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Mnangagwa living in constant fear of coup - as long economic meltdown remains so too will coup threat

'Mnangagwa makes hast military appointment amid coup threats' - screamed the headlines in Bulawayo24.

"President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made forced cross-cutting changes to his Presidential Guard (PG) Brigade several months after his wife Auxillia clashed with one of the most senior officers in the unit," read the report.

"According to The News Hawks, The changes reflect Mnangagwa's continued coup-proofing strategy and search for stability in the military forces which brought him to power through a coup in November 2017."

Robert Mugabe spent the last decade of his time in office in constant fear of street protest and/or a military coup. The nation was rest, they wanted to see something done to stop the growing tide of abject poverty fuelled by the country's economic meltdown.

Mugabe could not do anything to end the gross mismanagement, rampant corruption and the crass lawlessness making Zimbabwe a pariah state; the root causes of the economic meltdown. That is to say, he could not do anything to end Zimbabwe's pariah state without dismantling the Zanu PF dictatorship which had kept him and his Zanu PF cronies in power ever since the country's independence in 1980.

So, unable to do anything to end the economic meltdown Mugabe was a sitting dock. The coup he feared, knew was coming but just did not know when, did come. Mugabe was woken up in the small hours of 15 November 2017 with an AK47 Rifle's business end pointing up his backside! It was game over for him!

When Mnangagwa took over from Mugabe following the November 2017 military coup, he was smart enough to know that his hold on power was totally dependent on him ending the country's worsening economic meltdown. He did hit the ground running with his clarion call "Zimbabwe is open for business!"

It has been three years since the coup and Zimbabwe's economic meltdown is decidedly worse than ever. "Zimbabwe is open for business!" is dead in the water.

Frankly, "Zimbabwe is open for business!" was doomed to fail. Zimbabwe's economy was in meltdown before the coup precisely because the country was a pariah state ruled by corrupt, incompetent, vote rigging and murderous thugs. After the coup, Zimbabwe was still a pariah state or be it under a new dictator! Investors and lenders, whom Mnangagwa was targeting with his clarion call, are a shrewd and savvy lot; they were not going to fall for empty promises, rhetoric and cheap marketing gimmicks!

Indeed, the very fact that Mnangagwa went town to sell "Zimbabwe is open for business!" speaks volumes of the man. The world will remember Mnangagwa and his team in their trademark multi-coloured scarfs, a flock of Southern Hornbill with their red wattles distended; what a spectacle. He clearly believed his on cheap propaganda; a dead give away, this is a man of little intellect way out of his league.

Mnangagwa, just like Mugabe before, cannot address the mismanagement, corruption and lawlessness without dismantling the Zanu PF dictatorship, his power base. It is naive to think one can revive the comatose economy and somehow still keep the dictatorship; the two are mutually exclusive. And so, again like Mugabe, Mnangagwa finds himself a seating duck; forever fearful of the street protests and/or military which he knows is coming.

Mnangagwa's fear of street protests is so intense as shown by the sheer brutality he has use to stamp it out. His fear of the coup is just as intense as seen by the number of times he has promoted, shuffled and/or fired security services personnel. But as long as the economy continues in its nose-dive the pressure for meaningful political change will only increase.

Grace Mugabe talked of how her late husband was sleeping with one eye open because the fear of social unrest or a coup was relentless. Having one eye open was not enough to stop the 15th November 2017 coup. Now it is Mnangagwa's turn to live in fear. He can double his security every month, sleep with both eyes open if he can, etc., etc.; this will not stop the social unrest and/or coup.

As long as there nothing is done to end the economic meltdown, the pressure for real and meaningful political change will never go away.  

By rigging the elections and thus frustrate the opportunity for peaceful democratic change, Zanu PF has left the nation with no alternative but to resort to violent street protests and/or military coup as the only way to achieve meaningful political change. Rigging elections has postponed change and kept Zanu PF in power but this has a price tag - when change comes there will be violence.

Robert Mugabe and none of his immediate family were shot in the November 2017 military coup. A few people lost their lives and a number of G40 leaders are in exile and fearing for the safety and lives. There could well be rivers of blood in the next coup!

"You are spying on me," the First Lady reportedly railed at Samson Murombo, then commanding officer of 1 Presidential Guard. Murombo has since been reshuffled.

"Get away! I'm just a mere woman, a grandmother. Go shoot Mnangagwa, I ask for pardon. Don't shoot me, I have children. Just shoot Mnangagwa, because I know this is all about him."

Those who sow the wind and will reap the whirlwind! The tragedy is many innocent people will be caught in the ensuing storm and suffer the consequences. Mnangagwa and his cronies must be held to account for all the damage to property and lost livelihood and lives.

All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

Chuka is an experienced certified web developer with an extensive background in computer science and 18+ years in web design &development. His previous experience ranges from redesigning existing website to solving complex technical problems with object-oriented programming. Very experienced with Microsoft SQL Server, PHP and advanced JavaScript. He loves to travel and watch movies.

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