Robert Mugabe’s Legacy

Coups, Conspiracies and the Conceits of Power in Zimbabwe

David Moore




In November 2017, having ruled Zimbabwe for almost four decades, Robert Mugabe’s long and repressive reign finally came to an end. In a remarkably rapid turn of events, Mugabe was toppled by his own party and replaced by his former ally Emmerson “The Crocodile” Mnangagwa, whom he had exiled only days before. Most had assumed Mugabe would die while in office, and Zimbabwe’s “soft coup” surprised many with both the speed of change and its relative lack of bloodshed. Robert Mugabe’s Legacy both takes us behind the scenes of these incredible events, offering new insights into the inner working of Zanu-PF, as well as exploring their aftermath—including the alleged assassination attempt on Mnangagwa and the 2018 general election—and what this means for the country's future.


Drawing on his decades of experience in the country, as well as extensive contacts both among Zimbabwe’s dissidents and within the ruling ZANU-PF, David Moore uncovers the power plays and competing agendas that made the coup possible, and explains how it was able to succeed.


David Moore is Professor of Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.