By retiring four military generals of the rank of Major General from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and assigning them to the diplomatic corps, President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reported to have carried out a preemptive strike against his deputy Vice President Constantino Chiwenga as he seeks to consolidate his power.
The four newly retired generals, Major Generals Anselem Sanyatwe, Martin Chedondo, Douglas Nyikayaramba and Air Vice Marshal Shebba Shumbayaonda are reported to be aligned to Vice President Chiwenga.
Major General Sanyatwe was the commander of the national reaction force which was deployed on the 1st of August 2018 and used live bullets to quell a demonstration by opposition supporters. At least 6 people died from gunshot wounds.
According to political analysts, Mnangagwa’s latest move is meant to cement his power base in the military by removing Chiwenga’s closest allies. Chiwenga is currently in India where he is undergoing medical treatment. According to some reports, officials from the Military Intelligence Directorate suspect that Chiwenga was poisoned using Polonium 210.
Exiled former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo who is a rabid critic of both Mnangagwa and Chiwenga described the move as “Seismic ZDF Retirements” although he warned that Chiwenga may be fully aware of the plot to weaken him.
Writing on social media, Moyo said, Booted out of the #ZDF & redeployed as diplomats even before appropriate bilateral consultations are done!
The politics of the strategy at play are naked. Wanyangira yawona!
One need not be a rocket scientist to unpack the kindred of the dismissed generals, their links to the indisposed #Chiwenga, that few countries would accept their credentials & that some human rights NGOs might ask ICC questions about them once they’re touchable out of Zimbabwe!
There are reports of deadly power struggle between Mnangagwa and Chiwenga as the two tussle control Zanu PF and Zimbabwe Government to fill the void left by Robert Mugabe who fell into history when General Chiwenga rolled tanks into Harare on the night of 14 November 2017.
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