IN JANUARY, EMMERSON MNANGAGWA PUBLICLY INDICATED THAT THERE IS INSUBORDINATION IN THE ARMY. WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE THEN, AND HAS THE SITUATION BECOME BETTER?
By Chris Tongogara| They say those who live by the sword will die by the sword, after being assisted by the army to grab power from his mentor, Robert Mugabe, Emmerson Mnangagwa is now struggling to appease disgruntled military bosses who are pushing for his immediate resignation, it has emerged.
From the White City bombing, whither now? As the nation nears commemorating the first annivesary of the so called “assassination attempt” on Mnangagwa last year in June, the generals appear in a sudden turn. The army bosses, it has emerged, are not happy that Mnangagwa is not maintaining his part of the bargain to relinquish power to his now deputy Constantino Guvheya Chiwenga.
Sources privy to the developments revealed that the army bosses are also not happy that the man who is at the helm of power is demoting by promotion senior army chefs.
Mnangagwa who now faces a war from two fronts, the intelligence and the army, last week spoke saying there are people who do not want him to continue as president.
Recently, Mnangagwa promoted two Brigadier-Generals to the rank of Major-General and one Air Commodore to Air Vice-Marshal in accordance with Section 15(1) (B) (Chapter 11:02) of the Defence Act.
The newly promoted Major-Generals namely Kazirai Tazira, William Dube and Air Vice-Marshal Biltim Chingono join other recently promoted army chefs namely Air Lieutenant General Martin Chedondo, Lieutenant General Douglas Nyikayaramba, Lieutenant General Anselem Sanyatwe and Air Marshal Sheba Shumbayawonda.
“The promotions aims at neutralizing the army by bringing on board new faces,” said the source.
Suggestions that the Chiwenga gunners are standing against Mnangagwa were last week shot down by Mnangagwa’s nephew, Temba Mliswa who described them as “dreaming.”
Mliswa said there are no such factional fights. He also said Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga are actually “inseparables.”
“Anyone who ever dreams that there are factions in ZANU-PF is a pathetic dreamer. ED and Chiwenga are inseparable.
“To pin any hopes on perceived factions in ZANU-PF is not only retrogressive, it’s folly,” Mliswa said.
But the bloody events running from June 2018 reflect the very opposite of Mliswa’s claims. A sophisticated hand grenade used only by the military was flung towards the presidium at the White Stadium last year. The grenade is the type that kills only two people while injuring the rest, and while some sources allege it was meant to assassinate Mnangagwa, others say it was Chiwenga and his wife who were targeted. The investigation into who did it has somewhat collapsed. Was this grenade meant for members of the presidium, or it was someone else?
ANOTHER SHARP OPPOSITE
Some analysts point to another opposite: They allege that it was infact Mnangagwa faction members who did the White City act in order to freeze up the military threat. They point to how Emmerson Mnangagwa managed to escape the bombing without a speck of dust on his skin. They see this as evidence that he was fully aware of the military attack. This allegation once again does not have any supporting evidence apart from verbal testimonials making the allegation. It is said that the military officers behind the White City bombing were all “sent to sleep,” as alleged.
SO WHAT WILL HAPPEN HEREAFTER?
Emmerson Mmangagwa Mnangagwa on Thursday cautioned young people to be wary of party cadres with unbridled ambitions who may want to cause disunity in the ruling revolutionary organisation, Zanu PF, The Herald reported.
His remarks came while addressing the Zanu-PF National Youth Assembly in Harare where he also disclosed that his leadership will never allow “mafia-style” handling of Zanu-PF issues and urged party members to follow laid down procedures when settling grievances.
“If any members or structures of the party have any grievances, the laid-out rules, regulations and procedures must be followed,” said Mnangagwa.
“I know of some comrades who have been suspended or expelled, but no procedures were followed. That is not proper. When we are dealing with party issues you put aside your personal differences with the persons concerned. You must obey and follow the rules and procedures of the constitution, otherwise you will find yourselves in the wrong. Divisive, opportunistic or mafia-style handing of party affairs will never be accepted. You may feel that you are smart, but let me tell you this party, Zanu-PF, is always smarter.”
Over the past few months, votes of no confidence have been passed against some officials of the party’s national youth league executive recently and reports of similar actions were being initiated in other provinces.
The Zanu-PF Politburo put a stop to the unprocedural acts which had affected the youths’ leader Pupurai Togarepi, Deputy Secretary Lewis Matutu, Administration Secretary Tendai Chirau, Admire Mahachi and Mercy Mugomo.
“As you carry out both your political and development programmes you must be wary of those with brute, unbridled ambition and political gladiators. Be vigilant and alert as they may seek to sow seeds of disunity amongst yourselves, within the party and ultimately in the nation, for their own selfish ends. You must always foster loyalty, respect, honesty and integrity. Guard against silo mentality and self-centred behaviour. Continue to fight against corruption by exposing any suspected acts in every sphere of society,” said Mnangagwa.