Zimbabwe Coup? Military commandeers state TV as gunfire, explosion heard in capital.

Zimbabwe Coup? Military commandeers state TV as gunfire, explosion heard in capital. By Gabrielle Steinhauser.

Soldiers took over Zimbabwe’s state television early Wednesday, saying they were working to restore stability in the country, as gunshots were heard near President Robert Mugabe’s residence and at least one explosion sounded in the capital.

Armoured vehicles drove into Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, late Tuesday, hours after the ruling party accused the head of the military of treason. The moves came just days after Mr Mugabe, the country’s longtime ruler, fired his powerful vice president.

Before the military’s actions, Mr Mugabe, who is 93 years old, appeared poised to install his 52-year-old wife, Grace, as one of his two deputies and hoist her into a prime position to succeed him.

Robert Mugabe

Zimbabwe was once a prosperous country with sound institutions. 50 years later, it is just another poor kleptocracy undergoing  a coup. Will South Africa go the same way?