Conducting research in the midst of a coup: Streetbees’ findings as Mugabe was ousted

Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe without challenge for 37 years. Until, one day, he didn’t. We spoke to the country’s people to find out what the future holds for the former African powerhouse.

Laurie Roxby
Dec 7, 2017 · 4 min read
A step too far: Robert Mugabe’s forceful removal of one-time ally Emmerson Mnangagwa sparked a chain of events that had the world’s glare fixed on Harare.

In November this year, Robert Mugabe’s now-well-publicised exit from power was beginning to take place.

Africa’s longest-serving head of state was about to be removed from office, and the country had descended into its own version of chaos. For the first time since Mugabe swept into power in 1980, the people were able to find their voice — without the threat of military force to keep them at bay.

It’s easy to view Mugabe through the prism of this coup but, in reality, he’s enjoyed periods of extended public support throughout his time in power.

Seen as the man who finally freed the country from colonial rule, many of the older generation still view him as a revolutionary figure, as opposed to the criminal that is often portrayed — with a lot of supporting evidence — in the global media.

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