Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai claims that Zimbabwe’s aging president Robert Mugabe, 91, has been replaced by his wife Grace in a “palace coup,” reports the Mail & Guardian:
Grace Mugabe, 50, had taken over in a “palace coup” and no one in government was doing anything about the country’s crisis, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader said in an end-of-year message. “No one in government is thinking of solutions to the national challenges as everyone is preoccupied with issues of who will succeed this tired man steering the ship of State,” he said.
“There is no boldness to confront the national crisis; what with an aged president and everyone around him fighting to succeed him,” Tsvangirai added, highlighting Zimbabwe’s growing unemployment and hunger.
He said Zimbabwe is faced with a leadership crisis. His own popularity plummeted since a coalition government in which he served as prime minister ended in 2013. “Unless and until we sort out the legitimacy crisis, we will not resolve the confidence deficit this government has suffered from local and international investors,” he said.
The claim of a coup comes after the president experienced several medical mishaps, according to London’s The Guardian:
The famously austere Mugabe has long been in robust physical and mental condition, but several mishaps in recent months have sent tongues wagging.
Bodyguards had to rush to stop him falling as he stumbled while reaching out to shake hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last week of October. A month earlier, he read the wrong speech during the opening of parliament without realising his error.
Mugabe is still expected to be endorsed as the ruling party Zanu-PF’s presidential candidate in 2018, when he will be 94.
Grace Mugabe is wildly unpopular as a result of her lavish shopping trips overseas at a time when the country is struggling economically, writes the Guardian.