Mugabe to surrender power to military men in suits

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe, who has been accused of not having a succession plan in place, is apparently grooming ‘retired’ Air Vice Marshal Henry Muchena and former Defence Minister, Sidney Sekeramayi to replace him.

Sources in the military have told a private newspaper in an exclusive interview that and Zanu (PF) said Mugabe, like other African dictators, was not happy about the Mujuru and Mnangagwa  camps for showing open  interest in replacing him as Zanu (PF) president.

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“Mugabe has privately encouraged the fights between the two camps while privately grooming Muchena and Sekeramayi.  Joyce Mujuru is very junior in the Zanu (PF) liberation structures and even she knows that she can not be president of the party.

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“Mugabe has not forgiven Mnangagwa for the Dinyane meeting in Tsholotsho, which sought to isolate him by removing his trusted lieutenants John Nkomo and Joseph Msika and attempting to replace them with Patrick Chinamasa, Thenjiwe Lesabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa,” said a senior army officer.

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It was significant, he added, that Henry Muchena, real name Jabulani Mahlangu, and hailing from Zhombe in the Midlands Province, had already been removed from the air force and strategically re-deployed to pull the strings at the Zanu (PF) commissariat department. This was designed to make him a sellable ‘civilian’ down the line while giving him an opportunity to meet the party’s rank and file.

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Although Muchena is reported to have retired, he continues to use bodyguards  and vehicles from the air force, complete with a mini-motorcade. Mugabe is said to favour Muchena because of his fierce loyalty. Unlike other service chiefs, is not known to have participated in the genocide in Matabeleland and it is believed that he would never allow Mugabe to be arrested for crimes against humanity.

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“Mugabe is convinced that if he is succeeded by either Mnangagwa or Mujuru, Zanu (PF) would split down the middle and disappear from the face of the earth.

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With Sekeramayi and Muchena as his ideal tag-team partnership, Mugabe is convinced that they will protect him, his legacy and ‘not sell out’ to ‘counter revolutionaries’,” said the source. If his plan succeeds, Mugabe will in effect have formally ceded power to the military.

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Sekeramyi, a Zezuru from Mashonaland East, is tasked with taking care of Zezuru business interests while Muchena (Mahlangu) will take care of Ndebele and Karanga interests.

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Mugabe wants to pacify the restive Manicaland province by seconding a Manyika  person to the Zanu (PF) presidium.

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Didymus Mutasa was a front runner, according to a politburo member, until he fought against Simon Khaya Moyo for the Zanu (PF) post of chairperson last year. “Mugabe was not very pleased by Mutasa’s behaviour and it is not clear if he still wants him in the Zanu (PF) future leadership,” said the source.