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Zimbabwe is under the control of the military two days after its army chief warned President Robert Mugabe against purging the ruling party’s senior ranks.

Analysts say it appears to be the climax of a power struggle between liberation-era figures loyal to ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and forces faithful to First Lady Grace Mugabe, who is seen as vying to succeed her 93-year-old husband.

Mr Mugabe was a Marxist guerrilla who came to power in 1980 after the country won its independence from Britain. Mr Mugabe made a promising start—calling for reconciliation with white Zimbabweans, and improving access to education and health care for all. But his early policies were overshadowed by what followed. To support the cost of various schemes, Mr Mugabe overspent wildly—a practice he has continued throughout his administration. And as he clung to power over the decades his rule became autocratic, undemocratic and oppressive. This has all caused typical forms of suffering. But the way in which Mr Mugabe has brought Zimbabwe to its knees is through gross economic mismanagement.


President Robert Mugabe’s downfall was caused by the ambitions of his combative wife Grace, whose emergence as his likely successor proved a step too far for Zimbabwe’s military, analysts say.

Grace Mugabe  was once dismissed as a lightweight shopping addict.


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