The large query that got here up within the wake of Mugabe’s ouster at home and overseas was ‘whoever thought that such a day will come.’ Most Zimbabweans admitted that even Mugabe couldn’t have predicted the occasions of November 15 until 21 when he lastly agreed to let go after 37 years.
In early December 2016, the identical query was on the minds of many voters and foreigners as The Gambia headed into presidential polls. Incumbent Yahya Jammeh conceded an surprising electoral loss a lot to the shock of Gambians and the admiration of individuals all over the world.
It didn’t take lengthy earlier than he unilaterally introduced a cancellation of the polls over irregularities. The elections chief had reviewed outcomes from the December 1 polls however that in Jammeh’s view was an indication that one thing had gone fallacious.
Presidential politics on the continent has undoubtedly recorded two throw outs, knockouts when you like that have been extremely unlikely until they occurred. 2017 has been an fascinating one for Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and for Jammeh’s Gambia.
As a part of our 2017 assessment, we glance again on the circumstances that led to the ‘democratic’ ousting of two leaders who had chalked a mixed reign of 59 years.
Robert Gabriel Mugabe: The coup, the strain and the resignation.
Till November 2017, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, 93, was the one political chief – prime minister, president – that Zimbabwe had recognized. He got here to energy in 1980 as Prime Minister after the nation gained independence from the British.
Seven years later, Mugabe was elected the primary president of impartial Zimbabwe. He was seen by many as a liberator of his folks, he gained contested elections and at some extent shared energy with the primary opposition Motion for Democratic Change.
He has been chief of the ruling Zanu-PF since its formation and was their flagbearer going into 2018 elections. Though literacy had boomed underneath Mugabe, the financial disaster that resulted from seizure of lands from white farmers and human rights points have been bitter factors.
Ultimately, it took a succession battle and the intervention by the military to oust a person that they had for years labored to guard. Mugabe fired his then vice Emmerson Mnangagwa who was seen as an impediment to the presidential ambitions of his spouse Grace.
The military cautioned towards a purge of Mnangagwa’s followers however bought a scolding from some celebration members. Barely 24 hours after their warning, the Zimbabwe Protection Forces (ZDF) seized the state broadcaster and introduced a takeover on November 14.
They rejected speak of it being a coup and guaranteed the security of the primary household. They mentioned their motion was focused at criminals round Mugabe and individuals believed to be behind the financial stress that Zimbabweans have been going through.
Mediation led by South Africa, exit talks with Mugabe, an look at a commencement ceremony, deliberate intervention by the regional political bloc, SADC; mass protests calling for Mugabe to depart, recall by Zanu-PF and impeachment processes by parliament, Mugabe lastly resigned November 21.
His former vice returned from self-imposed exile in South Africa and was sworn in as president of the nation. ZANU-PF will go to Congress this month to most certainly endorse Mnangagwa as its candidate within the subsequent elections.
Yahya Jammeh: The shock loss, the human & media rights abuse and exile
Then a 29-year-old lieutenant, Yahya Jammeh took energy in a cold coup in 1994 after deposing the nation’s first president, Dawda Jawara. He’ll go on to rule the Smiling Coast of Africa for 22 years.
The nation had no presidential time period restrict and Jammeh was largely mentioned to be on his approach to a fourth consecutive ballot victory. The shock got here on December 2 when elections chief disclosed that Jammeh had accepted defeat to an opposition coalition candidate.
Occasions turned for the more severe as The Gambia was placed on knife-edge after Jammeh introduced cancellation of the ballot outcomes. He cited irregularities in outcomes transmission and requested that recent polls be carried out.
Between then and when he finally left the nation into exile in Equatorial Guinea in January 2016, the next main incidents occured: unsuccessful regional mediation, ECOWAS flew president-elect Adama Barrow to Senegal the place he was first sworn-in as president.
Jammeh didn’t get judges to sit down on an election petition his celebration filed – purpose, The Gambia imported judges from West Africa – none was obtainable to sit down on the case on the time. At some extent he begged Liberia’s Sirleaf as ECOWAS chair to assist get judges to sit down on the petition.
ECOWAS put collectively a navy drive to oust him at finish of his tenure – bought Safety Council approval, Jammeh imposed a state of emergency, Barrow took workplace in Dakar, lastly Jammeh left after mediation by Guinea’s Alpha Conde and Mauritania’s Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz.
He flew out of Banjul to Conakry and onwards to his present base, Malabo in Equatorial Guinea – the final that was seen of him, Jammeh was busy at work on his farm clearing weeds and making ready his farmland.
Undoubtedly two political tales that have been least anticipated however which occurred. The Gambia continues to rejoice Jammeh’s ouster as for Zimbabweans they proceed to hope for higher democratic and financial instances underneath Mnangagwa – however admittedly, it’s early days but, isn’t it?