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The Coup D’état in Zimbabwe: a Curse or a Gain?

by addisinsight

By Getachew

Various forms of facades can be attributable to President Robert Mugabe. A viewpoint can be made from his home country perspectives and in the eyes of other African countries as well as from the angle of western countries.

The undeniable fact is that Mugabe’s role as a liberating figure of his people from a colonial supremacy is pivotal. Henceforth, for most African countries he is considered to have an iconic personality even though he ruled his country for a long time in a one-party system.

In his home politic as for the existence of his supporters, there are many oppositions who were denied of possibilities and thus searching for any political spaces through all the means, like in this time, overruling through coup d’état. This principal contention is based on his stance of grabbing power for the last 37 years. The country suffered for a long time from economic Embargos imposed by mainly western countries for he has serious ideological disparity and for his position on human rights issues.

All in all, since last week he has been removed forcefully by the military. majorities of the new Medias rejoiced that this will be a new era for Zimbabwe. majorities of the news organizations

seem to have agreed on the removal of the autocratic rule of the president. Differently, however, I couldn’t see any other alternative voices criticizing the act of the coup d’état and the present circumstances in Zimbabwe.

There should be a question as to the rightness of this coup. Coup d’état is by its nature undemocratic and stands against the values of civilized nations and is broadly condemned. As per the Algiers Resolution of Organization of the African Unity in 1999, coup d’état is declared to be illegal and unacceptable. The legitimacy of any government must be driven out of a democratic process and be constitutional. There should not be a distinction between a good and bad coup d’état.

However, there are still arguments in support of coup d’état especially where the popular uprising unfolded as a response to an authoritarian and repressive government. The aforementioned is ultimately means to a good coup d’état. As a matter of requirement, this tyranny must not be otherwise averted by any other means and additionally the coup d’état must be undertaken as a last resort as prescribed in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Notwithstanding the above discourses, the focus must be now what kind of regime comes out of the existing coup d’état in Zimbabwe? Is the newly coming government will have a recognition among the international communities?

Certainly, nobody can tell now for sure what the end result of the transitional process looks like. From historical viewpoints, the result of coup d’état couldn’t be assessed as fruitful in majority of the cases without having formed an inclusive framework.

In order be able to support this thesis hereinabove, I would like to extend the following instances.

The Ethiopian Emperor Haileselassie had ruled Ethiopia for more than 40 years within a Monarch system. In the 1970s while Emperor was overthrown through a coup d’état by the military junta, no one thought that the next regime could have been replaced by another ruthless communist regime. As a result of the dissatisfactions, the struggle for freedom had continued for more than 20 years and resulted in the loss of uncountable human lives, properties and then the

secession of Eritrea in 1991. The trajectory of the civil war remains till now in the other way of a newly fashioned and in ethnicity contained authoritarian government in Addis whose rule is also quasi-iron fist.

Another instance is the 1990s war in Iraq. The purpose of the war was to remove dictatorial Saddam’s regime and replacing it with another all-encompassing government. In 2011 the removal of Libyan President Gaddafi and the cleansing his regime was thought to be the only solution. All after those wars and the removal of those rulers, however, a citizen of these countries

suffered tremendously and they are still wrestling in anarchism which came into place aftermath of those wars. The 2011 coup d’etat in Egypt can also be traced here as an example to support the view that the power transfer was unfruitful. Because the revolution had snatched the power from President Mubarek and gave it to the Muslim brotherhoods.

At this point, I would like to stress that in Zimbabwe, the situation should be calmed first and a free and fair election is conducted by a trustee government in a way that the military surrenders its power to the people. In this regard, all actors in Zimbabwe must be invited and involved in the construction of a democratic Zimbabwe. By doing this, power conflict and division among the societies can be managed. To create a power balance and bargaining of power among the existing forces, it is crucial that the transitional process also embrace President Mugabe and his Party ZANU PF.



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