He was later moved to Defence Ministry, and I would like to believe he was one of Mugabe's confidante. During his time as the Defence Minister, when Marange diamonds existed, his name was at the centre of controversy. There was Anjin mine, Canadile and Mbada Diamonds Company. Canadile was believed to be Mujuru's project and Mbada was part of the army's projects. ED was the Defence Minister. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the mining activities in Marange diamonds. Several people died in Marange and some buried alive in those shafts. In 2008 Zimbabwe held a controversial election which resulted in disputed results. Mugabe forced a violent presidential run off which more than 500 deaths were recorded mainly opposition members. ED was the chief election agent of Mugabe and Defence Minister at that time.
It is reportedly that Mugabe had accepted defeat at that time and his close associates maintained a hardline stance, which led to a bloody controversial run off on the 27th of June, 2008. After the politburo meeting despite Mujuru being the First Vice President, deputizing Mugabe, ED was appointed to represent Mugabe during the SADC meeting held in Zambia. ED was junior to Mujuru both in Government and party level but the later was appointed to represent Mugabe at SADC meeting which was called by Mwanawasa in Zambia. Mwanawasa the then Zambian President called for a SADC crisis meeting after the bloody controversial run off which led to many deaths mainly opposition members. The number was estimated at 500 people. The exercise was led by the military.
ED was in Zambia to represent Mugabe. This was not an easy task. Pressure mounted within SADC to kick Mugabe out of power citing loss of elections and mass killings during the presidential run off. So ED was both a representative of Zanu PF and State at the meeting which concluded that Mugabe was supposed to be present. ED was the Chief election agent of Mugabe and Defence Minister during the run off episode.
During the GNU meetings and talks which were facilitated by Mbeki as the official mediator, ED was one of the individuals who was fingered as one of the hardliners who was not for the GNU maintaining that Mugabe won the controversial June 27 presidential run off and there was no need for a GNU. In 2017, ED was dismissed by Mugabe both in Government and at party level as the second Secretary and Vice President of the country. A letter was issued by Simon Khaya Moyo citing a number of issues which led to his dismissal quoting the constitution and other work related matters. If you go through the letter, it was carefully drafted by experienced lawyers and other Government lawyers after proper consultation. Mugabe knew whom Mnangagwa was and he was fully aware that it will not end well, therefore using proper channels after proper consultation. Remember he was dismissing a close confidante, a former personal aide, Former State Security Minister, Former Defence Minister and also his former Election agent and you know what it means by taking such a bold move despite having considered all this.
In 2017, there was a military coup which was led by the then Zimbabwe Army commander and the current Vice President of Zimbabwe, Gen Chiwenga. During that time ED was in the diaspora. During the two weeks when ED was out of the country, there was a headline in Newsday I quote "Mnangagwa will be back in few weeks". The headline ended there. If you make a comprehensive analysis on the headline it was pregnant in meaning. Remember this is the man who was in charge of the military, state security apparatus for a long time and also his former chief election agent during the bloody presidential run off.
Few weeks down the line, the headline was fulfilled, there was a military coup which gave birth to Mnangagwa's Presidency as the Head of the State. Many people took his bouncing back as a simple exercise. This is the man who took the reigns of power from outside, he led the coup from jaws of the lion. Mugabe was a no nonsense man, he managed to scheme all his way to the top from the doldrums of the diasporan land. Here comes ED pfee in power and he was now being sworn in at the National sports stadium as the New Head of State.
Look at the scenario, though it was bloodless, but the fact that it had little controversy surrounding it, look at the factors which led to the exercise. The only advantage which ED had was that Mugabe had become a liability to the whole nation, region and at International Community level and everyone wanted Mugabe gone. Where was ED when all this was happening? Come August 1, 2018 there were at least 7 victims as a result of the elections. ED was the President of Zimbabwe. This has never happened to witness shootings in the day broad light particularly during the very day of announcement of results. The whole world was surprised to witness shootings in the central business district of the capital city of Zimbabwe. The capital city is a centre of attraction for business.
January 2019, a number of people lost their lives as a result of demonstrations. Several people fled their homes and a number of people were feared dead and others fled their homes. ED was the President of Zimbabwe during that period.Last week, Nelson Chamisa the MDC Alliance President left for Marondera for a national tree planting exercise which was led by the Marondera legislator Matewu and other officials. The whole world was surprised to witness attempt on opposition leader's life by firing live ammunition on the scene. We had Tsvangirai and Mugabe before and during their existence we never witnessed such a horrible incident. This was an attempt to put Zimbabwe on fire and plunging the whole nation into a civil war. Remember this is the main opposition leader and man at the centre of claiming victory of the disputed polls. The firing of live ammunition on him.
Few questions on this one:
1. How do you describe the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra?
2. What is your message to potential investors?
3. What is the message behind the firing of live ammunition?
4. What are the political indicators on such an incident?
5. Planting trees has become a national security threat?
Last but not least, we have the Mashurugwi, mandebele and other controversial mining groups which are taking place in several mines across Zimbabwe. We have a number of incidents in Shurugwi, Midlands, Chegutu, Kadoma and Kwekwe and others in Mazowe. What is increasingly worrying is the gravity of these reports and killing innocent people in the day broad light over mineral discovery. The name of the person who is at the centre of the controversy is State Security Minister Owen Ncube who is believed to be a close confidante and associate of President Mnangagwa. These are innocent lives being slaughtered in the day broad light over controversy surrounding mineral discoveries.
There is what we call legacy. In 2017, it was Mnangagwa 's opportunity to clear his name over massacres and other grey spots over his name so that his legacy is protected. What is increasingly worrying is the current scenario in mines and other related areas which may result in civil war or political instability and this must be corrected and put to an end. The Mashurugwi can turn into a militia group which can pose a national security threat to our beloved country. What we witnessed on these live videos circulating on social media where civilians are being slaughtered in the day broad light is extremely disturbing. The President is silent over it raising serious concerns over the safety of citizens particularly those participating in mining activities.
Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo - D. Phil Cand
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