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‘Military Coup Imminent’

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Zimbabwe might soon be faced with another military coup after the government surprisingly declined any reports of a repeat of November 2017, political analysts have said.

On Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe, flanked by service chiefs, denied that there was an imminent coup saying it was the opposition and former ZanuPF members who were fuelling the rumour.

Kazembe singled out former Local Government Minister, Savior Kasukuwere and other opposition heavyweights, for spreading an uprising against President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The announcement shocked Zimbabweans, as prior to that, there had not been rumours of a military takeover despite the increased military presence on the streets, which many believed was due to an expected anti-government demonstration by the opposition.

Renowned lawyer, Alex Magaisa, in his Big Saturday Read website said the jittery and quick denial by the security forces and the government is an admission that there is or was a coup brewing.

“Observant Zimbabweans who are used to their government’s ways say whenever it denies something, it’s usually because it’s true. This, they have learnt from experience. If they are denying something, it’s because they want to cover up. Why many have asked, would the national security agency come out to deny rumours of a coup, especially when they claim that the rumour is “widespread” is patently false?” Magaisa said.

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He further stated that if there is no coup as per the government’s denial, then there is probably more junior soldiers who are disgruntled due to their mistreatment at the hands of the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime.

A junior soldier in Zimbabwe earns between ZWL$3000 and ZWL$4500 which is less than US$50 on the informal market.

“If there is no coup, the government is responding to real threats of one from disgruntled juniors. Perceptive observers warned after the coup that toppled Mugabe in November 2017 that the new regime would always be haunted by the ghost of the coup. The military elites may have enjoyed the spoils of that power heist, but juniors have seen their lives worsen just like the rest of the citizens,” Magaisa said.

Former Minister in the Robert Mugabe era, Professor Jonathan Moyo also voiced out saying there was something amiss with the government ‘s unexpected denial.

“If the government, not service chiefs but government through one of its ministers who is very close to Mnangagwa, says there are widespread rumours of an imminent military coup, only a fool would ignore or dismiss the statement. Something is going on!,” Moyo said.

He said government misfired by using Kazembe to read out the press statement, as he does not enjoy the support from the Service Chiefs.

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“It’s absurd to present Kazembe Kazembe as a security chief. Even fools know that he does not enjoy the confidence of the security chiefs, who were conspicuous by their silence at the presser!” Moyo said.

Zimbabwe is currently gripped by a tense political situation which has seen members of the opposition being arrested for voicing out their disgruntlement over Mnangagwa’s handling of the economy.

However, Mnangagwa ducked and blamed the opposition and economic saboteurs for the continued economic decline

The situation has further been worsened by the COVID-19 induced lockdown which has left hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who rely on the informal market, stranded since most businesses remain closed.

Magaisa said the latest statement betrays a government that is growing increasingly paranoid in light of the deteriorating economic situation which has run out of control.

“They are seeing and fearing shadows. The anger among the people is rising and the government is growing uncomfortable,’ he said.

 

 

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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