IN THE JAWS OF THE CROCODILE: Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Rise to Power in ZimbabweRay NdlovuPenguin Random House South Africa In the office of one of the Western countries’ ambassadors in Harare, my gaze is drawn to a tin container on the table. The ambassador had asked not to be named and requested the meeting to be off the record. On the container is a picture of a pipe and beneath it are the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”. Perhaps noting that my attention had been caught by the object, my host picked it up and explained the meaning of the image. It is by René Magritte, a Belgian surreal artist, and the words inscribed below the image of the pipe mean “this is not a pipe”. He gives a hearty chuckle and goes on to borrow the words of Magritte to sum up his thoughts about the events of November 2017 when former president Robert Mugabe was forced to resign under military pressure. In a witty play on words, he tells me: “This is not a coup.” Quickly, he adds: “But in fact we all knew that ...

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