'Military in guardian coup'

HARARE - The current military take-over in Zimbabwe is a “guardian” coup where the army has had to step in to deal with poor or bad governance, political analysts have said.

They said while the political crisis in the country has just spun into a new orbit, it remains generally with us.

Political analyst, Mcdonald Lewanika, said on the strength of the military’s pronouncements on dealing with “criminal elements” around President Robert Mugabe, and the various injunctions they issued to different sectors of the community, as well as the limited bloodletting so far, the propaganda suggests that this will be a “guardian coup.”

He said on the strength of the evidence, stemming from political developments in recent weeks and General Constantino Chiwenga’s statement on Monday, it appears this is a veto coup — calculated to pre-empt imminent threats to the interests of the military establishment.

“This can be evidenced by the clear factional stance that Chiwenga took, and the institution of purges against who the army perceives as criminal elements aimed at the G40 faction whose members we understand are either arrested or on the run,” said Lewanika.

“While the military has always had a hand in Zanu PF affairs, this has often been covert and deniable, and also in service to Zanu PF and Mugabe, this time it is overt and undeniable and ostensibly in defence of democracy in Zanu PF but certainly against actions that the party has taken, especially around purging pretenders to Mugabe’s throne who coincidentally have been veterans of the liberation struggle.”

He said it is fairly clear that things have changed in Zimbabwe, and while it is not yet fully comprehensible, Zimbabwe will not be the same with several scenarios set to play out depending on what kind of a coup this actually turns out to be between guardian and veto coups.

Social commentator Rashweat Mukundu said it is good that both former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and the military recognise the precarious situation that Zimbabwe is going through both politically and economically.

“The agenda of upholding the Constitution, human rights and development is the sole role of leadership and we urge the incoming leadership to focus on that and restore the prerogative of citizens to elect a government of their choice,” said Mukundu.

Analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the country needs to be allowed to re-configure a genuine electoral process.

“The army has achieved its purpose, to remove the dictator, so there is no need to eliminate anyone.

“Mugabe, in my opinion, should be brought before the courts to explain how he destroyed our nation. He should return each and every cent; and each and every property he pilfered from the people of Zimbabwe.”

Hopewell Chin’no said: “The process is over, Mugabe is gone. Emmerson like Mugabe is a stickler for the law; he will want to do things according to the book. The army should hand over to a civilian authority which I have no doubt they will do.

“Mugabe will be allowed to leave without incident in my view. They respect him and unlike Mugabe, they will show him compassion. So he is safe but I would imagine that he needs to leave for a clean break to take place.”

Political analyst Nigel Nyamutumbu said: “The army has for long been the backbone of the ruling party in Zimbabwe and the current events are a manifestation of the already entrenched military factor in the country’s politics.

“The only way to salvage the Constitution and resemblance of democracy is for Mugabe to resign and Zanu PF appointing a successor and a civilian transitional authority that will usher the country to holding free and fair elections.”

Lewanika said whatever the case Mugabe is likely to be asked to step down and Parliament allowed to institute a constitutional change of leadership, which in Zimbabwe’s case means asking Zanu PF to second someone else.

“This would mean the Congress in December is allowed to continue, and Zanu PF ‘allowed’ to bring back and chose Mnangagwa so that the take-over is legal, with Mnangagwa possibly rewarding the generals through appointing Chiwenga as his deputy or instituting a transitional government with the opposition, and possibly postponing elections to allow for stability, reforms and so on.

“Alternatively, Mugabe maybe retained briefly, but becomes titular, Mnangagwa returns, with Mugabe being allowed to step down in December at Zanu PF congress.

“Whatever the case to minimise outrage the military will still need some civilian authorities to action their plans, if not Mugabe then Mphoko but with the aim of ushering in a dispensation that protects their personal and institutional interests, and we hope national and people’s interests.”

He said the path that Zimbabwe is now on is uncharted and treacherous, a lot will depend on the extent to which Chiwenga and the military can hold steady and ensure compliance with their demands.”

Comments (1)

Whee were they when he was destroying the nation?

Zimmerman - 19 November 2017

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