The military coup in Zimbabwe, explained

The military coup in Zimbabwe, explained

Why the Zimbabwe coup is not a revolution.

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On November 14th 2017, Zimbabwe military troops drove tanks into the capital city, Harare. They patrolled the streets, blocked access to government buildings, and took over the state television station to insist….
This is not a military takeover of government.

Once praised as a war hero, Robert Mugabe helped Zimbabwe win independence from Great Britain in 1980. He became president under Zimbabwe’s new constitution with the support of the people.

But soon, he digressed into a repressive dictator.

He secured his power through aggression and threats, there have been reports of state-sponsored torture and killings.

And even though Zimbabwe is technically a democracy, there’s evidence Mugabe rigged elections in his favor.

Now that Mugabe is 93 years old, and reportedly in poor health, the fight for political influence is more important than ever.

And it’s caused a split in Mugabe’s own party, the ZANU-PF.
On one side we have the old guard lead by Mugabe’s sacked vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa. Like Mugabe, he fought for Zimbabwe’s independence and has a checkered past that includes human rights abuses against political opponents and ethnic minorities. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out to get up to speed on everything from Kurdistan to the Kim Kardashian app.

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71 Responses

  1. Matt Kid says:

    Could you do a video on the Holodmor. It was one of the most catastrophic tragedys of the 20th century. And one of the most immoral acts by the regime of Joseph Stalin. Which killed more people in a space of two years, than the Holocaust did in five. So few even know that this man made famine happened. Due to the Soviet Union denying for decades. And like the Holocaust, people need to know about it.

  2. I Changed The Name says:

    As a child whose parents are from Zimbabwe I would like to say thank you to Vox for bringing light to an important issue. It means a lot.

  3. TheLegend27 says:


  4. Mrlegitbeans says:

    The crocodile sounds like a supervillain name and Gucci grace sounds like a rap artist lmao.

  5. LiterallyReal says:

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  6. Leopard 1A1A5 Main Battle Tank says:

    Rhodesia Never Die

  7. spelunkerd says:

    What a sad, ominous foreshadow. You would think a guy of 93 years would elevate himself to be a real friend of his people, to be revered in timeless history as Mandela will be. Instead he dooms his country to a game-of-thrones struggle, likely to be won by the most conniving psychopath. Democracy only works when parties that propose candidates do so in good faith. As you point out, the other issue in many African countries is the way the military have so much power, with power to buy and sell property for their own corrupt interests.

    • Rob _ says:

      spelunkerd well he can’t stop now. For what he did to the Zimbabwe people it’d be like if Hitler turned around in 1945 and said, “Just kidding, I was just joking.”

    • Fabio Gouveia says:

      spelunkerd, the trouble is this hasn’t been a new problem, this has been around for ages.

    • Avalon says:

      You do realize he was a corrupt, genocidal, tinhorn, communist dictator right?

    • Cynical says:

      That’s why we need to scramble for Africa, not the same way we did it in the 1800’s but just Dominate and own land and government, we take part of Africa and the rest is split with the EU.

  8. Jay Kay says:

    231 million percent is the highest percent I have ever seen.

  9. Christian Azevedo says:

    Rhodesia > Zimbabwe

  10. zeezhz says:

    Meanwhile in Zambia: Those white farmers Mugabe harassed and expelled a few year back have produced 3,3 million tonnes of maize, the highest production in Zambia’s history, while Zimbabwe starves, can’t pay its military or keep deadlines for debt repayments. Racism rarely works out in the long run.

  11. Tutoi 3 says:

    List of the day: Watch the newest Vox video…Check!

  12. Tatenda Chitima says:

    I’m Zimbabwean, YOU ARE WRONG. Grace is not mostly disliked because of her “shopping habits”. She is disliked because she assumed she must be a successor and over estimated her political capital.
    You are most probably right in that corruption will continue but this video neglects the bi-partisanship shown in all this. Take today (18/11/2017) for example. A rally was held against RG Mugabe by war veterans and it was attended by a mix of people.

    You have over simplified the issue. Zimbabweans are not stupid. We still expect to go to elections next year and vote out people we KNOW are corrupt. We are also grateful for the work that has been done by the military and the organisers of this.
    This may not be tge most optimal conditions but it is NECESSARY.

    • Kun says:

      its always better to hear something from actual people living in the country, i hope you guys good luck to rebuild your country

    • Maphisto86 says:

      So do you think the military is on the side of the people and against the corruption in government?

    • simplelife4213 says:

      you sound like a spokesperson from Zimbabwean military.

    • Gannon Van Dyke says:

      Tatenda Chitima
      They have a tendancy to do that. Most of the information that vox gathers is superficial and only scratches the surface. They will also usually only cover one side of a story, I don’t think they generally use many sources for their stories.
      I agree it is needed, and I am glad that up until now it has remained nonviolent, and that hopefully things will change in the country for the better. Take care friend.

    • tyson vega says:

      wish you guys the best..hopefully we manage to pull that off in uganda as well

  13. Johnny boi Supreme says:

    You guys forgot to mention the massive collectivization of farms that created starvation. Corruption also tends to thrive when you put wealth in the hands of government officials.

    Welcome to socialism.

    • Tehtuccurrrwjubs says:

      That list of countries are not socialist, but most are liberal. A more centrist view of socialism. Also do not think those countries are free from corruption.
      Think before you write.

    • Sarah Bearheart says:

      That isnt socialism, its corruption.

    • ricky Dan says:

      finland denmark the netherlands sweden norway and belgium are having to bring in new financial advisers iceland is the only remotely successful socialist country

    • Spartacus11171 says:

      Unit1iPoland A lot of people. His work has continuing relevance in today’s capitalist society where profit dictates everything.

  14. Frederik Falck says:

    The military guy at 0:36 sounds more excited than the Vox reporter

  15. Ben Buckreis says:

    Why is it so hard to find a politician who’s not corrupt

    • M Ram Aneeshwar says:

      Ben Buckreis we had one during the 50s in India,his name was kamarajar,but the people made him lost as they wanted some freebies from the it blaintly means that the people deserve these kind of people

    • Stefan Labuschagne says:

      Ben Buckreis because the ruling party always win the election – it’s a dictatorship!!

    • Hazzardworks says:

      This is a very interesting question – not just with Zimbabwe, but worldwide. I believe it is because being involved in politics is always voluntary… you choose to be involved. You choose to run for president. The issue with this is, like Jerry Seinfield said, “Anyone who thinks they can be the president is insane. Leader of the free world? Yeah, that sounds like me. The one with the finger on the button, making all the choices for millions of people? Yep. There is absolutely nobody better than me.” I believe truly that, anyone who is running for power WANTS power. This could mean they have anything from a little bit of an ego to being massively corrupt, House of Cards-style. Power-hungry people are going to flock to where there is the most power available… and who has more power than political leaders?

    • Roland Ayo-Ojo says:

      Just the way you can’t find a prostitute that is a virgin. You can never find a politician that is not corrupt.

  16. That One Slayer Fan says:

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  17. Nicholas Randle says:

    This is why the British Empire was a good thing.

  18. kekagiso says:

    Vox is greatly uninformed on this one..

    • kekagiso says:

      This report here is greatly oversimplified in reducing these recent events to a matter of keeping corruption alive, this is not about corruption. Hardly. This “coup” has more to do with the recent firing of the vice president and the ever growing animosity towards Mugabe. There are other factors as well(including Grace who is unpopular with the greater population). It’s a complex situation to say the least, because the military leaders seem to still sympathise with Mugabe…

    • rpbsjy says:

      There was one factual inaccuracy that I spotted. Mugabe didn’t take power from the UK. In fact, Rhodesia (the predecessor to Zimbabwe) made a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) from the UK in 1965. There was also an error of omission in failing to mention the impact of tribalism: Mugabe is a Shona, and used his power to suppress the Ndebele people (in Western Zimbabwe) and to undermine his political rival, Joshua Nkomo. Also, the ‘official’ inflation figure is 231m%, the unofficial estimate peaked at 79.6Bn% (i.e. US$1 was worth Z$2.6Bn) Apart from that, it’s accurate.

    • spencer says:

      yes, a 4 minute video about a political crisis is oversimplified, thanks for that! You’ve also basically added nothing the video didn’t add, which:
      -mentions the firing of the ex VP
      -mentions the generally low social status/high corruption (GINI) in the nation
      -mentions Grace as being unpopular
      -mentions the ‘Old Guard’ who don’t want her in power

      Acting like corruption is different from succession in a dictatorial state is ridiculous. If it is about keeping the corruption of power, the minority as rich as they can be. What’s the difference?

    • MomenteDePustnicie says:

      kekagiso and did they not mention this? The facts are there.

    • Madeline Barber says:

      kekagiso did you watch the video? They address these points. This just a overview of the event, for people that didn’t hear anything about it. I’m sure you can find something else more in-depth online.

  19. jacjun0592 says:

    Ik this is a serious video but Gucci grace and the crocodile are some dope ass nicknames..

  20. Carlos Lopez says:

    It looks like Zimbawe needs the USA to send them some Democracy.

    • Fabio Gouveia says:

      CoyLion20522, no the other way round

    • East 49 says:


    • Simisani Moyo says:

      Im not being religious by reference to a “God” just saying that when a country decides to pursue an inspired course it generally does well and for as long as people remain inspired. Change will come to Zimbabwe. I will eat my hat if it doesn’t. And yes, i don’t know where you are from but American issues with blacks and the police is serious, some will say it’s a slow pseudo-genocide. i mean Vox just released a video on cops harassing people for ..wait for it wait for it.. ….. crossing the street. i mean damn even Chickens have more enjoyment of their rights than black people do. It’s also stuff like that which gives the likes of Mugabe to make a sound argument against the west. People need to remember that before they male ,female or other black or white, Pakistani or Indian they are first People. This was Zimbabwes triumph today.

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