Mugabe’s removal





Saturday 4 November to 30 November 2017


Saturday 4 November 2017

Mnangagwa supporters boo Grace Mugbe

Supporters of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa boo unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe, who has demonstrated her presidential aspirations, at a ZANU PF youth interface rally at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

Sunday 5 November 2017

Grace declares Mnangagwa should be fired

At her “Super Sunday Rally” at Rufaro Stadium in Harare, Grace Mugabe tells thousands of apostolic sect members that Mnangagwa should be fired from both government and ZANU PF, before the ruling party’s extraordinary congress. “A snake is better dealt with by crushing the head,” she says.

Monday 6 November 2017

Mugabe fires vice president

Mugabe fires his powerful vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, clearing the way for his wife, Grace, to succeed him as leader of Zimbabwe. Grace previously accused Mnangagwa, a former intelligence chief, of being the “root cause of factionalism” in the ruling Zanu PF party.  It is this step that triggers the military action.

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Mnangagwa defiant

Mnangagwa flees the country, initially to Mozambique and then South Africa, but vows to return to Zimbabwe to lead party members. The party "is not personal property for you and your wife to do as you please," Mnangagwa tells Mugabe in an angry five-page statement.

He ends by saying: “We want a country that gives every citizen the opportunity to prosper, to take care of their families, a country that encourages Zimbabweans to invest in their economy and contribute to the development of infrastructure for future generations. This is part of my vision for a rejuvenated Zimbabwe and particularly ZANU PF…. I will be communicating with you soon and shall return to Zimbabwe to lead you.”

Sunday 12 November 2017

Police attempt to arrest General Constantino Chiwenga

Police attempt to arrest Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantino Chiwenga at Harare airport soon after his arrival from an official visit to China but are stopped by soldiers wearing National Handling Services work suits.

Monday 13 November 2017

Army chief issues warning

Chiwenga demands a halt to the purge in ZANU PF, and warns that the military could intervene. “We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in,” he tells a media conference attended by about 90 senior army officers.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

ZANU PF issues a statement describing General Constantino Chiwenga’s utterances as “treasonous”.

Tuesday 14 November 2017

Army denies coup

A convoy of tanks is seen moving on the outskirts of Harare but the military denies a coup. A senior South African official warns on Tuesday night that Zimbabwe faces expulsion from both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) if its government is toppled in a coup.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Military vehicles take control of Harare

Military vehicles take control of the streets of Harare in the early hours. The military also raids Chikurubi Support Unit base, where they take control of the police armoury. By 3am, the army has secured all vital locations, including the state broadcaster, the ZBC.

One hour later, Major-General Sibusiso Moyo, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF), says Mugabe is safe and they are "only targeting criminals around him".

“To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government, what the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in violent conflict,” Moyo says. “As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”

Wednesday 15 November 2017

Mugabe under house arrest

South Africa says Mugabe has told its president, Jacob Zuma, by telephone that he is under house arrest but is "fine". It is not known at this stage if first lady Grace Mugabe has been detained or has escaped to Namibia.

Thursday 16 November 2017

Hard bargaining /stalemate

President Mugabe meets with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) command. At 10.30pm after many hours of bargaining, Mugabe and the generals who seized power – almost certainly on the orders of sacked vice president Emmerson Mnangagawa – are still locked in a stalemate.

Thursday 16 November 2017

SADC leaders meet

SADC foreign ministers meet in Gaborone (Botswana) to try to work out how the region should respond to the military 'coup' in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Friday 17 November 2017

Soldiers on the streets

Soldiers are seen on the streets of Harare

Friday 17 November 2017

Army supports rally called for on Saturday 18 November

Zimbabwe’s military says in a new statement it supports a rally called for Saturday 18 November in the capital Harare by opposition parties and others to urge President Robert Mugabe to step aside. The statement, read out on state-run television, says the military’s operation “remains solid” and Zimbabweans are urged to remain patient.

Friday 17 November 2017

ZANU PF provincial branches call for Mugabe resignation

All 10 of the ruling party's provincial branches call for Mugabe and his wife to resign and say they will arrange a special Central Committee meeting within two days. They also call for the reinstatement of former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, whose firing on 6 November led the military to step in and put Mugabe under house arrest.

Friday 17 November 2017

Mugabe attends university graduation

Mugabe's first public appearance since the military takeover is at a university graduation ceremony on the outskirts of Harare.

Saturday 18 November 2017

The army’s escalation plan:  With the help of war veterans and ZANU PF structures, a march is organised and is supported by opposition parties and members of civil society.  Thousands of people take to the streets in several major cities and towns in mass solidarity demonstrations to demand that President Mugabe leave office immediately. Marchers also praise the military, which intervened following the sacking of Mnangagwa.

Sunday 19 November 2017

ZANU PF fires Mugabe as its leader

The ruling ZANU PF party’s Central Committee fires Mugabe as its leader and gives the 93-year-old less than 24 hours (i.e. 12 noon on 20 November)  to quit as head of state or face impeachment, an attempt to force a peaceful end to his 37 years in power after the de facto coup. He is replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Mugabe meets the ZDF for a second time

Mugabe meets the command element of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for the second time.  The negotiating team is made up of Catholic Father Fidelis Mukonori, Aaron Nhepera, the acting director of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), and George Charamba, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Mugabe refuses to step down

In a rambling internationally televised speech on Sunday evening, Robert Mugabe stuns the world by refusing to step aside as president of Zimbabwe, leaving him clinging to power despite being dismissed as leader of his own party. Instead, he uses the address to acknowledge deep criticism of his leadership but promises to preside over the December Congress of the ZANU PF party.

The speech provokes anger and disbelief among crowds gathered to watch and raises concerns that Zimbabwe could be at risk of a violent backlash. However, his once-loyal ZANU PF party — which has already sacked him and told him to resign as head of state — warns it will seek to impeach him if he fails to quit by midday on Monday.

Monday 20 November 2017

Impeachment process

ZANU PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke says the party’s members of parliament will meet at 12h30 GMT to start mapping out Mugabe’s impeachment. Constitutional experts say ZANU PF has the numbers and can push it through in as little as 24 hours.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Ministers refuse to attend a cabinet meeting

Mugabe is humiliated when ministers refuse to attend a cabinet meeting he calls at State House.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Mnangagwa urges Mugabe to step down

In a press statement, Mnangagwa urges President Mugabe to "take heed of this clarion call by the people of Zimbabwe to resign" so that the country can move forward.

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Letter of resignation

The president finally accepted defeat only after he has been sacked by his own ZANU PF party and faces the ignominy of impeachment. Mugabe signs a short letter of resignation to the speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, and it is read out to lawmakers.

Friday 24 November

Inauguration of Mnangagwa

Emmerson Mnangagwa is inaugurated as president at the National Sports Stadium in Harare. He promises to re-engage the international community, revive the economy and conduct free and fair elections.

Sunday 26 November 2017

Justice and accountability

Activist pastor Evan Mawaire called on Sunday for Mugabe to face justice, saying that further demonstrations could erupt if people believe there was no accountability for decades of state crimes.

Thursday 30 November

New cabinet announced

The new cabinet announced by President Mnangagwa demonstrates a disappointing show of continuity with Mugabe’s largely incompetent and aging cabinet. The other significant feature is the appointment of senior military personnel who were the key drivers in the removal of Mugabe and the change of government.

Information from various sources, including:

The Guardian UK:

The Zimbabwe Independent:


BBC:  From tanks to resignation – Mugabe’s last days