robert mugabe

European Press Agency

Two figures have dominated the politics of southern Africa in recent years. One is Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe. The other is South Africa’s 75-year-old President Jacob Zuma.

Now Mugabe is in military custody after an apparent coup d’etat brought an end to his 37-year rule. Meanwhile Zuma is set to be replaced as the leader of the ruling African National Congress next month, and may be forced to step down from his eight-year-old presidency before the end of his term in 2019. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at southern Africa in transition.


AP Photo

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe recently turned 93, making him the oldest non-royal head of state in the world.

But in his 37 years in power, he's become a caricature of the corrupt African dictator. Once one of the continent's wealthiest countries, Zimbabwe's economy has halved since 2000. He's sent armed militias to beat and kill political opponents and in 2015 threw a $1 million birthday party for himself, feeding his 20,000 guests dishes like baby elephant even as many of his countrymen live in extreme poverty.

But as Mugabe pushes deeper into his nineties, there are growing questions about his hold on power. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the twilight of the Robert Mugabe era in Zimbabwe and what may come after him.


Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / Associated Press

On July 31, voters in Zimbabwe took part in the country’s presidential election. The contest pitted longtime President Robert Mugabe against his rival Morgan Tsvangirai.