It is unimaginable that the military will openly rebuke a veteran of power such as Mugabe and the two would still be journey mates. Analysts are, therefore,viewing with alarm the turn of events in Zimbabwe, fearful of the prospects of the collapse of democracy finally after the upheavals since the year 2000 when the land reform conflict with Britain started unfolding and the severe economic crisis that followed. One of the most promising post-colonial African countries would have gone down again in the hail of contradictions of the past. It must be sad that Mugabe who should have been one of Africa’s greatest statesmen is set to make a disgraceful exit. Perhaps, that is History after all.
Serious trouble for the Mugabe regime appear to be brewing in Zimbabwe with the country’s Army Chief, General Constantino Chiwenga, demanding a stop to perceived on-going of the ruling party’s members with roots in the guerrilla war that earned Zimbabwe Independence from Britain in 1980. The Zimbabwean military is known for openly stating that they will not salute anyone who did not participate in that war, a position which signposts its ideological commitment to radical nationalism. Mugabe has grown to having his way after the country’s opposition played into his hands in the constitutional review in 1998.
The military chief who is the head of the Zimbabwean Defence Forces told a news conference yesterday amidst nearly a hundred military officers that the military was reminding those behind what he calls treacherous shenanigans that the military would not waste time in stepping in as soon as it came to “matters of protecting our revolution”. He further added that people he calls known counter-revolutionaries must be exposed and fished out, warning ZANU-PF officials to stop denigrating the military. ZANU-PF has been the ruling party since Independence in April 1980.
The warning from the military seen as unprecedented across the region is coming on the heels of the sacking of Emmerson Mnangagwa, the country’s Vice-President up to a week ago. The action is largely understood as a move by President Robert Mugabe to pave the way for his wife, Grace, as a successor in the 2018 presidential poll when Mugabe himself would have been 94 years old. Some outlets link the military’s warning to the former Vice-President’s connection or roots in the military. Although he has fled to China, neither his friends nor foes in Zimbabwean politics can sleep with all two eyes closed anymore.
Although 75 years of age and well spent, Mnangagwa who is also nicknamed ‘Crocodile’ has the capacity to stage a come back from China which has connections with the Zimbabwean military and where he has fled. That is if the Zimbabwean military does not carry out the threat to move in and clear what has clearly angered it before long.
The military chiefs are, however, insisting on full participation of all party members in the impending congress of ZANU-PF scheduled to hold in December for the purpose of constituting a new leadership.