A view beyond the Zim coup

There is a mistaken view that all Zimbabweans supported the coup that brought to an abrupt end former President Robert Mugabe’s tyrannical rule.

By Mutsa Murenje

And somehow, we are being forced to accept that the leadership question has been adequately dealt with in Zimbabwe and that nobody should question the legitimacy of the unpopular Harare regime.

I don’t buy into this futile stance. The same mulish stance has been extended to the Gukurahundi atrocities and several political crimes committed since the dawn of the new millennium.

“Let bygones be bygones,” we have been told, so that we may embrace an illegitimate and brutal regime that used violence, murder and brutal tactics against its enemies.

This isn’t the way to build a nation. A nation founded on violence against one’s enemies will not stand the test of time, it waits to fall when those on whom violence was used also seek to revenge.

We need to continually interrogate our positions and see, if it is a constitutional or factional democracy that we are fighting for.

For genuine writers, we “… are not here to conform. We are here to challenge. We’re not here to be comfortable — we’re here, really, to shake things up. That’s our job,” Jeanette Winterson wrote.

That notwithstanding, it has to be pointed out, from the outset, that some of us had wanted Mugabe to leave power for a long time, but not under the circumstances in which he eventually left.

The extraordinary circumstances of his departure will be deeply etched in our minds, especially when taking into account that the supposed reasons for his departure were only a ploy by the coup perpetrators to replace and entrench dictatorial rule in Zimbabwe.

I invite you, dear readers, to consider a view beyond the Zimbabwean coup because, as H H Rowley reasoned, “I have frequently observed that problems which appear simple on the surface often prove to be very complex on examination ….”

Towards the political events that humiliated and ended Mugabe’s political career and careers of others close to him, I had been paying rapt attention to the factional politics at play in the fractured Zanu PF.

Zanu PF had become weaker by the time the likes of Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader, Simba Makoni and Zapu leader, Dumiso Dabengwa left it.

Former Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s departure further weakened it and since Mugabe was believed to have been the glue that united the revolutionary party, former Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ascendancy via the bullet and not the ballot has destroyed it and his victory is, thus, hollow to the extent that he only won a factional fight, albeit violently.

There are serious allegations that he stands accused of. Mnangagwa, together with many others served in the Mugabe regime that has been implicated in the 1980s Gukurahundi atrocities that saw the demise of ex-Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo’s father, Job Mlevu and the infamous violence that made Mugabe obstinate and refuse to leave power when he was defeated by the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC in 2008.

Moyo is perceived to be wholly opposed to Mnangagwa and his (Moyo’s) recent interview on BBC HardTalk with Zeinab Badawi has further put Zimbabwe on the spotlight.

Love him or hate him, I strongly share Moyo’s views.

A constitutional democracy can never allow the imposition of leaders on the nation.

A coup is still a coup whether or not you deify its perpetrators.

As for me ,and others alike, I will only recognise a legitimate administration, not impostors.

Indeed, Sadc, AU, the UN and whoever has recognised the illegal regime in Zimbabwe is making a grave mistake.

Zimbabweans should be allowed the opportunity to elect their representatives in a transparent, free, fair and credible election.

The argument that the High Court sanitised the coup and that nobody has challenged the legitimacy of the regime in court ignores the fact that the judiciary, like several other State institutions, has been captured by a Zanu PF faction.

This also explains why opposition lawyers are even representing victims of political purges by the Mnangagwa regime.

Should it be true that Moyo is a bitter man, then I am convinced it is for a good cause. The Zimbabwean Constitution has been grossly violated and it is our duty to protect it against military encroachment.

The Zimbabwean opposition in its entirety will have to be really worried. In politics, there is no such thing as permanent friends, but permanent interests.

In the history of this world, there has never been a man, dead or living, who staged a coup for the benefit of another.

Therefore, the foolish sense of entitlement continues even under the pretensions of Zimbabwe being in a new era.

This is a “new error” we are in and the solution needs to be found before Zimbabwe really becomes a “Banana Republic”.
We hadn’t seen him for a long time and it had been long too since we had last heard from him.

Thanks to the Lacoste faction backed by the military! We finally had the chance to see and hear from Tsvangirai, following a visit to his residence by Mnangagwa.

Various writers before me have since addressed the visit and its implications.

I am not going to get into this. I will address, here and now, the matters concerning the MDC Alliance, in view of the impending 2018 elections.

The alliance needs to have Tsvangirai replaced and ensure that all matters pertaining to political or electoral reforms are addressed, because we can’t afford to go into an election when these matters haven’t been duly attended to.

Tsvangirai needs his rest and recovery time. It’d be even good to dedicate the 2018 elections to him and others who founded the MDC in 1999.

The alliance has a good chance to wrestle power from the military and return our country to constitutional rule and not martial law.

In conclusion, the postponement of elections by the illegal regime is, therefore, out of question.

Mnangagwa can’t buy more time to extend his illegal rule on Zimbabwe. Thus, citizens, who have rejected or questioned Mnangagwa’s legitimacy deserve our gratitude, whether or not we find their challenges to be justified or not.

As I see it, it is imperative that we keep questioning and continually re-examining illegitimate regimes, so that we have legitimate administrations and not those imposed on us by the vitriolic actions of the military.

May God help Zimbabwe! The struggle continues unabated!


  1. Well said Murenje. Inspite of all the happiness exhibited by Zimbabweans, it a coup that took place in Zimbabwe. As l have always argued, everybody wanted to see Mugabe’s back but the Constitution was trampled upon and Zimbabweans will regret this forever since a bad precedent has been set. Again, there are those who feel entitled (stockholders) of this country and its really a sad situation.

  2. We said bro the bible says inheritance quickly gained will not be blessed in the end

  3. We thank God that Mugabe is history. Totangira ipapo

  4. Well said. People of Zimbabwe quickly forget that ED Mnangagwa and the army Generals who carried out the coup are the same guys who perpetuated RG Mugabe’s rule through sheer and brutal force. Now they are forcing themselves on the same citizens, and people are busy deifying Mnangagwa, dancing madly to the the song Kutonga Kwaro.
    For me the Mnangagwa regime is twice illegitimate as the Mugabe regime it removed through force. ED is simply in-electable and he will force the electorate to endorse him just like the Zanu pf system forced the party to field him as their candidate. There is not going to be fair elections under the government of ED.

    1. Mukaranga Chaiye

      Kumwe kupenga kunonakidza.
      Munhu ane njere dzose dzakakwana chokwadi angaonekwa achichemera Mugabe kana kuti ano supporter Musorobhangu “whether justified or not”. Elections are yet to be held so it’s premature to state who will or will not be elected. Seems like we now have so many prophets in Zimbabwe. By any definition, what we have is a new government. By SADCC, EU. AU and world definitions what happened in Zimbabwe was not a coup.
      Both ZANU PF and PF ZAPU were involved in Gukurahundi

  5. A good piece, pregnant with sense. But the majority don’t understand constitutionalism and rule of law. They just ride on sentiments.

  6. It is NOT a good piece at ALL. Compare the two Munangagwa and Mugabe. The writer is saying Mugabe was supposed to rule and steal our future using the ‘constitution ‘ Right?? Give me a break. We are not slaves to the piece of document we crafted. The constitution is for the people not the people for the constitution. Who is is it supposed to serve? You are telling us that because the police were suppressing us using statutory instrument this statutory instrument that then the police were RIGHT?

    If the constitution is not serving the majority change or do away with it. The outpouring of zimbos on the street is testimony that the soldiers did the right thing. The fact that they erred in 2008 or prior doesn’t mean that they can’t redeem themselves. So the writer should not purport to speak on behalf of Zimbabweans no! He/she is speaking on his/her behalf period. Munangagwa is a good starting Point. He is showing signs of healing our divided nation. He restored Tsvangirai s diplomatic passport. When Mugabe took away that diplomatic passport was it constitutional especially to someone who served our country at that level. We create the constitution to serve the weak NOT the powerful so if the constitution starts protecting the powerful against the weak, I don’t like it. I rest my case!

    1. You are entitled to your opinion and i respect it unconditionally but disagree with you fundamentally. The deposition of RGM was a factional move within ZANU-PF, not a populace uprising against him. That very move has set a bad precedence; any army officer(s) at the top (controlling the armoury) can organise a coup any time (at his/her whims) whether Zimbabweans want it or not and a dictatorship sets in. As you are aware, dictatorship is very hard to remove. This move will be regretted by Zimbabweans generations to come.

  7. I agree with you, the current regime is imposed hence illegitimate. They tried to buy legitimacy by threatening Mugabe to resign. We know Mugabe was forced to resign. I will never vote for Zanu Pf.

  8. Well said my man. These people take advantage of little education that Zimbabweans have. Mnangagwa’s appointment was a clear imposition.
    I think Zimbabweans need good political education so that they can actively participate in politics.

  9. The people of Zimbabwe are the greatest constitution there can ever be & if they overwhelmingly say Mugabe must go as they did all over the world then the law has spoken

  10. Comment…hahahahahaha let me start by laughing first, l wont be suprised if you rejoiced till morning the day Mugabe was removed from power.Now here we are barely 2months after you writting a good piece of hatred issues preaching hatred and discontent issues.The one you going against is preaching peace and unity, then who should we support. Who do you think deserves to be there, the ones who failed to dispose of the old men for nearly 20years … You preach of the past in your paper issue, the ones that goes to the front judging will be the first to be judged, in shona they say kuona chigutswa chirimumwe uchitadza kuona chako, ( you see a logg in someones eye whilst you cant see a big log in your own eye). Lets give the men a chance than pre judging him. What he is saying now is very correct, lets try him dont be so spectical, thats the thing thats killed our nation and divided us. One Zimbabwe one nation lets be proud of it

  11. Immense thanks for your feedback dear compatriots. I truly appreciate your taking time to comment on the issues that I raised and it just tells me that we all want the best for our country. Although we might differ on how exactly to secure firm outcomes built on a firm foundation, I, however, strongly believe that there can never be a shortcut to success. We all have good minds and noble intentions for our country but, as Rene Descartes observed, “It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.” Are we using our minds well? Are we falling for anything? Would we accept things that have happened at a personal level? If not, why not? Let’s keep talking. Solutions lie in dialogue and not insults! The struggle continues!

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