Zimbabwe military chief orders high alert

Zimbabwe military chief orders high alert
Published: 09 February 2018 (492 Views)
ZIMBABWE Defence Forces (ZDF) commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda has ordered soldiers to be on high alert, warning the servicemen against taking bribes from politicians, after concerns that expelled Zanu-PF officials are regrouping and attempting to woo the military.

Amid heightening political and security fears, sacked Zanu-PF officials announced last week that they would form a party, the New Patriotic Front (NPF), following the November 15 de facto coup that pressured former president Robert Mugabe to step down after 37 years in power.

The new party also wrote a petition to the African Union criticising the involvement of the army in Mugabe's ouster last November.

The party is linked to G40, a former Zanu-PF faction which was coalescing around Mugabe's wife Grace. Mugabe's nephew Patrick Zhuwao has over the past few weeks intensified his acerbic attacks on the new government, criticising the military involvement. Sibanda, who has already addressed other army units around Harare, told members of the Presidential Guard unit in the capital on Monday that there are clandestine plans to foment disharmony within the military following the formation of the new political party.

The incoming militry chief is today expected to address soldiers at Inkomo garrison. Informed sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that Sibanda, who is on a cross-country tour of duty to address all army units, spoke 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 former leader's dairy.

Sibanda, according to sources, was accompanied by incoming Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) commander Lieutenant General Edzai Absolom Chimonyo, army spokesperson Alphios Makotore and other senior officers.

"General Sibanda told military personnel that a meeting between Mujuru and former president Mugabe had resulted in the formation of a new political party. He said soldiers should guard against those trying to persuade them by offering large sums of money to join the new outfit," a source familiar with the developments said.

Mujuru met Mugabe and at his Borrowdale mansion last week, where he apologised for hounding her out of the party. Mujuru was fired from Zanu-PF in 2004.

Contrary to media reports, officials from Mujuru's party said there are no plans to form an alliance with former G40 members, saying this was part of government propaganda.

Sibanda, another source said, narrated how Operation Restore Legacy gained momentum after the army foiled a police operation to arrest former ZDF chief Constantino Chiwenga (now Vice-President). Operation Restore Legacy led to the demise of G40 which had gained pole position in factional fights to succeed the ageing former leader.

"General Sibanda told the soldiers that he personally asked former Zimbabwe Republic Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri why police were carrying out anti-hijack rehearsals at Robert Mugabe International Airport without involving the army. He also questioned why the police wanted to arrest Chiwenga at the airport when they were fully aware of where he resides. This, General Sibanda said, created mistrust between the police and the military," the source said.

"Chihuri, according to the General, did not give a satisfactory answer, resulting in General Sibanda asking Transport minister Jorum Gumbo why this was happening. The attempt to arrest Chiwenga and public statements by Grace and former Zanu-PF youth league secretary Kudzanai Chipanga are what triggered the army to react."

Army spokesperson Alphios Makotore had not responded to questions sent to him by the Independent by the time of going to print.

Highly-trained Special Air Services commandoes foiled a plan to arrest Chiwenga upon his arrival from China after President Emmerson Mnangangwa, then Vice-President, was fired from government. Sibanda took over from Chiwenga in December 2017, while Chimonyo, the country's former ambassador to Tanzania, was appointed ZNA boss.

- the independent

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Tesla pfee in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 156 Views

Zimbabwean student use the old trick to get asylum in Ireland

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 177 Views

Joram Gumbo must leave office and face justice

by MDC Communications | 20 October 2018 | 146 Views

Zimbabwe teachers demand salaries in US$

by newzimbabwe | 20 October 2018 | 231 Views

'Chamisa's Alliance plotted a coup against Mnangagwa'

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 268 Views

Demand for Indian sex sweets rises

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 258 Views

'Chamisa won't be contested at congress' - no vacancy in MDC presidium

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 197 Views

Mthuli Ncube calls for political reforms

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 211 Views

Mnangagwa's minister exposed charging in USD refuses Bond notes

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 171 Views

Zimsec engages Deloitte And Touch over exam leaks

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 140 Views

The White Man who sent fear down Mugabe's spine

by Globe and Mail | 20 October 2018 | 134 Views

Human rights violations down in Zimbabwe

by Stephen Jakes | 20 October 2018 | 108 Views

Mliswa pleads with Finance minister to see importance of MPs vehicles

by Stephen Jakes | 20 October 2018 | 114 Views

Zimbabwe business are mercenaries out to loot the poor: MDC legislator

by Stephen Jakes | 20 October 2018 | 122 Views

Electric Tesla car causes stir on Zimbabwe social media

by Staff Reporter | 20 October 2018 | 127 Views

Zimbabwe army officers warned

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 154 Views

Biti savages Mthuli Ncube

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 115 Views

Zanu-PF backers justify army use of deadly force

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 123 Views

Zimbabwe tax system hit by low compliance levels

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2018 | 74 Views

Price controls, tinkering with the deck while the titanic is sinking

by Jacob Mafume, MDC National Spokesperson | 19 October 2018 | 233 Views

Man nearly killed over cooking oil

by Simbarashe Sithole | 19 October 2018 | 211 Views

Mnangagwa closing in on unscrupulous businesspeople

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 230 Views

Prophet sells congregant's vehicle

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 195 Views

Zanu-PF's Dexter Nduna confirmed Chegutu West MP

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 140 Views

Mnangagwa caps 1719 graduands

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 118 Views

ZCTU calls for resignation of Minister Gumbo

by Stephen Jakes | 19 October 2018 | 286 Views

Mnangagwa has to deliver and, urgently too

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 318 Views

Zanu-PF dictatorship, ideological dominance

by Vivid Gwede | 19 October 2018 | 241 Views

ZCTU, why spare Bulawayo council over rates hike

by Conway Tutani | 19 October 2018 | 220 Views

Motlanthe Commission risks playing into Zanu-PF agenda

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 229 Views

Councils challenged to generate own income

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 159 Views

Zimbabwe gender parity misses 50% mark, says Mohadi

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 119 Views

Zanu-PF official, sangoma jailed over pangolin scales

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 185 Views

Mliswa mocks Gender Commission

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 170 Views

Police harass senior Masvingo journalist

by Stephen Jakes | 19 October 2018 | 153 Views

Zimbabwe gold exports decline by 21%

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2018 | 176 Views