The military coup in Zimbabwe is not a solution to the long years of despair and misery of the Zimbabwean masses. It is rather a product of a power struggle between factions of a greedy, corrupt and ruthless ZANU PF ruling elite – of which the top brass of the army is part of.
Over the years, Robert Mugabe and the clique surround him have shamelessly exploited the liberation struggle credentials to enrich themselves and hold the working masses captive. Of course the imperialist forces, in their bid to continue the economic enslavement of Zimbabwean workers and peasants, unleashed an economic embargo and global media campaign to ostracise the country.
Their mouthpieces such as the MDC did what was necessary within the country. The end result was a Zimbabwean economy that is not capable of sustaining the basic needs of the average citizen. Over three million citizens opted to migrate out of the country. The loss of social capital was immense. Productivity sunk drastically in all major sectors of the economy – pushing poverty levels to as high as 72%.
In the midst of economic decay, the ruling elite continued to amass wealth and live luxurious lifestyles. This ill-begotten wealth was openly paraded for all to see: In luxury, Hollywood-like mansions in an exclusive suburb of Borrowdale of Harare. The children of this greedy ruling elite enjoyed access to the most expensive and prestigious school world over.
Specialised treatment abroad was preferred over the broken down public health system at home. Overall, the Zimbabwean petty bourgeois ruling elite illegitimately ring-fenced itself from the economy calamity that befell the masses. The army generals have been party to this theft all along.
There are scandals still associated with the army whilst on the mission in Mozambique in support of FRELIMO against RENAMO in the 1980s and early 1990s. Its involvement on the side of the Kabila government in DR Congo is also associated with high levels of corruption and plunder. Similarly, in the brutal onslaughts against illegal diamond mining in Zimbabwe, the army generals were never innocent bystanders.
It is an army whose leadership is part of the corrupt elite that continues to disadvantage the Zimbabwean working masses.
The ruthlessness of the army in Matebeleland the 1980s is well documented. Its repressiveness against ordinary Zimbabweans is well known. It is also an army that openly declared not to accept any other elected leader, other than Robert Mugabe! The turnaround today comes in the wake of a perceived sidelining of its closest ally – former vice president Emmerson Mnagangwa. It is acting in its narrow self-interest rather than of the Zimbabwean masses.