Mugabe suspicious of generals

via Mugabe suspicious of generals | The Zimbabwean 28 August 2014

President Robert Mugabe does not trust any of his generals to play an active role in managing his succession due to their own affiliations in the various factions vying for power.

As reports are emerging that the army is pushing to decide who should succeed Mugabe, sources close to the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) have revealed that he has lost trust in the generals whose support has kept him in power for so long. Unconfirmed reports last week claimed that the army commander, Constantine Chiwenga, was pushing to have a person who participated at the 1979 Lancaster House negotiations to take over from Mugabe.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, the current Justice Minister and Zanu (PF) secretary for administration leads a camp that is involved in a fierce battle to replace Mugabe despite him likely to stand again for president at the next general elections in 2018.

Besides Mugabe, he is the only remaining member who travelled to England for the December 1979 Lancaster House talks – even though he did not participate in the negotiations to establish a constitution that led to majority rule in the then Rhodesia.

He has been battling for leadership supremacy against Joice Mujuru, Mugabe’s current deputy.

“There is no way in which His Excellency (Mugabe) can allow Chiwenga or any other general to be involved in his succession. In fact, he no longer trusts any of them as they are linked to the factions that he is now opposed to,” said the source.

The head of the CIO, Happyton Bonyongwe, has been linked to the camp led by Mujuru, while Chiwenga is reported to favour Mnangagwa. There have been speculations that at one time Chiwenga was even interested in Mugabe’s post himself.

Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has not been attached to any particular faction, but sources said he did not get along well with Mujuru.

Ninety-year-old Mugabe recently expressed his displeasure with both Mnangagwa and Mujuru, publicly accusing them of causing divisions within the party. He said neither of them were guaranteed to succeed him.

“The generals know that Mugabe does not like them any more and he is only keeping them for strategic reasons. It is possible that he can announce new heads for the army, CIO and police in the next six months, depending on what happens at Congress,” added the well-placed source.

Zanu (PF) will hold an elective congress in December where new leaders will be chosen.

Party spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, last week said the positions of vice president and national chair would be open to interested candidates and none would receive preferential treatment. He said the generals had no place in choosing Mugabe’s successor.

“Where do the generals come in? Our model is that politics leads the gun, not the other way round. The issue of succession is a Zanu (PF) matter and generals are not expected to play a part,” Gumbo told The Zimbabwean.

This newspaper reported recently that the generals were causing mayhem by fanning land invasions as a way of maintaining their grip on power. They became very powerful between 2000 and 2009 when Zimbabwe was gripped by acute social, economic and political instability that saw Mugabe depending on them to maintain his threatened power base. Mugabe is reportedly afraid that the army can no longer be relied upon to guarantee his family’s safety and business interests, because that they are involved in succession matters and will promote their preferred candidates’ turfs.

As a result, he is said to be increasingly supporting his wife, Grace, as a cushion against possible political shocks. She was recently endorsed as the candidate to lead the powerful Women’s League, leapfrogging senior members in the organ.

“The current generals have served for a long time and the longer the stay, the greater the threat they could pose to Mugabe. They have played their part when they were needed most. That seems to be the president’s thinking,” added another highly placed source.

Once a decision is made to replace them, Chihuri, Chiwenga and Bonyongwe might be given diplomatic assignments as a way of physically removing them from Zimbabwe and placating them. The media-shy Mnangagwa was unreachable for a comment and efforts to talk to the army were fruitless as the public relations number went unanswered.


  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 7 years ago

    In one fell swoop, the rigging conducted through Nikuv in 2013 changed everything. The dynamics within the opposition as well as within ZANU PF.
    The generals are no longer a key factor in the equation. The very success of the rigging has become their undoing. But having resuscitated Mugabe’s political career in 2008, they will not go quietly

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    Chaka 7 years ago

    He is suspicious of a million other persons, hence the high number of CIO’s

    • comment-avatar

      You are right .He has been zooming past us all on the streets in his heavily guarded motorcade since day one.Cant slow down to enjoy the sights coz he thinks we r out to get his sorry arze. He has never walked the streets of Zimbabwe ever even though no one has threatened to kill him. He has those goons standing behind him everywhere he goes.

      He is the most suspicious man in the whole country.

    • comment-avatar
      Tsuro 7 years ago

      You are right 1 in 5 people in Zim is a CIO and this ratio extends to the diaspora population. Hamusi mega mubazi, mumaKoreges, kuIngirendi. And a file is kept for every public influential figure…the day you say,”Haaa Mugabe or Zanu” that file is pulled out and you appear in court for crimes committed 10years ago. So understand anaMakarau, even some CIOs.

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    avenger/revenger 7 years ago

    Everyone in zpf is looking over their shoulders. Looking under their beds and Benzes. Whispering in dark corners. Sweating at night. Divorcing their ” wives “. Finger pointing.

  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 7 years ago

    It appears that as Zimbabweans we are all fixated by Zanu and their antiques. This is what they want and I am sorry to say we have all fallen prey to their cunningness. The main focus should be how do we get rid of Zanu. This should be our main goal but the goalkeaper( Zanu) is playing well . For the moment that is.

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      Tsuro 7 years ago

      Zanu drags you into politics even if you do want. Businessman Nanga once tried and said I am not interested in politics in Uzumba…tell you what is now the District Chairman in Uzumba.

      A Zaoga pastor once said I am man of God and do not indulge in politics, he now keeps 10 Zanu membership cards for a family of 5.

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    Naison Nyereyegona 7 years ago

    This will not work. Yesterday there was talk that some generals wanted to be President. The idea then was to cause suspecion and mistrust between the army and the Presidency. That did not work and now they have to come up with this stupid idea of the President not trusting generals or the securocrats. How can that be when in fact the President and these people chart the direction of the country daily? How can that be when the national grand plan is in the hands and minds of the same people? This is yet another failled attempt to set the agenda.

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    Niels Bohr once said
    The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.

    This particular weapon is now being dismantled as secrets get revealed. The end of a Dictatorship?

  • comment-avatar

    I can’t get enough of your pithy sayings, Doc!
    We could be seeing the end of a dictatorship indeed as more and more secrets are revealed.

    ZANU has done such a good hatchet job that there is nothing much of the opposition still standing.
    In which case we are in for a vacuum of power in our country with anything and everything up for grabs.

  • comment-avatar
    rebel 7 years ago

    ‘In a revolution, one wins or dies if it is a true one’, Che Guevera. Most people in Zanu PF are now tired of their leaders but they can’t come out openly. It is high time to call a spade a spade. Its not late to jump out of this sinking ship. For the generals, forget about your thoughts. Your candidate is not respected by any sensible Zimbabwean.

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    Now politics leads the gun yet at election time the gun leads the pen!!!!? Baba Chatunga!!? And why does Gumbo say the generals are not zanu??? Only he thinks so – if at all he is serious. Only old boy RGM will be saved by death soon. The rest will rip into each other to the ammusement of the rest of us. Die zanu die!!!!!

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    maita 7 years ago

    This whole thing suits Mugabe. He needs these factionalism to prolong his stay. There is no threat to his power but a creation to divert issues. The best we heard Mbiti and Tsvangson have destroyed. Now Zimbabweans by their docility have been reduced to mere spectators and ululators of idiots.