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Vol 38 No 24

Published 5th December 1997


Post-coup purge

Hardliners around President Chiluba are using the failed coup to settle scores

A wave of repression has followed the drunken coup attempt on 28 October, starting with a purge in the army. The army commander, Lieutenant General Nobby Simbeye, whose response to the mutiny was less that brilliant, was retired on 2 December and replaced by Major Gen. Solomon Mumbi. The coup leaders, Captain Steven Lungu (alias Capt. Solo) and Capt. Jack Chiti, raided Simbeye's home hoping to capture him, take him to the national radio station and force him to broadcast to the nation. He escaped over a wall. But Simbeye's secret weapon was a fridge full of Windhoek beer, on which the mutineers got drunk. During his rambling four-hour broadcast Capt. Solo jotted down a list of those he wanted in his administration. With Solo captured by loyal soldiers, those listed found themselves incriminated.

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