendor cautioned: “We have got rid of a snake and replaced it with a new snake.”

—Gerry Emmett

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