View Full Version : Zimbabwe: after Mugabe resigns

11-21-2017, 08:58 PM
Mugabe's resignation means - hopefully - a new, better era for Zimbabwe and so time for a new thread.

The old thread was:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4896

11-22-2017, 10:35 AM
Via a Zimbabwean group email citing Emmerson Mnangagwa said:
My desire is to join all Zimbabweans in a new era where corruption, incompetency, dereliction of duty is not tolerated. In the new Zimbabwe it is important for everyone to join hands so that we rebuild the nation to its full glory. This is not a job for Zanu PF alone, but for all people of Zimbabwe.

11-22-2017, 06:40 PM
A South African analyst, who knows Zimbabwe, via IISS adds his viewpoint written before Mugabe's resignation:

Robert Mugabe is likely to be in a state of shock, and may not know what's happening around him.
Figures from the Zanu PF old guard have taken power. The party's younger generation were power hungry, but have nothing to offer the country.
Zimbabweans have no great trust in the military. Its officers helped Mugabe rig elections.
People will not expect great changes. Mugabe's likely replacement, Emerson Mnangagwa, has been running the secret police who have been terrorising the country for years. He is "Mugabe Mark Two".
Zimbabwe's economy is in bad shape. But with the country's vast natural wealth, it shouldn't take long to resuscitate.
Mugabe combined liberation with repression in a way no-one else in the region could. He was evil, but also rebuilt his country in the 1980s.


11-26-2017, 04:15 PM
Some different perspectives. First a selection of articles on a Pan-Africanist website which I have glanced at:http://www.pambazuka.org/

Then three Daily Mail articles by their reporter in Harare; they appear to be based on local rumours and a fair dollop of briefing by the new regime's supporters.

On 17/11/17:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5094609/How-China-helped-depose-dozing-despot-Mugabe.html

On 23/11/17:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5112183/Mugabe-told-files-ordering-killings-released.html

On 25/11/17:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5115869/Stage-managed-welcome-Crocodile-ousted-Mugabe.html

11-29-2017, 12:51 PM
An op-ed in the South African new website by Dr. Stuart Doran (who has written a book on Zimbabwe's troubled times), that "joins the dots" to help assess whether President Mnangagwa has "dirty hands".

11-29-2017, 04:42 PM
Via a BZS email a curious two page commentary from Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans on events, with a very clear pointer to the Chinese model of development not being suitable:
.. ‘democracy’ and ‘development’ cannot be decoupled especially as pushed for by the militarists in the Chinese model....

On the new President:
ED is a Trojan horse of what others have called the ‘deep state’ which was very desperate to reproduce itself and its elite network. The ballot box has always presented a threat to a network of elites who have looted Zimbabwe dry and have been party to these ‘treacherous shenanigans’ as others have said. The hierarchical party-state apparatus built by the ruling elites steam-rolls on its opponents extra-legally and extra-judicially. To start to imagine that ED has suddenly become a reformer and a democrat goes to show the level of political disorientation currently fashionable.

12-25-2017, 11:38 AM
Trevor Grundy reviews 'Kingdom, Power, Glory – Mugabe, Zanu and the Quest for Supremacy 1960-1987' by Stuart Doran; a weighty tome at pgs, with no illustrations.

It is a long review so I cite a small passage:
the Australian historian Stuart Doran has lowered, not a small bucket, but a vast ship- size container into an opaque plastic-media-rubbish- filled African ocean. He has brought to the surface for our ‘careful curiosity’ not only the criminals and crooks who ran Rhodesia under Ian Smith from 1962-1979 but a whole cast of villains, mass murderers and self-serving sycophants who dominated Zimbabwe from 1980 to the fall of Robert Mugabe last month.
The overwhelming theme of this large and enthralling book is the way Robert Mugabe was able to bamboozle people of all backgrounds and his single minded determination to create an over-arching ruling political party which many liken now to the Nazification of Germany in the 1930s.
Why here? Well this is why:
...here’s the overwhelming question. Will Emmerson Mnangagwa – the acclaimed new brush from the old storeroom – be able to turn back the clock and return Zanu (PF) to the grass roots organization it became after its formation at the home of the late Enos Nkala in 1963?Link:http://www.politicsweb.co.za/opinion/zimbabwe-forward-to-the-past

12-28-2017, 06:11 PM
Amidst a long reflective commentary on Zimbabwe's prospects by a former minister and opposition MP was this passage:
The other thing that we saw was the Military Junta, that has, in effect, been largely responsible for running the country and making key decisions, has come out into the open and taken key seats in the new Government. The man who ran the "Smart Coup", General Chiwenga has been appointed Vice President. But in his place is the best soldier in the Country - a real professional who will
change the face of the Armed Forces and ensure that we have a small, but highly proficient Army which does not dabble in politics.

So, what lies ahead for us in 2018? Firstly, we know the most crucial event is the election, which must take place in July or August this coming year. The President has made it clear, he is going to
deliver a free and fair election, the outcome of which cannot be contested by anyone.

Who is the best soldier in the country? Lt. Gen. Edzai A. C. Chimonyo, a 'veteran ZANLA commander', who in swift research had been the Ambassador to Tanzania, since at least 2007 or 2011; that I would read as "put out to pasture". It was a common practice to post ex-commanders to diplomatic posts.

In January 2010 he featured in High Court case over his seizure of a foreign-owned banana plantation farm, using soldiers - according to a leaked US State Dept. cable from Harare. See:http://wikileaks.zilog.es/cable/2010/01/10HARARE12.html

So not immune from "helping himself" to other's property. In January 2016 he was in a legal dispute over another farm 'granted' to him, but those on the property refused to leave. See:http://www.zimnewsblog.com/author/admin/page/183/

He served in the DRC during the intervention there, according to a few web links; as the SADC contingent commander in 2001.

At some stage he attended the UK's most senior defence training course, known as RCDS; according to his very thin LinkedIn profile.

For more moves see:https://theworldnews.net/zw-news/breaking-news-general-chiwenga-retires

I note Air Marshal Perrance Shiri was one of three officers who retired; he was the Fifth Brigade CO during the campaign in Matabeleland in the 80's. He had a promotion and remains on the reserve list. He has become the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement; one must wonder what that portends.

01-07-2018, 08:20 AM
I guess not participating in the theft of land and property would have made him rather suspicious in the eyes of the other members of the mafi.. ah elite running the country.

The coup leader is now also under pressure to reward the high-ranking supporters and to give something to the many downtrodden. The new official budget and the black one should be rather interesting in planning and execution.

01-11-2018, 05:37 PM
I have seen first-hand how the horrors of Mugabe’s Zimbabwe haunt our people (https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/jan/11/horrors-mugabe-zimbabwe-haunt-our-people-mental-scars-psychiatrist-dixon-chibanda) shines some light into the dark past. An example:

When Gogo Ncube* spoke, she held her walking stick firmly. She was from Matabeleland’s Silobela. “They came,” said the 82-year-old. “They rounded us up. They put the men in a hut, closed it and set it alight.” Her granddaughter sat next to her, wearing an expression of indifference. She had heard this story many times.

Gogo continued: “The young women were raped in front of us. Some were bayonetted. I have not stopped seeing those visions. They called it Gukurahundi.”

After a while, her granddaughter interrupted. “Doctor, can you stop these thoughts and constant repetitions about these events? Why has Gogo not moved on?” she asked, finally breaking into tears. “This has affected all of us.”

Gogo looked into the eyes of her granddaughter. “How can I move on when I have the ghosts of my entire village crying out for justice?”

01-19-2018, 09:20 PM
RATON, N.M. (AP) — A group of prominent friends, including a key Zimbabwean opposition leader and a Texas-based investor and philanthropist, was heading to a ranch in the U.S. state of New Mexico when their helicopter crashed and burned in a remote area, killing five people aboard.
Friends and family members confirmed Thursday that opposition leader Roy Bennett and his wife, Heather, had traveled to New Mexico to spend their holiday with friend and wealthy businessman Charles Burnett III at his ranch. Burnett's friends, pilot Jamie Coleman Dodd of Colorado and co-pilot Paul Cobb of Texas, were ferrying the group aboard a Huey UH-1 when it went down after dark Wednesday.
All five died, according to New Mexico State Police.


02-03-2018, 01:51 PM
Dr. Tendi is a Zimbabwean academic @ Oxford University and he spoke this week at a public event following a month in Zimbabwe collecting information on what happened. His uni bio:http://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk/miles-tendi

Earlier he had written:
Tendi asserts that Mugabe has maintained civilian control over the military through shared ideology, patronage, and the formal and informal power he gets from his position as commander-in-chief and being the most senior remaining figure from Zimbabwe's nationalist liberation struggle.Link:http://allafrica.com/stories/201708120054.html

Some key points follow (the footnotes and more are on the attachment):

The acting head of CIO (national intelligence agency) Aaron Nhepera after an episode approved of the coup. This episode was when initially he attempted to move against the coup and called the Air Force commander, Perence Shiri[1] (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/#_ftn1), who was in Dubai. Who then forwarded this information to General Chiwenga in Harare, who could then respond. The CIO’s head’s decision to ask Phiri was a surprise as he was a personal rival of Phiri, including having a role in a 2008 attempt to kill him and an investigation traced the principal in the plot was General Chiwenga .

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) commander, Commissioner Chihuri, was against the coup and had a paramilitary formation, the Support Unit (SU) available at two barracks near Harare. The Army surrounded the SU at Chikurubi[2] (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/#_ftn2) Barracks (there were reports of gunfire at the time before the SU stopped[3] (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/#_ftn3)) and the second SU unit at Inkomo Barracks was intercepted on route to Harare[4] (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/#_ftn4).

The most amazing part of the talk was that during the crisis an attempt was made within State House, presumably with Robert Mugabe’s consent, to prepare a force of mercenaries outside Zimbabwe to intervene[1] (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/#_ftn1). All the telephone calls and discussions were overheard, as the house was bugged. The information was circulated within the Army leadership, thereby gaining support for the coup. Alongside a warning to the Mugabe family that in the event of mercenaries arriving they would be “taken out” (Robert Mugabe and his wife remained throughout the crisis at State House, presumably their two sons were there too).

· ‘Three hundred soldiers did the coup, half from the Presidential Guard (who wear distinctive yellow berets) and one other Army unit. The ZNA is forty thousand strong’.

08-04-2018, 09:31 AM
Blessing-Miles Tendi (Oxford University) has a comment on the election result and the violence that followed in Harare. He ends with:
Zimbabwe’s election has divided its people, and this is not conducive to democracy. Zanu-PF’s two-thirds majority renders parliament – a cornerstone of any functional democracy – weak in relation to a president with disputed legitimacy. And Zimbabwe’s deep state – the military – will linger on, influentially, in the political background. Despite all the joy and the hope following Mugabe’s overthrow, in the aftermath of this election, Zimbabweans’ democratic dreams appear as distant as ever.

(https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/03/zimbabwe-election-result-disputed-army)Watching the limited footage it is very unclear why the Army had to be deployed, let alone why six people were shot dead. So much for an apolitical army that was promised a few months ago.

Professor Stephen Chan adds:https://theconversation.com/zimbabwe-victory-for-zanu-pf-but-this-election-marks-the-end-of-the-liberation-era-101045?

There has been some coverage here, although none covered what was happening in the rural areas. The linked BBC report has the figures:
Figures released by the electoral commission say Mr Mnangagwa and his Zanu-PF party won 50.4% of the presidential vote - ensuring by only 36,464 ballots that there did not have to be a run-off.
Chamisa tallied 44.3% of the almost five million votes cast, with the 21 other candidates taking up the remainder.
Results of the parliamentary election gave Zanu-PF 144 seats; the MDC Alliance, which is made up of seven parties, 64 seats...

08-10-2018, 09:27 AM
An article by an opposition MDC member on what the elections meant. Short of time? The Army rules and makes money.

Or this one sentence:
It is a tragic myth that Zimbabwe can possibly be better in the hands of this small group of men who have wrought so much harm to Zimbabwe over 38 years.

10-04-2018, 05:56 PM
Professor Stephen Chan, SOAS London, has a commentary on the lack of change after the elections; alas not really a surprise. I noted this passage, which may explain why:
Although the Americans have lowered the tone of their criticisms of the government, the softly-softly approach cannot hide the strict conditionality they seek. This resides in guarantees of future electoral conduct, but also essentially the desecuritisation of the ZANU-PF machine. In a word, the problem is Constantino Chiwenga (https://www.theindependent.co.zw/2018/08/10/mnangagwa-chiwenga-fight-explodes-publicly/), the former defence forces chief, now vice-president, who has a strong influence within the military – but, no matter what the Americans want, he is going nowhere fast, and he will not sacrifice his deep influence within the military.

So the "robber barons" in ZANU-PF continue to feast and the people.....

12-08-2018, 08:13 PM
Found on YouTube and it is 21 minutes long. It is produced by a critic of the ZANU-PF regime. The summary:
A short documentary about the deadly aftermath of Zimbabwe's 2018 election. This preliminary video is the result of numerous interviews with the wounded, witnesses and reviewing of hours of amateur and professional video footage and photographs. Due to the time frame of the Commission, this preparatory version has been prepared for submission to the Mothlante Commission. This is part of a long documentary, which will include analysis of the work of the commission and witness testimonies.

The Army maintains it did not fire except in the air and the footage shown contradicts that. Whether the 'international commission' will provide any answer is a very moot point.

12-21-2018, 06:21 PM
In my last post I commented:
The Army maintains it did not fire except in the air and the footage shown contradicts that. Whether the 'international commission' will provide any answer is a very moot point.

Thanks to a Zimbabwe email I discovered the commission has reported:
the police and army were found responsible for the deaths and injuries sustained from the clashes between citizens and members of the security forces. “The death of these six people and injuries sustained by the 35-others, rose from the actions of the military and the police,” President Mnangagwa said, quoting the report.
(On the Army) “The use of live ammunition directed at people, especially when they were fleeing was clearly unjustified, and disproportionate,” the report noted. “The use of sharp shambokos, baton sticks and rifle butts to assault members of the public, indiscriminately was also disproportionate.”

For those who want to read the entire report (128 pgs.) it is here:http://manicapost.co.zw/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Final-Report-of-the-Commission-of-Inquiry.pdf

01-24-2019, 03:28 PM
Two articles id'd by a "lurker" familiar with Zimbabwe and both written in Zimbabwe.

The first is by a journalist who had hope in the new President and his team. He starts with:
Robert Mugabe was really bad because he didn’t listen to anyone unless under personal duress, and because of that terrible trait in him, it led to his spectacular and embarrassing undoing with the culmination of a military coup that was supported by the citizens and the rest of the world sealing his ungraceful demise.

The second is by an economist and reveals the key divide is between the rural and urban population. Needless to say it is urban disorder that has been "cracked down" upon. Here is a key passage:
This year tobacco production was the highest it has ever been and some rural areas are booming. This is not the case in town, and urban youth, many of whom have no longer any connection to rural areas, have no access to land, having missed the opportunities of land reform in 2000.

The BBC did have a report recently and the chart showing the price rises is a great help, if only for the cities (The BBC has not reported as per the previous quote).



01-25-2019, 08:07 PM
A once familiar Zimbawean author and BBC reporter Peter Godwin has this short commentary (it maybe behind a paywall). Here is a his final passage:
In the meantime, Zimbabwe will continue to skitter along the bottom, except for the tiny, ruling elite who are buoyed by their looting. And its most talented sons and daughters will continue haemorrhaging into the diaspora. The size of a country’s tragedy should be measured against its potential. Zimbabwe, by rights one of the wealthiest and most educated countries in Africa, is cementing its record as a tragedy of great proportion.

02-14-2019, 09:30 PM
Professor Stephen Chan, is an academic expert on Zimbabwe and was there recently during the disorder. A couple of passages:
With former defence chief General Constantine Chiwenga in charge as acting president, the protesters were met with a furious militarised response.

And so Zimbabwe is held back by three key things: a quarrel at the top that means government is too preoccupied and divided to focus on proper planning and economic management, lashing out at its own people instead; a disastrous inability to feel the popular pulse, with the ruling oligarchs now living in a hermetically sealed world of their own; and the ongoing economic naivety of those who should be managing the nation’s finances.
Link:https://theconversation.com/zimbabwe-three-reasons-why-its-all-going-so-wrong-for-mnangagwa-111443? (https://theconversation.com/zimbabwe-three-reasons-why-its-all-going-so-wrong-for-mnangagwa-111443?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20 for%20February%2014%202019%20-%201235511385&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20f or%20February%2014%202019%20-%201235511385+CID_361388b9d1e7f292a663e423115c15b9&utm_source=campaign_monitor_uk&utm_term=Zimbabwe%20three%20reasons%20why%20its%20 all%20going%20so%20wrong%20for%20Mnangagwa)

02-19-2019, 01:11 PM
A blog to follow on Zimbabwe, the main author is Ian Scoones, who is an academic in development studies @ Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex and a frequent visitor to Zimbabwe.