Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Without Mugabe, Is Democracy Coming To Zimbabwe?

On Tuesday, after 37 years of authoritarian rule, Robert Mugabe resigned as president of Zimbabwe. That stunning move — celebrated by lawmakers cheering and citizens dancing in the streets — came after a dizzying series of events.

Mugabe’s two most-likely successors — his wife, Grace Mugabe, and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa — had been jockeying for power. The president had Mnangagwa fired, provoking his allies in the army to seize power. Stripped of his party leadership and threatened with impeachment, Mugabe finally resigned.
Without Mugabe, Is Democracy Coming To Zimbabwe?
But is Mugabe’s overthrow really a step toward democracy, as Zimbabweans and international observers alike are suggesting? Although there are reasons to think so, as I’ll explain below, Zimbabwe without Mugabe is probably heading not toward democracy but merely toward a different autocrat.

Coups can sometimes lead to democracy
The British foreign secretary has called the crisis a “moment of hope.” The State Department expressed its desire for a “new era” in Zimbabwe. Within the country, some citizens proclaimed a “second independence day.” The opposition party, the MDC, has called for democratization. Even some members of the ruling ZANU-PF party, which has ostensibly governed the country for decades, are reportedly wearing T-shirts reading “new era/Team ZANU-PF.”

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