Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mugabe; Posturing or getting poised?

True to his form, Mugabe is attempting to pull another fast not only on the world and his countrymen, but even some his closest allies in ZANU-PF. Take a look at this from Zimonline;
President Robert Mugabe has directed Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) chief Constantine Chiwenga to supervise revenue collection following numerous reports of rampart corruption at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) in which ZIMRA boss Gershom Pasi was also implicated, ZimOnline has learnt.

Authoritative sources said Chiwenga began overseeing ZIMRA operations on March 4, a day after Mugabe summoned Pasi for a meeting at his Munhumutapa offices at which the 82-year old President is said to have accused the country's chief tax collector of corruption and threatened to have him jailed if he did not mend his ways.
Sound like the old man is cleaning house? Think again. There's a method to this madness (no pun intended) when we take a closer look what Mugabe has been doing over the past year. He is posturing a reforming leader who's been let down by his peer all the while poising himself for inevitable reality that things will go bad. What am I talking about? Read on.

When Mugabe elevated Mujuru to vice presidency over a year ago, the move was heralded not only as positive, but brilliant as she became Zimbabwe highest ranking woman. Many thought Mugabe by choosing a woman over Mnangwa, a top male confidante, evaded the hairy controversy stemming from the paternalistic ambitions among his top henchmen. What many more could not decipher is that the real winner was Solomon Mujuru, a retired army general speculated to be the most influental man in ZANU-PF besides Mugabe because of his control over the army.

This was arguably Mugabe's most visible display of crux of his new strategy to survive: placate the army and hope they protect him after his demise. After a rough 2004 during which many fissures developed in ZANU-PF the largest of which was the "Tsholotsho Indaba" led by now deposed information minister, the truth that he was vulnerable dawned on Mugabe. For the first time in his long dominance of Zimbabwean politics he felt that breeze, the breeze of exposure. That caused him to fixate on surrounding himself by people who are also influential in the army who could be counted on to lend a hand or an army should things go awry.

All of a sudden military might is a premium virtue in ZANU-PF. Unsurprisingly Mugabe has since then deliberately turned control of the country's critical structures over to the army. It's only fitting that;
Mugabe's decision to place ZIMRA under Chiwenga widens the army's control of key national institutions.

Among state institutions now under the control of serving or former officers of the ZDF is national food utility, the Grain Marketing Board, whose chief executive officer Samuel Muvuti was recruited from the army, while the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission that runs elections in the country is headed by former High Court Judge and army officer George Chiweshe.

Former military intelligence officer and a lawyer Sobuza Gula-Ndebele is the Attorney General, a key post in the administration of justice in the country.
Add to that General Mike Nyambuya the minister of energy. Not only are we fast becoming a military state, we're going to be a military state long after Mugabe is gone!

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