Zimbabwe’s VP Mnangagwa, Returns
The theatre that opened in Zimbabwe is still unfolding. Just as predicted by this newspaper, Zimbabwe’s former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, has returned to the country, an aide told AF
The sack of Mnangagwa by President Robert Mugabe last week triggered the military action in Zimbabwe.
However, Mugabe is still insisting that he is the only legitimate ruler of the country even as he is still under house arrest.
Mugabe’s motorcade on Thursday took him from his private residence to the State House for the talks, which were also attended by envoys from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional bloc.
“He is refusing to step down. I think he is trying to buy time,” said a source close to the army leadership who declined to be named.
Government TV showed Mugabe, the world’s oldest head of state, dressed in a navy blue blazer and grey trousers standing alongside army chief General Constantino Chiwenga.
The AU, African Union, has said the military action in Zimbabwe looks like a coup.
Its head, Alpha Conde, said the AU demands an immediate return to constitutional order.
However, speculations are rife that this drama might lead to eventual military take-over.
“We wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government,” army spokesman Maj. Gen. SB Moyo said in the early morning statement. “What the Zimbabwe defense forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.”
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” he said.
Responding to the developments, Mr Conde, who is also Guinea’s president, said Zimbabwean soldiers “had obviously attempted to take power”.
The AU had “serious concern” at the situation and “reiterates its full support to the country’s legal institutions”, the statement said.
But political indices in Zimbabwe have not suggested that the army will take over. “The military might only want to threaten the Mugabe hegemony, bring Mnangagwa back to Zimbawe and restore peace and calmness in the troubles country.
The ruling party, ZANU-PF is fully in support of the military action. It tweeted this morning “@zanu_pf handle. “Neither Zimbabwe nor ZANU are owned by Mugabe and his wife. Today begins a fresh new era and comrade Mnangagwa will help us achieve a better Zimbabwe.”