A Zimbabwean high court has ruled that the military action leading to former President Robert Mugabe’s resignation was “constitutional” and not a coup.
“Actions by the Zimbabwe Defense Forces to stop the usurping of power by those close to former president Robert Mugabe are constitutional,” state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) media quoted officials of the top court as saying.
Referring to Mugabe’s wife Grace and her supporters, the court ruled that the takeover was “to ensure the non-elected individual do not exercise powers that can only be exercised by (those) elected.”
The tribunal also noted that Mugabe’s firing of his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, over a power struggle between him as his wife earlier this month had been against the law.
On November 23, Mugabe finally succumbed to pressures and stepped down after 37 years in power.
The resignation came several days after army chiefs put military vehicles on the streets of the capital, Harare and placed the 93-year-old leader under house arrest. Many Zimbabweans celebrated the end of Mugabe’s rule.
A day after, his sacked deputy, Mnangagwa, was sworn in as the country’s interim president, vowing sweeping changes and seeking to attract foreign investment to revive the moribund economy in the south African country.
Mnangagwa is Zimbabwe’s second president since the country gained independence from British colonial rule in 1981.