Zim edg­ing closer to to­tal an­ar­chy

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - OPINION -

What hap­pened this week at the King Ge­orge VI mil­i­tary bar­racks in Harare was cer­tainly, as re­ports sug­gested, an event un­prece­dented in the 37-year his­tory of Zimbabwe. The head of the Zimbabwe Na­tional Army, Gen­eral Con­stantino Chi­wenga, told top mil­i­tary brass that the army would not al­low Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe to con­tinue to “purge” the rul­ing Zanu-PF party to pave the way for his wife, Grace, to take over as the coun­try’s leader.

Chi­wenga said that “when it comes to mat­ters of pro­tect­ing our rev­o­lu­tion, the mil­i­tary will not hes­i­tate to step in”.

That was a clear warn­ing that Mu­gabe faces a mil­i­tary coup if he does not de­vi­ate from the cam­paign to el­e­vate Grace. She and her sup­port­ers, on the other hand, vowed to “stand guard over the rev­o­lu­tion” and “ex­pel rogue el­e­ments from the mil­i­tary”.

The de­fence force, whose com­man­ders are still largely Mu­gabe loy­al­ists from the days of the in­de­pen­dence war, have al­ways been the staunch­est sup­port­ers of the pres­i­dent, in­clud­ing killing thou­sands of peo­ple for him in Mata­bele­land in the ’80s.

Their threat is omi­nous and the prospects of a mil­i­tary junta now seem fright­en­ingly real.

That poor, blighted coun­try has now slipped fur­ther down the road to an­ar­chy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.