Former president Robert Mugabe has said that he never thought that former Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and current Vice- President, General (Retired) Constantino Chiwenga would ever rise against him. Mugabe said that he honestly believed that the military generals, also called the Command Element, had been educated enough to know the perils of launching a military takeover. Speaking to various media houses, including the Zimbabwe Independent, on the events of the November Military Takeover, Mugabe said,
I didn’t think that commander retired General Constantino Chiwenga would do that. I thought if they had problems they would call and we sit down, talk and resolve the problem. We also thought that we had educated them enough and they wouldn’t do such things.
Mugabe also described the events of November 2017 as a coup d’etat, a term that many media houses and diplomatic personnel have been careful to avoid using. Said Mugabe,
It was a coup d’etat. It was truly a military takeover. I don’t know what you would want to call it.
Mugabe also said that the coup was not a project of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces but was instead a personal project planned and executed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and General Constantino Chiwenga.