Zimbabwe on the edge as ED battles for survival

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Taura Phiri

The Zimbabwe National army and Emmerson Mnangagwa are said to have held a meeting late  Sunday afternoon to discuss security situation in the country among many other things. It is not clear if the meeting was a normal one that is part of JOC or it was a special briefing. Last week it was reported a junior Presidential guard soldier fired shots into the air at State House as a way to protest against poor economic conditions prevailing in the country.

Army General Valerio Sibanda

Many soldiers are not happy with the performance of the economy, Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri told a parliamentary committee of the dire situation at army Barracks as many soldiers are going hungry and have no uniforms. The soldiers who assisted with a coup in November 2017 are said to be angry with Emmerson Mnangagwa for failing to turn around the economy with many of the country’s security forces failing to make ends meet. With a monthly salary of less than $40 Zimbabwean soldiers are the least paid in the region. Experts believe the current status quo cannot be allowed to go on for much longer as it is a real threat to the country’s leadership.

With the return of Vice President Rt General Dominic Guveya Chiwenga many Zimbabweans are cheering on for a coup. Last week Spot Light Zimbabwe reported a fall out between Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Chinese, the paper claimed the Asians want ED out as soon as possible. Emmerson Mnangagwa is said to have gone back on major deals he had signed with Beijing as he tried to engage the West more and not the Chinese. Another factor is his failure to arrest or stop massive corruption in the public sector. The manner in which Rt General arrived back into the country has also raised the bar on coup rumours. Details have emerged of how the whole return was planned by Chinese without Emmerson Mnangagwa’s knowledge. To make matters worse for the President the VP used a Chinese government private Jet a clear sign he has lost it.

Emmerson Mnangagwa facing a Mugabe moment

It is not clear if the coup talk has any substance at the moment. One former military man believes chances of a coup for second time in two years are near impossible. ‘Coupe just happen no one knows it until it is in operation already, while the Chinese might not like ED any more they lack the other leg to remove him. The SADC region and Africa Union are all on his side making it hard for a coup to take place’. In 2017 the former President Robert Mugabe refused to step down even when tanks were rolled on the streets it was only when threats were made to allow Zimbabweans into his yard that he resigned. ‘The possibilities of a coup are very low what we can see is maybe an impeachment or some other means. Do you honestly think Zimbabweans will March endorsing Chiwenga? Things are not well for Shefu (ED) he has failed to deliver that is well known but a coup is highly unlikely but as they say a day is a lifetime in politics’.

The Harare administration is worried of spontaneous protests breaking out in the country as Zimbabweans are finding it hard to survive. Should this happen the disgruntled soldiers can pose a threat. In January of this year some security personnel were also heavily involved in looting that took place.

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