By Itai Mushekwe and Mary-Kate Kahari | Spotlight Zimbabwe |
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is increasingly behind the eight ball, amid disclosures that his presidency could be on the line, as the opposition and his closet internal ruling party foes intend to topple him from power Mugabe-style possibly this month, Spotlight Zimbabwe, can reveal.
Our top level government sources with close contact to the country’s dreaded Military Intelligence Unit (MIU), said the Nelson Chamisa led MDC Alliance backed by a new silent faction in Zanu PF are reportedly scheming to spring a Ukrainian Orange Revolution surprise against Mnangagwa’s contested rule, at a time the veteran politician is facing a worsening balance of payment crisis, with his administration unable to pay for essential imports and servicing Harare’s external debt repayments.
The Orange Revolution was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, which was claimed to be marred by massive corruption, voter intimidation and direct electoral fraud.
Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, was the focal point of the movement’s campaign of civil resistance, with thousands of protesters demonstrating daily. It was highlighted by a series of acts of civil disobedience, sit-ins, and general strikes organised by that country’s opposition outfit.
Spotlight Zimbabwe, can also report that the protagonists in the Mnangagwa ouster campaign, want to roll out their plan this month, to take advantage of the presence in the country of a Commission of Inquiry headed by former South African leader, Kgalema Motlanthe, appointed by Mnangagwa to look into the deadly August 1 shootings by the military during the tragic post-election protests, which resulted in about six people dying and dozens sustaining life-threatening injuries.
Motlanthe’s Commission findings are expected to be announced early December, after having completed a three month working mandate, our sources added.
The rude awakening comes at a time when Mnangagwa was yesterday off guard, announcing at an emergency press conference that oil and gas deposits have been discovered in the country in Muzarabani along the Cahora Bassa basin, and that exploration will commence in 2020.
“Military intelligence picked this up (planned protests and march) soon after the president’s inauguration,” said a senior official formerly with the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
“VP Chiwenga has put the military on high alert, and the army has been conducting drills for any eventuality. Chiwenga is still by technicality of chairing the Joint Operations Command on a rotational basis with vice president Mohadi, very much in charge of the security cluster.
“In a pre-emptive measure, you might see a curfew being put in place. People will be required to be indoors no later than 7pm. The central business district in Harare is going to be cordoned off, including important buildings such as the President’s Office and parliament. That way opposition marchers will have nowhere to go.”
It is thought Chamisa wants to rally his two million supporters, to Munhumutapa building, demanding Mnangagwa to either allow for a transitional authority or step down as president altogether, and fresh elections called.
Another source said Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF opponents from a new disgruntled faction realise that his impeachment is unlikely to go ahead, and are opting to assist Chamisa with recruiting numbers for the series of protests.
“There is a new disgruntled faction in the ruling party comprising of angry war veterans and new legislators opposed to Mnangagwa who have realised that their bid to impeach him is a far away and complicated process. This faction with the assistance of G40 remnants will partner the opposition in mobilising people to flood the streets countrywide, like we witnessed during the 2017 coup.
“Their argument is simple. They say the MDC then led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai was the key vehicle in spearheading the peaceful march to remove Mugabe, now they want to return the favour by raising a critical mass to march for the ousting of Mnangagwa, this time alongside MDC Alliance supporters.”
The sources said Chamisa’s MDC has calculated, that the army was unlikely to use live bullets on protesters, in the full glare of the Commission of Inquiry, thereby shielding his supporters from harm’s way, to the benefit of an expected International media coming in to report from inside Zimbabwe.
Chamisa himself seems to have let the cat out of the bag during his recent address at Gwanzura stadium during the party’s 19th Anniversary celebrations, saying he would soon announce the course of action to be taken against Mnangagwa.
“There is no moving forward without looking at the reality of who won the election. We will continue to move around, instead of moving forward,” Chamisa told a packed stadium.
“Ndichakuudzai way forward (I’m going to tell you about the way forward). Haatereri (Mnangagwa refuses to listen) he doesn’t know how powerful you are. Anotamba nevanhu, anotamba neyouth iri mukati umu. Ndikati youth simukai tinangane negwara, muno hamudyiwi rinopisa munyika muno. ( Mnangagwa is taking the masses for granted, he is taking the youth for granted and playing games. If I call upon the youth to stand up, there will be no peace in this country).
Mugabe fired Mnangagwa about this time around last year on 5 November, from the position of Vice President of the country for, among various reasons, disloyalty and conduct inconsistent with his official duties. The dismissal was announced by then information minister, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, at a press conference in the capital.
Mnangagwa has of late been skating on political ice. Last month hardline securocrats reportedly warned him to urgently put the country’s economic house in order, as they feared a possible popular uprising over his administration’s new extortionate taxes, uncontrollable price escalations, and growing shortages of fuel and food.
There were also reports in September, that Chiwenga, might be forced to seize power amid reported growing suspicion by his personal military advisor and confidant, exiled and fallen Ethiopian autarch, Mengistu Haile Mariam, of an alleged plot by unnamed foreign powers to have him sacked from the presidium, as a condition for unlocking foreign direct investment into the comatose economy.