Robert Mugabe has made his first public appearance since being put under house arrest by the military. Mr. Mugabe, the oldest national leader in the world, has been the controversial President of Zimbabwe since 1980, and has hitherto held an iron grip on the nation.
CBS indicated that while Zimbabwe’s military has firmly declined to call their actions a coup, the effect of their efforts is clear. The military is highly sensitive and opposed to Mr. Mugabe’s plans to confer power to his wife Grace, whose extravagance has made her an unwelcome figure to the people of Zimbabwe.
Mr. Mugabe appeared for the first time since the coup to attend a graduation near Harare. He wore a ceremonial cap and gown, and sang the national anthem, addressing a crowd of several thousand. His reappearance, while significant, still belies the coming end of his frightful reign.
The 93 year old President is still graced with the courtesy of being addressed as a President, according to Fox News, however his rule is slipping away as the negotiations with neighboring nations are shaping the future of Zimbabwe’s government and Mugabe’s imminent departure. Determined to end the continuation of the Mugabe regime, the military is persecuting figures close to the President’s wife.
Despite the reassurance of his appearance at the ceremony, Mr. Mugabe’s power is slipping away. News.com has reported that his plans to continue his regime through his wife are being muddled by his own military, which has ties to the Chinese government. The military favors Vice President Mnangagwa, who Mugabe had ousted over a week ago, bringing disfavor upon himself in the process.
Mugabe’s appearance indicated some modicum of solidarity, as he addressed Zimbabwe’s future, the massive crowd of university students, yet the end of his rule is inevitable. As reported by the Guardian, although the military coup has been relatively bloodless, the President’s presence is still critical to averting the potential chaos that many fear could still come from the coup.
Mr. Mugabe, for his part, refuses to abdicate his position as the situation continues to intensify. He has ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years, and has no intention of relinquishing his grip on the country. With an outraged populace and his own military acting against him however, all he can do is buy time. The regime is nearing its end regardless of his efforts. The Zimbabwe Situation, has announced that his first appearance since the coup has come at a time when thousands of Zimbabwe’s citizens are marching the streets in protest against him, blaming him for Zimbabwe’s economic travesties and calling for his abdication.
It appears that Mugabe is in the twilight of his rule. The sentiment of both the military and the citizenry is clear, it is only a matter of time before the conclusion of his long reign over the people of Zimbabwe.
[Featured Image by Ben Curtis/AP Images]