“For keen students of Zimbabwean history, this February is threatening to replace November as the month of momentous events!”.
Strangely but tellingly, some took this metaphoric tweet as a prediction of a military coup in February. Ok!
The words of the tweet speak for themselves, despite the misplaced but understandable attempts to squeeze blood out of them. Zimbabwe is at the crossroads. The country is pregnant with change. Something is afoot. But there’s no telling what it is or when it will be born!
I used the November metaphor to capture & convey the gestalt of the moment. Besides its sacred Shona myths, November has historical significance in Zimbabwe as the month of momentous events. The pioneer column of Cecil John Rhodes moved on King Lobengula in November 1893!
Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence was in Nov 1965. The so-called Tsholotsho Declaration was in November 2004. Black Friday, when the Zim dollar first crushed in value & lost 72% against the USD was in November 1997. The military coup was in November 2017!
Because of ZanuPF’s dominance of state politics in Zimbabwe since 1980, the fact that it holds its congress or annual conference in December has guaranteed that November is a month of momentous events when all manner of power shenanigans and skulduggery politics take place!
While November did not disappoint in 2019, what with the foiled military coup, political intrigue in ZanuPF did not play out as usual, in the runup to the party’s Goromonzi annual conference. Chiwenga’s unexpected return in November flatfooted plotters & changed everything!
Due to the foiled military coup, triggered by simmering grievances among middle & lower ranks in the army; coupled with Chiwenga’s surprise return from China, political programs that were meant for November 2019 were pushed back to play out in February; after the holidays!
Momentous events that usually happen in November were seen this February like bolts from the blue. The dismissal from the politburo of two key youth leaders, Togarepi & Matutu was momentous; as was the dismissal of Matutu & Tsenengamu from the party’s central committee!
Even more momentous were the reasons for the dismissal of the youth leaders: their calling out gross corruption by fuel & mealie meal “cartels” fronted by Kuda Tagwirei, Billy Rautenbach & Tafadzwa Musarara; all godfathered by Mnangagwa. This was November stuff in February!
The November in February was not only in ZanuPF. When @EdmundKudzayi, @PatrickZhuwao & I were pushed to disclose our support for the MDC-ALLIANCE in the 2018 elections, #ZanuPF & other detractors pounced on the disclosure to allege this was “G40” support for @nelsonchamisa!
And @GutuObert became a #ZanuPF voice; lying that our disclosure had vindicated him & “proved” alleged “G40” links with #Chamisa. Yet we had secured a ticket & accommodation for Thokozani Kupe’s aide, Witness Dube, who was sent to ask for funding from us on 28 March 2018!
And, for a perspective, on 28 December 2017; @PatrickZhuwao sent me a WhatsApp msg inviting me to a meeting, the next day, with @DMwonzora & Theresa Makoni who said they’d been sent by #Tsvangirai to get the “G40” to arrange a meeting for him with Pres Mugabe in Singapore!
Besides the delegations from Thokozani Kupe’s MDC-T who wanted resources, and the high powered team of @DMwonzora & Theresa Makoni, we received, on two separate occasions in February 2018 & April 2018, visitations by senior leadership from Joice Mujuru’s Rainbow Coalition!
It should be clear that encounters & engagements in politics do not constitute relationships. February claims that the so-called G40 forged permanent links with @nelsonchamisa in 2018 are false and hypocritical, as they have come from hypocrites who sought our support!
One momentous development this February is that Kuda Tagwirei has been plotting, with hypocrites who have maliciously alleged “G40” links with #Chamisa, to use USD 2,4m to buy the Supreme Court judgment for Thokozani Kupe in her case against #Chamisa to control the #MDC!
Kuda Tagwirei has been scandalously pledging to use cartel money “to compromise” Justice Garwe, whom they say is allegedly drafting the judgment in the Kupe case. A well-known co-conspirator in the matter has been calling the Supreme Court daily, asking for the judgment!
Meanwhile, the November in February politics have been hectic for Mnangagwa who has a momentous decision to make: does he resign & take the lucrative exit package on the table; or does he press on, fight it out as some of his cronies are urging him & risk being forced out!
The garrison shops in February, which are off-budget, are evidence of Mnangagwa’s desperate inclination to fight on. But it’s a case of too little too late, as the horses have bolted. Soldiers do not live by bread alone. Where are the garrison schools, clinics & hospitals?
Another example of Mnangagwa’s continued digging in a hole, when he should be getting out, is his appointment of his nephew, Edwin Manikai, as the chairman of PAC. The scandalous appointment is being fiercely resisted by the few remaining neutrals in Mnangagwa’s cartels!
But it seems the bravado to fight on is, in fact, a dummy to facilitate the massive looting of assets and externalisation of forex by Mnangagwa’s cronies & family members. For example, his daughter, Farai has used @ReserveBankZIM to externalise USD 5m since 19 February 2020!
While all this has been happening, the real sign of November trouble in February is that army Commanders have been sleeping at KGVI, Tongogara Barracks. The last time they did that in November 2017, there was a coup. The country’s security situation is on a knife-edge!