Who is Robert Mugabe? Will wife Grace Mugabe replace him as Zimbabwe President after military challenges rule?

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New Delhi | Updated: November 16, 2017 11:38:27 AM

Zimbabwe crisis: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is facing an acute crisis after the military seized power in this African country. Now the question which everyone is asking whether Mugabe's wife Grace Mugabe or sacked vice president Emerson Mnangagwa will succeed him as the next state head - or if the military will take over.

Robert Mugabe, Grace Mugabe, Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe palace, Emerson Mnangagwa Zimbabwe military coup, Zimbabwe crisis, Zimbabwe wiki, Zimbabwe british colony, who is Robert Mugabe, Robert Mugabe wife, Zimbabwe president wife, Zimbabwe crisis video, Robert Mugabe video, Robert Mugabe profile, Robert Mugabe bio, Zimbabwe history, south africa, Zimbabwe news, africa news, south africa newsZimbabwe crisis: Here is all you want to know about President Robert Mugabe. (Reuters image)

Zimbabwe crisis: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is facing an acute crisis after the military seized power in this African country. Now the question which everyone is asking whether Mugabe’s wife Grace Mugabe or sacked vice president Emerson Mnangagwa will succeed him as the next state head – or if the military will take over. Mugabe has been put under house arrest. It is not clear whether it was a military coup or not but army officers had dubbed this as a targeted operation against “criminals” in the entourage of President Mugabe. Mugabe has ruled the southern African nation for almost four decades. The main goal of the generals appeared to be preventing Mugabe’s wife Grace from succeeding him. South African president Jacob Zuma had earlier called for “calm and restraint” and asked the defence forces “to ensure that peace and stability are not undermined in Zimbabwe,” South Africa’s neighbour has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past two decades. Tanks blocked roads after dark and soldiers with automatic weapons kept up their patrols, but the situation appeared calm.

Here is all you want to know about Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe

Mugabe was born in February 1924 on the Kutama Mission, northwest of Harare, and educated by Jesuits. He earned seven university degrees, three while in prison.

Mugabe’s wife Grace is 41 years junior to him.

Mugabe was jailed for 10 years in 1964 for opposing white minority rule. A guerrilla war began in 1972 against Ian Smith’s white government of then-Rhodesia.

Mugabe became leader of the ZANU liberation movement in the mid-1970s after his release from jail.

The renamed ZANU-PF won independence elections in 1980 and Mugabe became prime minister. He took office as president in 1987 after a change in the constitution.

In 2000, Mugabe tasted defeat when voters in a referendum rejected a constitution that would have given him more power. He turned on the small white minority, blaming them.

He pushed legislation through parliament allowing his government to seize white-owned farms. Self-styled war veterans occupied many other farms, often using violence.

Mugabe’s party lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in the March 2008 elections.

Last year Zanu-PF party’s national youth league had announced that it was planning to build sumptuous palace for Robert Mugabe near the Great Zimbabwe monument in the Masvingo province.

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Mugabe, still seen by many Africans as a liberation hero, is reviled in the West as a despot whose disastrous handling of the economy and willingness to resort to violence to maintain power destroyed one of Africa’s most promising states.

Mugabe plunged Zimbabwe into a fresh political crisis last week by firing his vice president and presumed successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75 – known as the “crocodile” – for showing “traits of disloyalty”.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe ruling party youth wing leader Chipanga has publicly apologised to military for statements denigrating defence forces chief.  In the wake of the military takeover in Zimbabwe, the national police force has recalled all officers on leave. A top police official who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press told The Associated Press that all police on leave have been ordered to return to their posts immediately.

South African President Jacob Zuma, as leader of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community, has ‘noted with great concern’ the unfolding political situation in neighboring Zimbabwe. Zuma, in a statement issued from his office Wednesday, called for ‘restraint and calm’ and expressed hope that developments in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes of government as that would be contrary to both SADC and African Union positions.”

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