Consider: What was it that precipitated the military to intervene and suppress “criminals around” Mugabe, (itself a curious phrasing considering that the country’s greatest criminal is Mugabe himself)? It wasn’t the blatantly illegal and violent theft of white-owned farm land which degenerated Zimbabwe from “the breadbasket of Africa” into a basket case. Nor was it the 2005 politically charged slum clearance operation that left 700,000 people homeless. The 100,000% inflation and resultant economic collapse did not stir their conscience. Countless incidents of corruption, electoral fraud, and torture did not move the generals to act.
No, what ultimately persuaded the military to intervene was Mugabe’s rash decision to promote his wife at the expense of other powerful constituencies within his regime. Of course, it is to be welcomed that Zimbabwe is finally rid of Robert and Grace Mugabe, the latter of whom, right down to her penchant for expensive shoes (“I wear only Ferragamo,” she is reported to have said), makes Imelda Marcos look like Mother Theresa. Yet there is nothing in the Crocodile’s record to suggest he has any interest in establishing democracy and good governance.