Zimbabwe military chief orders high alert

Zimbabwe military chief orders high alert
Published: 09 February 2018 (350 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

White Zanu-PF aspiring MP intensifies campaign

by staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 235 Views

MLF denounces Bulelani and his gang of Judas Iscariots and Liars

by Andrea Sibanda, MLF Secretary General | 24 February 2018 | 98 Views

ULoyiko to be showcased at Zabalaza theatre festival

by Thulani Nkala | 24 February 2018 | 68 Views

David Whitehead revival hopes high

by Staff Reporter | 24 February 2018 | 117 Views

Matabeleland South pupils fail to get secondary school places

by Staff Reporter | 24 February 2018 | 111 Views

Khupe rejects Chamisa

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 136 Views

ZEC wins BVR kits tender challenge

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 92 Views

Chamisa, Mudzuri kiss and make up

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 109 Views

Footballer drowns at lodge swimming pool in Bulawayo

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 89 Views

Madinda looks for spark in ZNA clash

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 84 Views

Mapeza safe!

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 75 Views

Amnesty International to engage Mnangagwa

by Staff reporterq | 24 February 2018 | 80 Views

Woman kills hubby

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 58 Views

Two die in road accident

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 66 Views

Perrance Shiri taken to court

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 81 Views

Bulawayo tops social media usage

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 60 Views

Khupe in the cold

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 169 Views

'My hubby is a gold digger'

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 75 Views

Mugabe demands his pension from Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 123 Views

Mnangagwa is a mafia obsessed with power

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 67 Views

Zanu PF youths shocked Mugabe was ousted

by Staff reporter | 24 February 2018 | 86 Views

A tale of three vice presidents

by Tondorindo Chinehasha | 23 February 2018 | 291 Views

Nust Graduate wins beauty pageant

by Jefferson Metha | 23 February 2018 | 172 Views

It's time for rural cemeteries

by Thomas Murisa | 23 February 2018 | 208 Views

Mugabe warned: Shut up!

by Stephen Jakes | 23 February 2018 | 933 Views

2017 O-Level pass rate down to 26.35%

by Ndou Paul | 23 February 2018 | 307 Views

The mystery of the missing MDC-T constitution

by Joe Devanny | 23 February 2018 | 204 Views

Khupe snubs Chamisa overture

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 376 Views

Mutambara warn MDC-T members

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 659 Views

Jonathan Moyo taunts 'hopeless charlatan'

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 445 Views

Cheated wife cuts off man's sex organs

by Punch.com | 23 February 2018 | 214 Views

Cheating man in juju scare

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 265 Views

Headmaster, wife demand $145,000 from school

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 211 Views

Woman faces $10 000 adultery lawsuit

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 160 Views

Chamisa salutes Mnangagwa's govt

by Staff reporter | 23 February 2018 | 265 Views

Chamisa blasts the police force

by Simbarashe Sithole | 23 February 2018 | 1070 Views

The social media president

by Charles Munganasa | 23 February 2018 | 154 Views

Four incredible gambling stories

by Agencies | 23 February 2018 | 125 Views