After 34 years in power, and having controlled the government of Zimbabwe since virtually the moment of its independence in 1980, following the collapse of the white minority rule of what was previously Rhodesia, you’d think that president Robert Mugabe would be focused more on anointing a successor than causing more upheaval.
If so, you’d be wrong.
For a leader who emerged as the darling of Western governments in his fight for black majority rule, then became an international pariah as Zimbabwe became synonymous with one-party rule, land confiscation, oppression of the few white residents who didn’t leave in 1980 and, more recently, hyperinflation, cholera epidemics and rigged elections, it should come to no surprise that Mugabe (pictured above) still wants to call the shots, two months short of his 91st birthday.
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The most recent upheaval involves Joice Mujuru, vice president of Zimbabwe since 2004 and the vice president of the ruling ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front).
At age 59, she came of age during the struggle against Rhodesian white minority rule, earning the nickname ‘Spill Blood’ as a teenager in the fight for Zimbabwe’s freedom. Mujuru (pictured above) has literally spent her entire adult life working under Mugabe’s command. She’s been in government consecutively since 1980, when she was first appointed as a minister of community development and women’s affairs. Her husband, Solomon Mujuru, was until his 2011 death, the highly feared head of Zimbabwe’s military. Among the radical cadre of leaders within the ZANU-PF, Mujuru is widely viewed as a moderate voice who could have pulled Zimbabwe from its Mugabe-era isoltion into a more normal relationship with the rest of the world. Continue reading At age 90, Mugabe launches ZANU-PF purge in Zimbabwe