AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — Who’s in charge in Zimbabwe? What just happened? Here’s a go through the players in a fast-moving political play that has President Robert Mugabe, the particular world’s oldest head of condition, in military custody.


The wily, 93-year-old Mugabe has led the once-prosperous southern African nation since self-reliance from white minority rule within 1980, and many in the country know most leader. Despite signs of his raising frailty that include dozing off within meetings, stumbling and extended outings overseas for medical treatment, he has withstood multiple election challenges and many years of U. S. sanctions. He seems to have stumbled badly with his shooting last week of deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, a longtime ally who acquired military support. The sacking brought many in Zimbabwe to think that will first lady Grace Mugabe had been positioned to succeed her husband plus take up the post of vice president at a ruling party meeting next month.


The 52-year-old first female met the president years ago being a secretary in his office. She recently had an affair with Mugabe that created his first surviving children plus married the president after their first wife died. Her politics profile has soared in the past couple of years and she has openly indicated the girl interest in the presidency, even openly challenging her husband earlier this year to mention a successor. She also has already been a fierce defender of the girl ailing husband, declaring that he can run as a “corpse” in following year’s election and remain in strength. The first lady, however , is not broadly popular in Zimbabwe, where the girl lavish spending touches a neural in a country whose economy provides fallen apart. But she acquired appeared to have the support of the judgment party’s youth wing and directed a faction of party market leaders in their 40s and 50s within a growing generational divide.


Nicknamed the “crocodile” for his heavy-lidded gaze and ruthlessness, Mugabe’s as soon as likely successor became the target associated with increasing insults by the president great wife in recent weeks. Mugabe sacked him last week and charged Mnangagwa of plotting to take strength through witchcraft. The 75-year-old Mnangagwa, a fellow veteran of the guard independence from Rhodesia and lengthy enjoying the military’s support being a former defense minister, fled Zimbabwe citing threats to him great family. His whereabouts remain not clear. Both the army and the influential battle veterans group have expressed assistance for him.


Monday’s unprecedented feedback by the army commander warning towards a purge of Mnangagwa followers and other senior war veterans handled off the current drama. The declaration by the 61-year-old Chiwenga also opened up the first public rift between Mugabe and the military and set the country upon edge. On Tuesday, armored staff vehicles were seen on the borders of the capital, Harare, leading to the particular overnight turmoil that saw the particular army commandeer the state broadcaster plus announce it had Mugabe great family in custody.