The end for the longest serving dictator in the world has come a day after the army in Zimbabwe took control of the capital city of Harare fueling speculations that the army being led by its Chief have staged a rather shocking coup. 93 year old President Robert Mugabe was put into immediate house arrest and a day after forced to resign from his post he had held on to ever since the country won its independence from the United Kingdom.
An interim government headed by Emmerson Mnangagwa has been put into place and the former President is being kept in house arrest due to his ailing health. The President's coterie and the army General had been seeing eye to eye on various issues, the most recent being the high level purge of state officials and ministers, including the sacking of Vice President and present head of Government Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Speculation had been rife in Harare that Mugabe could seek to remove Chiwenga the army chief, who was seen as an ally of ousted Mnangagwa.
The crisis marks an "ominous moment in the ongoing race to succeed" Mugabe, said political analyst Alex Magaisa in an online article. "(Mugabe) has previously warned the military to stay away from ZANU-PF's succession race. "His authority over the military has never been tested in this way."
The troubled worsened with reports coming in that Grace Mugabe, the President's spouse was grooming herself as the next President, if something were to happen to her husband and this sequence of planning was not being hailed by those close to the army general.
Mnangagwa, 75, was widely viewed as Mugabe's most loyal lieutenant, having worked alongside him for decades. He fled the country and issued a searing five-page condemnation of Grace's ambition and Mugabe's leadership. Earlier this year the country was gripped by a bizarre spat between Grace and Mnangagwa that included an alleged ice-cream poisoning incident that laid bare the pair's rivalry.
Apart from three explosions and some gun shots there have not been further reports of violence in Harare, where the army holds control of the city with armored vehicles taking physical control of the city and restricting movement of all civilian personnel in the city. As the situation deteriorated overnight, the US embassy in Harare warned its citizens in the country to " seek shelter in place" due to "ongoing political uncertainty".