Following the calculated and bloodless takeover of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare by military leaders, Special Representative of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas has stated the exercise was one which was bound to happen sooner than later.
Commenting on the developments in the southern African country, Dr. Ibn Chambas described it as unfortunate but not totally unforeseen as several African leaders have been agonizing about the manner in which the country has been rendered impoverished under the leadership of President Robert Mugabe in the past years.
“… it was not a necessity but it was not totally unforeseen. We’ve all been agonizing about the situation in Zimbabwe for some time. One of the richest countries on our continent is reduced to poverty and a lot of stress for the population, young Zimbabweans are all leaving the country. They need to come back, they need to have a more stable political and economic environment in their country”, Dr. Ibn Chambas noted.
Robert Mugabe now 93 years and the oldest serving President in the world has been put under house arrest by the Military for his own safety while they have deployed armored vehicles to patrol on the streets of the capital, Harare.
The Special Representative of the UN for West Africa and the Sahel, however, indicated that he hoped the situation would be resolved soon with the right atmosphere being created in the country as they prepare to go the polls in 2018.
“Zimbabwe is a very important country on the continent. We would like to see the continuous stability of this country. The country is due to go to elections next year, we hope that all Zimbabweans will ensure that the right conditions are created for all parties to participate in the elections with a level playing field and the conditions where they can truly choose their leadership.”
A simmering succession battle in the ruling Zanu-PF party came to a head two weeks ago when Mugabe sacked his powerful vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mugabe’s decision fuelled speculation he was preparing to anoint his wife, Grace, as his successor. Grace Mugabe, 52, is widely disliked within the party’s old guard, while Mnangagwa enjoys wide support in the military.
The first signs that a military intervention underway came Tuesday afternoon as armored vehicles were seen near the capital.
The situation escalated with Wednesday morning’s announcement, when Maj. Gen. S.B. Moyo addressed the country on state TV, vehemently denying the operation was a coup.