Zimbabwe: “Allies” of Grace Mugabe Picked Up By Military

President Mugabe Meets Army Chief and Mediators at State House
President Mugabe Meets Army Chief and Mediators at State House
Pres Mugabe Meets Army Chief Chiwenga
Pres Mugabe Meets Army Chief Chiwenga

Harare – News reports say two leaders of Zanu-PF’s Generation 40 (G40) faction – Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo have reportedly been arrested by the Zimbabwean military.

Zim Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo
Zim Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo

Kasukuwere and Moyo  were reportedly picked up from President Robert Mugabe’s Borrowdale mansion. They had been seeking refuge there since the military stepped in Wednesday.

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The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) on Wednesday announced that it had taken over the country and was keeping Mugabe and his family under guard at his home as the military was getting rid of the “criminals” around the nonagenarian.

Saviour-Kasukuwere
Political Commissar Saviour Kasukuwere

On Monday, the Zimabwe Defence Forces warned President Mugabe against the purge of party veterans, adding that it would step in if it continued.

Reports by multiple outlets say that the military is picking up ministers and members of the party who are allied to First Lady Grace Mugabe who was maneuvering to position herself to succeed the elderly Mugabe.

The G 40 faction is said to have engineered the dismissal of former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Alpha Conde
AU Chair President Alpha Conde

In an interview with the AFP in Paris, the African Union (AU) Chair President Apha Conde of Guinea rejected any attempt at the unconstitutional removal of President Mugabe, saying “We demand respect for the constitution, a return to the constitutional order and we will never accept the military coup d’état.”

“We know there are internal problems. They need to be resolved politically by the Zanu-PF party and not with an intervention by the army,” according to Conde.

President Robert Mugabe is insisting he remains Zimbabwe’s only legitimate ruler, an intelligence source said on Thursday, and is resisting mediation by a Catholic priest to allow his exit.

President Mugabe had been given an opportunity to negotiate an exit that included state protection together with his family. He has been meeting with Army Chief Constantino Chiwenga and other mediators at State House on Thursday.

West African Journal Magazine and Wire Services

 

“Tension” In Zimbabwe As Army Movements Seen

West African Journal Magazine is monitoring reports of military movements in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe.

General-Constantine-Chiwenga
General Constantine Chiwenga

According to reports on international wire services and social media, which are still unconfirmed, Army Chief General Constantino Chiwenga has reportedly given President Robert G. Mugabe 24 hours to resign his office.

This follows President Mugabe’s dismissal of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week. Reports say army units have been moving tanks into and around the center of the capital Harare and that the national broadcaster was surrounded.

General Chiwenga, in a statement on Monday, demanded a “stop” to the purge in the ruling Zanu-PF party after the sacking of vice president Emmerson Mnangangwa, and warned the military could intervene.

“We must remind those behind the current treacherous shenanigans that when it comes to matters of protecting our revolution, the military will not hesitate to step in,” Chiwenga told top army officials on Monday at the King George VI military headquarters in Harare.

Pres Robert G. Mugabe
Pres Robert G. Mugabe

The East Afrika Daily website reports that President Mugabe was chairing a regular cabinet meeting on Tuesday and has made no comment.

There has been tension in the ruling Zanu-PF party amidst internal feuding and talk of plans by the veteran Zimbabwean leader to have his wife and First Lady Grace Mugabe replace him.

Witnesses are quoted as saying they have seen uniformed soldiers posted at various street corners on Tuesday. There are fears that a military coup is underway.

A Zanu-PF Youth League official, at a news conference on Tuesday, says party youths are prepared to come out in their “millions” to defend the Mugabe regime from a military coup and accused the Army Chief General Chiwenga of collaborating with dismissed former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa to topple President Mugabe and seize power.

Opposition member and former Finance Minister in a Twitter post blasted the latest developments in Zimbabwe saying, ” the overwhelming presence of the army on our streets is totally unwelcome and reflective of the unraveling of the securocratic State. We all know none of them have the guts to carry out a coup. So Army presence should not be the regime’s excuse for declaring a State of Emergency.”

Zimbabwe
Map of Zimbabwe

Meantime, the ruling ANC in neighboring South Africa says it will not intervene in the crisis in Zimbabwe. The BBC quotes ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe, who spoke at a news conference on Tuesday, as saying that the party would be concerned if “things go wrong there because it will impact on us”.

ZanuPF Statement
ZanuPF Statement

In the latest attempt at pushback at the show of force and challenging comments against President Mugabe by the military, the ruling Zanu-PF is accusing the Zimbabwe Army Chief General Chiwenga of  “treasonable conduct”.

The 93 year old and now frail Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980. He and some of his ministers remain under US and EU sanctions which have crippled the country’s economy.

This story is developing.

By Staff Reporter

West African Journal Magazine and Wire Services