Mary-Kate Kahari- Zimbabwe Editor

HARARE– Caretaker leader, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, is all but almost certain to be announced the winner of today’s historic presidential election, by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) by lunch time this Saturday, following the sophisticated use and aid of the country’s military machinery in his corner, to deny power to MDC Alliance candidate, Nelson Chamisa, Spotlight Zimbabwe, has been briefed.

High level ruling Zanu PF sources told this publication over the weekend that, the watershed plebiscite is now a mere exercise and formality, as Mnangagwa is also reportedly having the backing of the United Nations, The Elders, Britain under the auspices of the Commonwealth and the BRICS grouping, all who are said to be in favour of political continuity in Harare under a reformed Zanu PF presidium order led by Mnangagwa.

BRICS is the acronym coined by British Economist Jim O’Neill meant for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Ironically Mnangagwa smuggled himself to South Africa last Thursday to attend closet sideline engagements with prominent Brics leaders, who were meeting in Johannesburg for the 10th summit of the group. The Zanu PF leader briefly put on ice his campaign trail, and is believed to have used the opportunity to meet with Chinese and Russian leaders, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin respectively.

Both Beijing and Moscow are key allies of Harare, each yielding veto power as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Zimbabwe is not a member of the Brics forum, but it was invited by Pretoria to attend together with certain leaders from a number of non-member countries, including Turkey’s recently re-elected strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“This election is already done in our favour before it has even began,” said a senior Zanu PF Politburo member who is in Mnangagwa’s inner circle, and was part of the presidential delegation that accompanied the caretaker president to South Africa last week. “How can we lose it (the election). When you have two world powers supporting you and get assurances from their capital, what can go wrong? I’m talking of allies who can shield this country at UN level, should there be an unnecessary outcry of a disputed vote, as the opposition is planning.”

Our information also shows that Mnangagwa indeed met Putin for about an hour, where the Russian leader is thought to have discussed further details and investment around Moscow’s plans to set up a massive platinum mine in Darwendale, where work according to foreign affairs minister, Sibusiso Moyo, has already began. Russia is investing almost half a billion US dollars into the venture.

Mnangagwa is said to have spent another two hours with the Chinese leader in an evening meet last Thursday to discuss his new diamond policy for Beijing companies, further disclosures from our sources reveal.

The new diamond legislation will likely be passed before the end of the year.

“Our media is always slow in catching up with actual meaningful news. Foreign press is awash with Mnangagwa’s anticipated victory, yet local media is having tough times with their projections,” an intelligence informant said. “The Elders led by Kofi Annan are behind ED (Mnangagwa), including key western nations. They don’t want to loose out on new opportunities presented by Zimbabwe. ED is good for their business, forget about the politics. They’ll endorse his politics to open business doors for their economies, which cannot be sustained without raw materials and minerals from this part of the world. Others are queuing for lithium and also want our uranium, while others are already on the ground for platinum and diamonds. More will be coming in for agro-business and land in general to grow more food to supplement their food security situation. So in a nutshell, they prefer a stable political hand in Mnangagwa than Chamisa, who poses a lot of risk and threats to some of their interests, as our foreign policy will drastically change under a new opposition government.”

Spotlight Zimbabwe, has also gathered that the military is going to be deployed countrywide to help “maintain peace” and bring hot spots of political violence in major cities and towns under lockdown, until results are announced.

“It is another secret military operation. Don’t be surprised if curfews are announced and that a good number of activists and people will be arrested. Unlike in November last year, when the military was joined by the masses to oust Mugabe, this time around the military shall be out to oust the masses tempted to protest against Mnangagwa,” intelligence sources said.

It was not clear last night where the electoral command centre or war room for this year’s election is based, but indications are that, the Tongogara Barracks, which house the headquarters of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ) is going to once again play a pivotal role in the electoral process.The barracks are located in the capital, along Borrowdale road.

During the 2008 presidential poll the army was accused of withholding the results, and there was no official announcement of the winner for more than a month after the first round. The failure to release results was strongly criticised by the opposition, which unsuccessfully sought an order from the Hight Court to force their release. spotlight zimbabwe. spotlight z

note: this was posted on 31 July and things are unfolding…POSA(state of emergency) has just been announced.