Mugove Tafirenyika 18 November 2017
HARARE – Allies of embattled President Robert Mugabe have either gone into
hibernation or fled the country altogether.
This follows the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF)’s announcement mid this
week that they are taking corrective action to pacify a degenerating
political, social and economic situation in the country, which if left
unchecked, would have resulted in violent conflict.
To remedy the situation, the military is going after “criminals” in
Events of the past few days suggest that the ZDF is after key members of
the Generation 40 (G40) faction, accused of persecuting former vice
president Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The first batch of Cabinet ministers to be taken into custody by the ZDF
include Finance minister Ignatius Chombo, Higher Education minister
Jonathan Moyo and Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Kudzanai Chipanga, the Zanu PF youth league secretary, was also arrested
and is currently in the custody of the military and so is Masvingo
Provincial Affairs minister Paul Chimedza.
Since then, there have been several arrests with reports suggesting that
minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs, Mandi Chimene, has
fled the country.
Chimene has been one of the vocal figures in calling for the purging of
axed Mnangagwa and Zanu PF politicians linked to the Midlands godfather.
Officials close to Chimene, however, said the politician went to China on
the Zimbabwe-China Friendship Association business.
When contacted by a local provincial weekly newspaper, Chimene said there
was no need for her to flee the country as she had not committed any
Other ministers such as Samuel Undenge (Energy), deputy Tourism minister
Anastancia Ndlovu, Makhosini Hlongwane (Sports) and deputy Public Service
minister Tapiwa Matangaidze have all not been reporting for duty, fearing
“The majority of these guys have deserted their offices and gone
underground because they know the army is going for them. They were
overzealous and they know they will not be spared,” a government source
Unconfirmed reports also suggested that the army had placed under house
arrest the top brass of the police, including commissioner-general
Higher Education deputy minister Godfrey Gandawa, Paddy Zhanda and
Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Webster Shamu were also
detained for about five hours before they were released.
The military has also set up several security checkpoints across the
country and on borders to look out for those who might attempt to flee.
At the Forbes Border Post, the gateway to Mozambique, reports say there
has been heavy presence of military personnel since Wednesday morning.
The security check points are manned by uniformed soldiers.
Soldiers at the security check points are asking for identity documents
and purpose of visit from passers-by before being allowed to progress.
A small group of about six police officers seen near the border post on
Wednesday were clearly not concentrating with goings-on around the
soldiers, seemingly discussing their own issues.
Observance of Detained Persons’ Constitutional Rights Legal watchdog,
Veritas, this week said while the military has emphasised their respect
for the Constitution, this respect must extend to the whole charter,
including those provisions that protect the rights of arrested or detained
“The military authorities must therefore ensure that ministers and party
members who have been detained are accorded their rights under section 50
of the Constitution, in particular that they are treated humanely and with
respect for their inherent dignity; permitted access to their lawyers and
medical practitioners and brought before a court within 48 hours after
they were detained,” said Veritas.