The military has wrestled control of the faltering nation of Zimbabwe from longtime leader, Robert Mugabe, 93, who appeared to be grooming his 52-year-old South African born wife, Grace Mugabe, toward the leadership of the African country.
Last night's action by the military in Zimbabwe ushers in a renewed era of the coup d'etat as some democratic processes become tainted and seemingly impotent to effect changes desired by the people of some lands.
Mugabe's downfall is indicative of the decay of once prominent social ideals held by leaders that have become corroded by their authoritarian grasps for continued power amid changing societies.
Mugabe's final downfall was triggered by his dismissal last week of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the apparent revolutionary in waiting to the presidency, over accusations, some lodged by Grace Mugabe, of the vice-president's attempts to oust Mugabe. With Mnangagwa out of the way, it appeared that Grace Mugabe, a former typist in a governmental office, would be an easy shoe-in to replace the aged Mugabe.
However, earlier this week, army chief General Constantino Chiwenga, warned that it was criminal to rid the country of its revolutionary fathers who had gained Zimbabwe's independence from Great Britain in 1980. Vice President Mnangagwa, along with Robert Mugabe and the army chief, are among those revolutionaries.
After the warning from the army chief, accusations of treason were made against him, just as they were made against the vice president. Allegations of treason lodged first against the vice president and then against General Chiwenga, were all representative of a growing split within Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, which appeared to be favoring the wife of Mugabe as his successor.
But last night the army seized power in Zimbabwe announcing that Mugabe and his family were safe and under house arrest. The army took control of the state broadcaster, ZBC and this morning, tanks and armored vehicles patrolled the streets of the capital, Harare.
Thus, an end to a long chapter of Mugabe rule has come to an end in Zimbabwe, hereby affirming the re-emergence of the coup d'etat as a recourse to political change, as it had been popularly used in the 1970s. Moreover, Zimbabwe's predicament underscores the result of failed and impotent democratic processes to adapt to the ambitions of people desiring change and more functional governments.