The 2008 silent coup in Zimbabwe is an event which Opposition parties like the New Patriotic Front claim happened when Robert Mugabe who was the then President of Zimbabwe and ZANU-PF lost the first round of elections to Morgan Tsvangirai.

Official results of the election were not announced for more than a month after the first round. The failure to release results was challenged by the Movement for Democratic Change, which sought an order from the High Court to force their release but to no avail . An independent projection placed its Morgan Tsvangirai in the lead, but without the majority needed to avoid a second round, whilst the MDC declared that Tsvangirai won a narrow majority in the first round and initially refused to participate in any second round he cited many irregularities in the electoral process.

A 2011 report by Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe entitled “The military factor in Zimbabwe’s political and electoral affairs” which, among other things, highlights the violent role played by the military in the 2008 presidential election run-off. [1] [2]

Details were given of the reported breakdown of Joint Operations Command personnel and areas of operations to ensure a Zanu PF win in the forthcoming elections. Meetings were reportedly held in KG VI (now Tongogara) barracks up until June 2013.

Sources said retired Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, was running the Zanu PF commissariat department with former CIO director internal Sydney Nyanhongo.

Director of public relations Lieutenant-Colonel Alphios Makotore confirmed receiving inquiries on the deployments and promised to respond. However no response was received.

Security service chiefs have openly declared their political loyalty to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF. [3]

Consequences of the Coup

The alleged "military coup by stealth" that Zimbabwe's generals mounted reduced Robert Mugabe to a figurehead. [4]The tight circle of "securocrats", who sat on the Joint Operations Command committee, are believed to assumed the day-to-day charge of Zimbabwe's Government.

It was also alleged that they ensured Mr Mugabe did not step down after his defeat in the presidential election's March round and they masterminded a terror campaign to suppress the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and guarantee Mr Mugabe victory in the 27 June run-off.


  1. [1], The Military Factor in Zimbabwe’s Political and Electoral Affairs, Published: 3 June 2011, Retrieved: 27 August 2019
  2. [2], General Sibusiso Moyo listed as international offender - MDC official, Published: 3 December 2017, Retrieved: 27 August 2019
  3. Military intensifies campaign for Zanu-PF, Nehanda Radio, Published: 21 June 2013, Retrieved: 9 April 2020
  4. [3], Zimbabwe's 'quiet coup' leaves Mugabe an army figurehead, Published: June 7 2008 , Retrieved: 6 February 2018