Did the Zimbabwe ‘coup’ happen to protect the military chief?

THE fall of Robert Mugabe, who was a fixture in global affairs for nearly four decades, was sudden, swift and bloodless.
A little more than a week after the military warned the government it might step in, a new president is already in the making.

Now, his former political party and the military are claiming it is “business as usual”.

But there is still much we don’t know.

Did the ‘coup’ happen to protect the military chief?

The military intervened following the sacking of vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, which was widely seen as clearing the way for Mugabe’s wife to succeed him.

But there may also have been another element at play.

The first hint of trouble came a few days earlier, when military chief Gen Constantine Chiwenga issued a warning to Mugabe over “the current purging” in the ruling Zanu-PF party. He felt former liberation fighters – like Mnangagwa – were being targeted.

Gen Chiwenga was on a trip to China for military meetings when, according to reports in a number of news outlets, plans were made to arrest him upon his return.

But the general reportedly learned of the plot, and was met at the airport on his return by a significant number of his own troops to ensure his protection.

And then the military placed Mugabe under house arrest.

The military are being widely praised for their intervention – but it may also have been protecting its own interests. – BBC