Zimbabwe’s army has reportedly been placed on high alert following reports that ex-president Robert Mugabe’s allies could be “regrouping and planning to foment disharmony within the military”.
According to the privately owned Zimbabwe Independent newspaper, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) Commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda has warned the soldiers against taking bribes from ex-Zanu-PF officials linked to former first lady Grace Mugabe’s Generation 40 (G40) group.
The G40 members, who were expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party when Mugabe was ousted in November, were reportedly coalescing around Grace.
Reports last weak indicated that members of the G40 were about to launch a new party in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe’s nephew Patrick Zhuwao, who was also a member of the G40 said, however, that the new political outfit was not an avenue to bring back” his ousted uncle.
The group was said to have over the past few weeks intensified its sharp attacks on the new government, criticising the military’s involvement in ending Mugabe’s 37-years reign.
The Zimbabwe Independent said that as fears of a military disturbance grew, Sibanda had since told the presidential guard unit that “there are clandestine plans to foment disharmony within the military following the formation of the new political party”.
The newly appointed military chief was also believed to be on a nationwide tour to speak to the soldiers on issues including the welfare of troops, the role of G40, the operation which led to Mugabe’s fall, and the plot to bomb the ex-president’s dairy.
He was, according to sources, accompanied by incoming Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) commander Lieutenant General Edzai Absolom Chimonyo, army spokesperson Alphios Makotore and other senior officers.
Apparently Mugabe and former vice president Joice Mujuru met on Tuesday and he allegedly apologized for sacking her from her then position and the ruling party claiming that he had been ill advised by President Emmerson Mnangagwa that she (Mujuru) was planning to topple him.
Joice Mujuru confirmed the meeting saying she was happy to have spoken to Uncle Bob for the first time since her sacking in 2014.
What she however did not confirm, even though it is talk of the town is speculations that they spoke about forming a pact to contest in the forth-coming elections.
Now that these two have a common enemy, Mnangagwa they have seen it convenient to put aside their differences and deal with their nemesis.
It is no doubt that Mugabe is still like a wounded bull and ready to hit back and get his revenge because of the way he was toppled when he least expected it.
For 37 years Mugabe thought he was untouchable, he thought he would rule the roost till he dies but his former allies did the unthinkable and showed him the exit door.
One thing that can never be denied is that although old and uninspiring as a leader, Mugabe had and still has loyal supporters, both in urban and rural areas who will not think twice about voting for him if he were to contest in an election.
If indeed Mugabe is behind this new political outfit called the United Patriotic Front, which is being touted by his loyalists who include some former cabinet ministers and other Zanu PF members then Mnangagwa has a reason to be afraid.