Robert Mugabe's dictatorial reign as leader of Zimbabwe has finally come to an end.
A letter from Mr Mugabe said the decision was voluntary and he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.There will be many articles about Mugabe celebrating his fall from power, as if his reign could have turned out any other way than it did. And those who believe this will open the way to "democracy," whatever that even means today, may be disappointed.
The surprise announcement halted an impeachment hearing that had begun against him and sparked wild celebrations on the nation's streets.
The ruling Zanu-PF party says former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980.
Mr Mnangagwa's sacking earlier this month triggered a political crisis.
It had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader and riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest.
After the resignation announcement, lawmakers roared in jubilation.
[Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe resigns, ending 37-year rule, BBC, November 21, 2017]
Odds are, the real power behind this coup wasn't the military, but the Chinese, as even the mainstream media is speculating [The Chinese connection to the Zimbabwe 'coup' by Ben Westcott and Steve George, CNN, November 17, 2017].
As one journalist recalled a Zimbabwe resident saying in 2006:
The jacarandas were in full bloom. Deep purple hues dotted the blazing African sun on my way to the Heroes Acre, Zimbabwe’s national monument for its war heroes. My driver, a stout man in his mid-forties, looked at me through the rearview mirror and started a conversation abruptly.Someone is going to colonize Zimbabwe, and likely, all of Africa. If it's not the West, it will be China.
"You know Sir, all this talk of democracy and freedom, it’s a smokescreen. Earlier we were ruled by the whites. Now we are a Chinese colony."
[Is Zimbabwe's Coup Part of China's grab for Africa? by Shrenik Rao, Haaretz, November 20, 2017]
Events in the former Rhodesia have played out exactly as Ian Smith and other leaders warned. As has been observed by so many, being a leftist means never having to say you are sorry, and that's certainly true in this case. And it's not like black Africans even got "freedom" or "independence" in a meaningful sense. In every way that matters, they are still a colony.
But journalists won't care. After all, it was never about making the lives of black Africans better. It was just about making the lives of whites worse.
Once the whites were gone, what happened to blacks afterward was as uninteresting to liberal reporters as what is happening to blacks today in the glorious post-Civil Rights communities of Baltimore, Selma and Detroit.