President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency is reportedly under threat following his alleged failure to keep his security apparatus together as one unit.
Since being propped to power by the army, Mnangagwa made numerous moves that were viewed as trying to weaken the police force and other arms of the security sector, at one time, key policing duties such manning of roadblocks were stripped from police force and transferred to the military.
In an attempt to flush out the perceived pro-Mugabe elements within the security, he seemed to have created antagonism between the army and police forces. He also allegedly tried to destabilise the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).
While former president Robert Mugabe was under house arrest, it was rumoured that former Justice minister Happyton Bonyongwe, then police chief Augustine Chihuri and former Airforce commander Perrance Shiri at some point plotted a counter offensive against the military takeover of government.
The counter-coup set-up was to be premised with the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) commanded by Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri being the backbone of the operation. And some analysts believe that when Mnangagwa’s romance with the police force soured, but the political watchers still maintain that Mnangagwa as a leader should try by all means to unite the two forces, other than pitting them against each other.
Meanwhile, the ZRP have reportedly beefed up its armoury by purchasing weapons purportedly to crush anticipated protestors as the economy continues on a free-fall, a move that analysts believe is a sign that all is not well within the Mnangagwa regime.
Captioning his fears, the Mnangagwa administration is allegedly spying on the retired members of the uniformed forces.
This was revealed in an internal memo recently sent to all police stations, which directed that all forms of leave and time off have been cancelled/suspended until further notice.
“The Police force has also decided to put under surveillance discharged or retired officers as they are thought to be supportive of civil disobedience,” read part of the memo.
“… profile and strictly monitor all retired and discharged members or officers within their areas of jurisdiction,” it went on.
Political watchers have since said the developments are an indication that Mnangagwa is now managing a security arm which is wide. They say he is trying to manage his cattle when they are stray.
Political scientist Elder Mabhunu says Mnangagwa is set to go down in history books as a failed dictator, who presided over a disjointed security force.
“Mnangagwa’s insecurity is largely internal than it is external, and that will determine his stay or departure from State House,” he says.
Another analyst Dr Pedzisai Ruhanya says;
“It appears that ED rule is more personalistic than institutional. This results in internal contradictions among the cabal. That there is lack of elite cohesion among the ruling elites is now a matter of public record.”
Commenting on the recent arrests of human rights activists on charges of trying to dislodge a constitutional government, Ruhanya says it is rubbish for ‘the bogus dispensation of misrule’ to arrest human rights defenders, alleging they were trying to over throw a junta regime that is armed to the teeth.
Mnangagwa’s presidency has been marred with various challenges, most of them being exacerbated by his failure to deal with a legacy of corruption, human rights abuses, and economic mismanagement he participated in for years and later inherited. Rumours of another and a pending coup are also high behind his shoulder.
While on the other hand, some opposition parties and civic organizations threatening to carry out massive street protests, so as to force him to the negotiation table and try to find a lasting solution to the country’s economy.