Military Coup? Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, partially obscured, delivers a speech at the funeral for a retired army general who had fought British rule in Zimbabwe, in Harare Tuesday, Dec 23, 2008. Mugabe said the U.S. and Britain are "stupid" to think he shouldn't be part of a unity government. (AP Photo)

Zimbabwe’s longtime dictator President Robert Mugabe has been placed under house arrest by the Zimbabwean military. The military also seized the state television, announcing they were going after “criminals.”

South African President Jacob Zuma — a man who has his own problems with corruption and bad-faith leadership — reportedly spoke with the 93-year-old and told Zuma he is fine.

According to The Guardian,

The military takeover comes two days after the army chief – flanked by other senior officers – said he was prepared to “step in” to end turmoil in the ruling Zanu-PF party.

It is likely to signal the departure from power of the world’s oldest leader within days, weeks or at most months.

One high-profile opposition leader said there was “a lot of talking going on”, with the army reaching out to them to discuss the formation of a transitional government after Mugabe steps down.

Negotiations had been ongoing for several months with “certain people within the army”, a second senior opposition official said.

The official said Mugabe would resign this week and be replaced by Mnangagwa, with opposition leaders taking posts as vice-president and prime minister. There was no independent confirmation of his claim.

The coup — although it has yet to be officially deemed one — is a long time coming. Mugabe was elected in 1980 and subsequently ran the country into the ground. Once a rich agricultural country, Zimbabwe has struggled to feed its people over the decades of Mugabe’s leadership. The Zimbabwean dollar’s value has become worthless to the point of mockery, if it all weren’t so sad.

If Mugabe is deposed, it still remains unlikely that much will change for the average citizen in Zimbabwe. As history shows us, governments run by the military are not known for resulting in liberty and prosperity.